Javier Gomez of Spain joined a 7-man breakaway on the bike which gave the group nearly a minute lead on serious runners like WTS series leader Mario Mola and Richard Murray. After a second-fastest 30:56 10k run, Gomez finished in 1:47:50 with a 15 seconds margin of victory over Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt, a breakaway co-conspirator, and 52 seconds on Richard Murray of South Africa, who made up 9 places with a race-best 30:51 run.
Jonny Brownlee, who helped make the breakaway work, felt flat on the run and ended up with his second straight 4th place WTS finish after Edmonton. Blummenfelt, the 23-year-old Norwegian sensation, who also contributed to the bike breakaway, was ecstatic after his best-ever WTS finish.
"The key point of the race was when Jonny and Kristian and Javi and Richard [Varga] were motivated to get away on the bike,” said Blummenfelt. “We had a chance to get away – and we did. The last few races we all got together and spent the ride with easy pedaling. This time we all worked hard the whole hour on the bike and it takes a bit out of you.”
Mario Mola, who came into the Montreal round of the WTS with 4 straight WTS victories, missed the breakaway after a sub-par 33rd place swim which left him 55 seconds behind the leaders. Unlike Murray, who emerged from the swim in 42nd place, Mola shouldered all the burden while leading the chase group on the bike and ran out of energy on the run. While Mola finished 14th, he maintained the WTS season lead with 3,664 points while Gomez rose to 2nd with 3,361 and Murray advanced to 3rd with 3,197.
“I knew my win streak had to come to an end,” said Mola to ITU media. “I am very happy for Javi, he deserves a win.” Mola added that he had no regrets about biking hard and losing energy for the run. “It was tough on the bike but I knew that to be better than 8th I’d have to bike as close to the front as possible. So I emptied my tank. I hope to recover and do better next time.”
Murray was quite happy with his third place finish. “If you had told me before the race I would be 1 minute behind after the bike but would make the podium, I would have called you a liar,” said Murray. “My body wasn't responding on the bike. I couldn’t contribute as much on the bike and I thought it was a bit cowardly. But once I started the run, it was there.”
The victory was Gomez’s 2nd of the season, the 14th WTS win of his career and, at age 34, marked him as the oldest man to win a World Triathlon Series event since the International Triathlon Union switched to the WTS championship format in 2013.
While Gomez will contend at the WTS Grand Final in Rotterdam next month, he says he will be focusing on the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Chattanooga which will be held one week before the WTS Grand Final.
“My goal is a bit different this year I will go to Rotterdam but for sure by my main goal will be the 70.3 Worlds,” said Gomez.
August 6, 2017
S .5k / B 40k / R 10k
1. Javier Gomez (ESP) 1:47:50
2. Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR) 1:48:05
3. Richard Murray (RSA) 1:48:42
4. Jonny Brownlee (GBR) 1:49:04
5. Raphael Montoya (ESP) 1:49:11
6. Jelle Geens (BELIEVE) 1:49:11
7. Simon Vlain (FRA) 1:49:24
8. Ryan Sissons (NZL) 1:49:29
9. Pierre Le Corre (FRA) 1:49:33
10. Vicente Hernandez (ESP) 1:49:37
12. Aaron Royle (AUS) 1:49:42
13. Richard Varga (SVK) 1:49:57
14. Mario Mola (ESP) 1:50:00
23. Ben Kanute (USA) 1:50:27
34. Seth Rider (USA) 1:52:52
37. Hunter Lussi (USA) 1:53:44