Now free of the hip injury that dogged him through the start of this season, Javier Gomez of Spain has returned to his 2008 ITU World Championship form with a convincing win over home country favorite Jan Frodeno and the rest of the field at the Hamburg round of the Dextro Energy World Championship Series.
Gomez and Frodeno surged away from a five-man lead pack that included Brad Kahlefeldt of Australia, Sven Riederer of Switzerland and $200,000 Hy-Vee winner Tim Don of Great Britain about kilometer 3 of the run. Frodeno and Gomez built a 20-second lead on the chasers by the 5k mark, then at the beginning of the final of four laps, Gomez put the hammer down on the 2008 Olympic champion.
At the line, Gomez completed a dominating, sizzling 29:17 run that put him to the line in 1:43:07 and gave him a 16-second margin of victory over Frodeno, and 50 seconds on third place finisher Tim Don of Great Britain.
“I knew Jan would be the one to beat going into this race,” Gomez told ITU media. “He’s shown amazing form all year long and I knew he’d have a little extra motivation from racing in front of a German crowd. Jan was very tough, but it feels so good to be back in first place again.”
“Javier was too strong today,” Frodeno told ITU media. Frodeno’s second-best run split was 29:38 – 21 seconds worse than Gomez but 22 seconds better than any of the chasers. “When he kicked on that final lap, I had nothing left.”
The win was a small measure of revenge for Gomez– who was run down by a tremendous come-from-behind run by home country hero Daniel Unger in the 2008 ITU World Championship on this same course. It was also a modest avenging of Gomez’s loss in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, where a tender ankle left Gomez fading to 4th to Frodeno’s win in a tremendous last lap duel to the finish that also involved Simon Whitfield and Bevan Docherty.
Gomez’s on-form dominating win augurs well for a return engagement duel with 2009 World Championship Series undefeated champion Alistair Brownlee. Brownlee missed the first two rounds of the 2010 World Championship Series with a stress fracture of the femur before dominating round three in Madrid. Brownlee skipped Hamburg to prepare for a defense of his home country WCS win at London.
Standout competitors Jarrod Shoemaker of the United States – the defending Hamburg champion – and Simon Whitfield of Canada failed to make the initial lead pack on the bike and the energy expended to urge a chase pack up to the leaders left both men unable to join the initial five-man lead pack on the run.
Shoemaker was able to muster a tied for 5th-best 30:09 run and 7th place, while Whitfield faded to a 30:39 run and 12th place. Manuel Huerta of the United States scored one of his best WCS finishes with a 30:45 run leading to a 1:44:39 finish in 13th place of 53 finishers on the dead-flat, multi-cornered urban course.
While the 10k run times seem quite spectacular, consensus is that the Hamburg run course remains inexplicably, given usual German precision, some 100 to 150 meters short of regulation.
Gomez’s win comes after a 4th place at the third round of the WCS series in Madrid, which leaves the Spanish champion third in the Dextro Energy WCS points chase with a total of 1772. After his win at round two in Seoul and a 6th place at Madrid, Frodeno’s second place finish in Hamburg vaulted him into the 2010 WCS points lead with a total of 2153 points – one point ahead of second place Alexander Brukhankov of Russia.
Dextro Energy World Championship Series Hamburg
July 17, 2010
S 1.5k/ B 40k/ R 10k
1. Javier Gomez (ESP) 1:43:07
2. Jan Frodeno (GER) 1:43:23
3. Tim Don (GBR) 1:43:57
4. Sven Riederer (SUI) 1:44:00
5. Vladimir Turbaevskiy (RUS) 1:44:03
6. Brad Kahlefeldt (AUS) 1:44:07
7. Jarrod Shoemaker (USA) 1:44:10
8. Steffen Justus (GER) 1:44:11
9. Alexander Brukhankov (RUS) 1:44:13
10. Joao Silva (POR) 1:44:14
12. Simon Whitfield (CAN) 1:44:30
13. Manuel Huerta (USA) 1:44:39
37. Kevin Collington (USA) 1:46:17
41. Ben Collins (USA) 1:46:42
46. Mark Fretta (USA) 1:47:29
49. Chris Foster (USA) 1:48:45
2010 Dextro Energy World Championship Series Rankings
1. Jan Frodeno (GER) 2153
2. Alexander Brukhankov (RUS) 2152
3. Javier Gomez (ESP) 1772
4. Steffen Justus (GER) 1683
5. Dimitry Polyansky (RUS) 1639
6. Brad Kahlefeldt (AUS) 1594
7. Courtney Atkinson (AUS) 1480
8. Sven Riederer (SUI) 1441
9. Jarrod Shoemaker (USA) 1394
10. Bevan Docherty (NZL) 1301
12. Tim Don (GBR) 1052
14. Simon Whitfield (CAN) 925
15. Matt Chrabot (USA) 916
17. Alistair Brownlee (GBR) 800
27. Greg Bennett (ITU/USA) 501
33. Hunter Kemper (USA) 397
34. Chris Foster (USA) 395
37. Kris Gemmell (NZL) 366
40. Manuel Huerta (USA) 314
59. Mark Fretta (USA) 133
63. Kevin Collington (USA) 104
85. Ben Collins (USA) 45