- It was a calamitous ending to the Challenge Vieux Boucau triathlon in France
- 23-year-old Mika Noodt was less than a metre away from claiming victory
- French athlete Mathis Margirier pounced on a late mistake to win the race
There are enthralling sprint to the line finishes that leave you in disbelief and then there are those that conjure exactly the same reaction but for all the wrong reasons. Sunday’s Challenge Vieux Boucau in France featured one of those moments.
The men’s event boasted some of the sport’s biggest names such as Team GB Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee, but it was Germany’s Mika Noodt who stole the limelight in a chaotic ending.
An impressive performance in the inaugural triathlon that was taking place in the south of France saw the German lead for almost the entirety of the final running stage before he was beaten across the line with less than a metre remaining.
It was a calamitous moment for Noodt, who after turning down the home straight was being cheered on by members of the crowd that were beginning to celebrate his victory.
However, a quick glance over his shoulder showed him Frenchman Mathis Margirier was closing in and that’s when disaster struck for the 23-year-old who would go on to finish second in the race.
German triathlete Mika Noodt endured a nightmare ending to Sunday’s Challenge Vieux Boucau in France
Noodt was in the lead just before the finish line before falling and crawling towards the line
Noodt tried to increase his speed as Margirier emptied his tank in a bid to get in front at the very last moment, but was unable to match his opponent’s stride as he stumbled on the red carpet and ended up falling over.
The German fell shoulder-first into the ground while the Frenchman passed him at the last possible moment to cross the line first and seal a last-gasp victory.
Screams of shock were heard from the crowd while confetti cannons went off as Margirier claimed a famous win at the event as Noodt crawled to the finish.
Frenchman Mathis Margirier (pictured) won the race after Noodt fell over less than a metre from the finish line
Attempting to offer an explanation for his unfortunate ending to the triathlon, Noodt explained he ‘lost control of his legs’.
Victory handed Margirier his third win of the season in a race that was hotly contested during the opening exchanges.
Brownlee started strong but eventually faded in as he tries to claim a first win since returning from injury and eventually finished sixth overall.
Reigning World Champion Rico Bogen clinched third place in the men’s event with a time of 70.3 after finishing behind Noodt.