Gomez wins GF, Brownlee WTS
Written by: Timothy Carlson
Date: Sat Oct 20 2012
Defying his reputation as a man with a great diesel of an aerobic engine but lacking in the fast twitch talent to win a sprint to the tape, the 29-year-old Gomez prevailed in a high adrenaline final 300 meters in which the two stars traded places three times.
Gomez, the 29-year-old who has ITU World Championship titles in 2008 and 2010 and a 4th and a silver at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, tried mightily to surge in the final kilometer of the run, and finally took a 3-meter advantage with about 300 meters to go. Brownlee, who came into the Grand Final with the series points lead and wins at WTS events at San Diego, Madrid and Stockholm, fought back and re-took the lead with 150 meters to go.
Shocking many veteran ITU observers who believe that the Spaniard’s more compact, muscular frame rules out winning a final sprint with the taller, leaner Brownlee, Gomez shifted into a high-knee stride more familiar in a 100-meter dash champ to spurt away and claim the $30,000 win in a time of 2:00:31, two seconds ahead of Brownlee.
“It was an amazing sprint,” Gomez told ITU media after the race. “I felt good on the run and tried to surge a few times before the final lap, but Jonathan was strong. I felt I had something left, so I stayed behind him and made a sprint with 150 meters to go.” Gomez said that conditions were tough. “The water and the air were cold, and the course and the rain were tough.”
After both men played a strategic game in staying near the front through the swim and a dauntingly difficult hilly bike made even dicier by rain slogged streets. Brownlee and Gomez then cruised past bike leader Kris Gemmell of New Zealand after the first of 4 laps of the 10k run. They ran together but waited until the final quarter mile before unleashing maximum speed, finishing their equal-race-fastest runs in 30:34.
“Javier fought really hard and I had tactically poor race,” Brownlee told ITU media. “I was shocked when he sprinted at the end as he showed he was the stronger man on the day.”
Two Kiwi ITU racing greats made this race their farewell to ITU Olympic style circuit. After early bike leaders Jonathan Brownlee and Richard Varga of Slovakia were caught by the main pack, Kris Gemmell of New Zealand took the bike by throat. Gemmell made a solo break that earned him home country cheers for his 42-seconds lead entering T2. Gemmell then ran hard to maintain his lead until he slipped and fell on the rain-slick streets and lost momentum. He then surrendered to the Brownlee-Gomez-Riederer train at the end of the first run lap.
By the end, Gemmell fell back to 20th with a 35:11 closing 10k. Bevan Docherty, who won ITU Olympic distance World Championship gold in 2004, and took Olympic silver in 2004 and Olympic bronze in 2008, took 14th in 2:02:50.
While disappointed on the day, Brownlee’s 2nd place finish was more than enough to lock up the $60,000 first prize which goes to the 2012 World Triathlon Series season-long points chase championship which has constituted the ITU Olympic distance World Championship since 2009.
Jonathan Brownlee thus joined his 2012 Olympic champion older brother in the rarefied air of ITU racing as Alistair Brownlee – who did not start this race - won the World Triathlon Championship season series in 2009 and 2011.
Gomez took 2nd in the 2012 World Triathlon Series powered by top WTS finishes -- a 3rd at Kitzbuehel, and 2nd place finishes at Hamburg, Stockholm and Yokohama preceding his epic win today.
Jarrod Shoemaker of the U.S. had an excellent 17:41 swim but pulled out of the race on the bike.
2012 ITU World Triathlon Series Grand Final
Auckland, New Zealand
October 21, 2012
S 1.5k / B 40k / R 10k
Elite Men Results
1. Javier Gomez (ESP) 2:00:31
2. Jonathan Brownlee (GBR) 2:00:33
3. Sven Riederer (SUI) 2:01:19
4. Steffen Justus (GER) 2:01:40
5. Gregor Bucholz (GER) 2:01:46
6. Kyle Jones (CAN) 2:01:48
7. Dmitry Polyanskiy (RUS) 2:01:50
8. Ivan Rana (ESP) 2:01:56
9. Richard Murray (RSA) 2:02:00
10. David McNamee (GBR) 2:02:06
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Javier Gomez continued his winning streak in classic races outside of his usual ITU Olympic distance territory; Heather Jackson ran down top USA Olympian Sarah Groff at the Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon 3.03.13
The 2012 Olympic Champion Alistair Brownlee dominated the field at the ITU Omegawave WTS event in San Diego and stormed to another fine win. Richard Murray and Joao Silva rounded out the podium. 4.20.13
Alistair Brownlee put on a dominating performance in Beijing and grabbed the 2011 ITU World Championship title. Sven Riederer finished second on the day but third placed Jonathan Brownlee grabbed the runner-up spot in the series. 9.09.11
Alistair Brownlee edged Javier Gomez by four seconds for the World Championship Series Grand Final; but Gomez grabbed the WCS points title despite an incident during the bike segment. 9.11.10