Arena Games Munich 2022 results: Raphael reigns as big guns miss – Elite News

Aurélien Raphael picked up a fine win at Arena Games Munich 2022 on Saturday as big guns Alex Yee and Marten Van Riel both finished off the pace.

Yee was only sixth while Van Riel finished bottom of the eight-man field as French star Raphael produced a final push in the Stage 3 race to take the win.

Australian Max Stapley took second place while German Justus Nieschlag thrilled the home crowd by taking third place.


Stage 1: Yee out of rhythm

Raphael exploded on the first swim and quickly established a blistering pace. He had American Chase McQueen and Aussie Max Stapley close behind and it was McQueen who led in T1. Meanwhile, big guns Van Riel and Yee finished sixth and eighth – three and seven seconds behind respectively. This may have been the very first element, but it was to prove critical and presage things to come.

As they rode off the opening bike, Yee was in the back, about five seconds off the leading group of seven. But of course, in theory, he still had that searing ride in his locker. Proof of the work Yee had to do? How about a heart rate of 180 versus Van Riel’s 144 at this point.

Halfway through the opening bike, Yee was still about four seconds away, while ahead of him this group of seven continued to share the work. The British Olympic silver and gold medalist was clearly feeling the pace as the gap increased to over six seconds – and it was over 10 as the leading group headed into T2. Could Yee shoot them down?

Up front, Raphael moved into the lead and he produced a great race to finish Stage 1 1.5 seconds ahead of Van Riel with Stapley just under five seconds in third. Yee was over 11 seconds away, still in last place. Meanwhile, Gordon Benson had a technique – his avatar didn’t pick up – so he was given the same time as Yee as they progressed to Stage 2.

Stage 2: Van Riel falls

Benson and Yee were the men who started Stage 2 with the greatest incentive to get off to a fast start in the race. And it was Alex and Stapley who made their way to T1 in front, but not by much with the top seven all within 2.5 seconds of each other and only Justus Nieschlag farther back.

The big surprise at the start of the moto as Nieschlag raced forward was that Van Riel was totally dropped by the leaders. He was nearly 10 seconds off the pace by the time they broke the 1km mark. In the lead, the pace was dazzling and the Belgian had a hard time coping with it. Despite hard work and wasted time, his heart rate was still ridiculously low at 142!

As the peloton headed into the final kilometer of the bike stage, Van Riel was 15 seconds off the pace while the top seven were separated by less than a second. The Belgian cut a very lonely figure. He was dead last and 22 seconds back when he entered the pool.

As Van Riel continued to struggle, it was local favorite Nieschlag who thrilled the Munich crowd as he took the lead in the swim to win Stage 2 ahead of McQueen, Stapley and Raphael. Yee was five seconds behind.

The overall net result saw Raphael leading the field into Stage 3 three seconds behind Stapley, with McQueen and Nieschlag just there in third and fourth. Yee finished sixth and had 13 seconds to make up for the victory. Van Riel looked off, some 27 seconds behind Raphael.

Step 3: Raphaël arrives in force

Raphael swam out again and he held his advantage throughout to get out of the pool and onto the bike first. Stapley, McQueen and Nieschlag were all within three seconds of the leader. Yee was at 17 seconds.

At the start of the moto and Raphael was joined by these three pursuers to form a lead pack of four, and Italian Gianluca Pozzatti quickly made it five. Yee struggled to make up that big deficit, while Van Riel quickly caught up with the Briton. The pre-event favorites were sixth and seventh.

The stage was now set for an epic finish with this leading group of five almost heading to the treadmills together, but Raphael on paper looked favorites at this stage. The home fans were going crazy as Nieschlag was first on the treadmill. Yee and Van Riel were nearly 30 seconds away and their hopes of victory were gone.

Raphael and Nieschlag were literally neck and neck at the start of the race before the Frenchman started to put on some extra pace and quickly let hope down at home. In the 500m, Raphael’s lead over Stapley was around two seconds.

The further they went, the bigger the lead became for Raphael as Stapley desperately tried to reduce that advantage. But in vain, the Frenchman came in front to win a formidable victory. Stapley held onto second place while Nieschlag thrilled the home crowd by taking the final podium spot. Yee was a distant sixth with Van Riel dead last.

Arena Games Munich Results

Final, Men: Saturday 9 April 2022

  • 1. Aurelien Raphael (FRA)
  • 2. Max Stapley (Australia) +1.2
  • 3. Justus Nieschlag (GER) +5.3
  • 4. Gianluca Pozzatti (ITA) +10.6
  • 5. Chase McQueen (USA) +13.9
  • 6. Alex Yee (GBR) +27.3
  • 7. Gordon Benson (GBR) +37.4
  • 8. Marten Van Riel (BEL) +44.2

About Pia Miller

Check Also

Can the center no longer fit in Macron’s France?

French President Emmanuel Macron’s re-election on April 24 may have seemed straightforward enough to anyone …