Spain’s Javier Gomez was crowned the 2010 Dextro Energy ITU World Champion after a thrilling race in Budapest this afternoon. His second place behind an inspired Alistair Brownlee (GBR) earned him enough points to regain the title he won in 2008, after main rival Jan Frodeno trailed home in 41st…
It was a race that confirmed a reputation and restored one too. For Gomez, it offered further proof of his ability to deal with the fiercest pressure and hepled him become only the third man to regain the ITU World Championship. And for Brownlee, victory in the race slammed the door shut on the doubters who had started to question his longevity as an athlete following an injury-ravaged season and two poor recent performances that had set alarm bells ringing.
Brownlee had started the race so far back in the standings that he had no chance of retaining the world crown that he won last year. But victory over Gomez in a tight finish was the best way for him to end a difficult season. It was a relentless toe-to-toe duel with his Spanish rival and brother Jonathan at Hyde Park in July that led to him collapsing over the finish line. A few weeks later he finished last at Kitzbuhel and it appeared that London had left a lasting mark.
Yet he was in the front rank throughout, and by the early stages of the run he and Gomez had opened up a gap on the chasing pack. The stage was set for another war of attrition between the two men, but Brownlee had too much for the Spaniard on the run-in and he powered away to win in a super-quick time of 1:42:26.
“I’m still not 100% fit after all my problems,” Brownlee told TriRadar after the race.
“But I certainly felt stronger than I have in the last few months, and the important thing was my tactics – I got them spot on today. I am delighted because it means I have ended the season on a high.”
Gomez was first out of the water in a time of 17:07 and then played a game of cat and mouse with title rival Jan Frodeno during the first half of the bike leg, settling next to the German in the middle of the leading pack. With Frodeno holding a pre-race lead in the standings, Gomez knew that he had to stay ahead of him. But by the end of the bike run it was clear that Frodeno was struggling and that Gomez was in pole position to secure his second world title as he pushed on.
And so it proved as a distressed Frodeno trailed home in 41st place to hand Gomez the world crown, after an incident packed race in wet conditions that saw bike leg crashes for Britain’s Tim Don and Olly Freeman, Kris Gemmell (NZL) and Alexander Brukhankov (RUS). Frodeno’s compatriot Steffen Justus finished in third place ahead of Joao Silva (POR) and Brad Kahlfeldt, with Justus and Kahlfeldt securing second and third respectively in the world championship standings.
“The second championship feels even better than the first,” Gomez said after writing his name into the triathlon history books.
“I had to fight so hard for it today. I would have loved to win today’s race as well, but winning the world title was the goal, so I couldn’t be happier.”
RACE RESULTS: ELITE MEN
1 A Brownlee (GBR) 1:42:26
2 J Gomez (ESP) 1:42:30
3 S Justus (GER) 1:43:04
FINAL WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES STANDINGS
1 J Gomez (ESP) 3789 points
2 S Justus (GER) 3139 points
3 B Kahlfeldt (AUS) 3112 points