Javier Gomez won his ninth world title this weekend at the ITU Long Distance World Championship in Pontevedra, Spain in front of a home crowd proudly cheering his name.
The original 3-kilometer swim course was cut in half due to the water temperature at nine degrees Celsius on race morning. Gomez took a one-minute lead out of the swim onto the 113-kilometer bike course that featured long climbs. Bahrain Endurance teammate Terenzo Bozzone of New Zealand rode strong to close the gap and take a slim lead from the bike onto the run.
With a pack of seven men within 12 seconds of each other entering the 30-kilometer run course, the hunt for the win started fast. Gomez proved the strongest and fastest of them all, reeling Bozzone in early on and never looking back. Bozzone eventually finished in seventh after his valiant efforts out in front all day.
Gomez ran an average pace of 3:35 min/km and stopped the clock at an overall time of 5 hours, 5 minutes, and 39 seconds.
He said, “It was so hard, especially the last half of the run. They pushed me all the way and I’m so glad I got this one at home. It was a very special day, the whole of Montenegro and Galicia and all who came from Spain came here to support us. Really happy with my performance and my training.”
He added, “It was a shame we only had 1500 meters in the water, so the distances were not too big [between us]. I think it was a good bike course for me, really hard and I think I behaved myself properly and made enough room and I had some energy for the run. Everyone started really fast out of transition and I knew we were going to blow up, all of us. Lucky I was the last one [to blow up].”
Holly Lawrence backed up from her runner-up Ironman 70.3 Oceanside finish to win the Ironman 70.3 North American Championship at St. George. It was a dominating performance from the British athlete, set up by her monster bike ride and run.
Lawrence emerged from the 1.9-kilometer swim in 24:57 only three seconds back of the leader, but quickly put her strong legs to work churning over the hills that are the trademark of St. George races. Not content with taking the front early, she then proceeded to build a three-and-a-half minute lead over the field with a 2:16:32 bike split. On the run she continued to increase her lead to log a 1:21:16 half-marathon, finishing nearly eight minutes in front in 4:06:05.
Lawrence said, “Peace out, St. George – leaving with a HUGE smile on my face. Brutal but beautiful course and perfect conditions made even better ending on the top step.”
Lawrence and Bozzone are set to race the Ironman 70.3 Asia Pacific Championships in Vietnam.
Jan Frodeno won his first hit-out of the year at the Buschhütten Triathlon Siegerland Cup. A late start at 2:30 in the afternoon allowed the frigid spring conditions to thaw a little, but the weather remained overcast with an occasional drizzle. Still, the German led from start to finish over the 1-kilometer swim, 40-kilometer bike, and 10-kilometer run, shaking off a thigh cramp in T2 to win in comfortable fashion.
Frodeno said, “Thanks to everyone who came out to cheer and I’m happy to say I got ‘winning a freezing race’ off my bucket list. Man, 2 hours of racing is a painful affair.”