American Matt Chrabot overcame a bike crash and came from behind on the run to ascend back to the top of the Huatulco World Cup podium today. It was his second career World Cup title and second in Huatulco, after taking gold in 2009.
In a spectacular comeback in the final two laps of the run, Chrabot reeled in South African Richard Murray to claim the title with a time of 2 hours and 37 seconds. Murray hung on for silver while Portugal’s Bruno Pais returned to the podium with bronze, his first World Cup medal since 2006.
“Even before the race, the challenge was just staying cool so even after I finished swim warm-up I sat in the water as long as I could,” said Chrabot.
With soaring temperatures and intense heat, the men ran into the Santa Cruz bay for the 2-lap 1.5km swim. Slovakia’s Richard Varga set the early pace, taking the swim prime and entering T1 first.
Early in the bike, 25 men came together to make up the lead group, which included Chrabot, Brent McMahon(CAN), Ivan Rana (ESP), Joao Silva (POR), Manuel Huerta (USA) and Leonardo Chacon (CRC).
Chrabot was in a mini break and just as they were about to swallowed back in by the chase, he went down, unable to avoid a crash in front of him.
“I had to stop to fix my brake pads but I managed to get back in the game,” said Chrabot.
At the end of the tough 40km bike in which they had to climb the big hill eight times, Austrian Franz Hofer was the first into T2 with Italy’s Alessandro Fabian about four seconds behind him. Hofer’s lead was short-lived though as Murray went out hard and rocketed to the front on the first lap. He took a 14-second lead over Ivan Rana.
As Rana faded back and by the midway point of the run, Murray was leading by 30 seconds and looked like he might become just the second African triathlete to win a World Cup title. But Chrabot was bearing down on him and gunning for his second World Cup title.
In the third of four laps, the American had cut Murray’s lead in half. And on the final lap, Chrabot reeled him in and ran away for his second victory in Huatulco and third straight trip to the podium.
Race recap provided by the ITU. Click here for a full race recap.
Click here for a recap of the women’s race.