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Javier Gomez wins 2010 Dextro ITU WCS London triathlon, Brownlee leaves in a wheelchair.
London, England- July 25th, 2010
Defending ITU world champion Alistair Brownlee tried everything he could to drop the field at the Dextro ITU WCS London Triathlon but in the end he had to be wheeled off the course as Javier Gomez took the win. Alistair’s younger brother Jonathan finished 2nd and Germany’s Jan Frodeno was 3rd. American Jarrod Shoemaker struggled during the swim but biked and ran strong to finish 7th.
Alistair Brownlee was a perfect 6 for 6 in ITU WCS races going into today’s event and he went to the front of the swim immediately to put his stamp on today’s race. He was in second at the end of the first lap but was clearly struggling with his goggles and ditched them some time during the second lap. Despite the difficulties with his goggles Brownlee entered transition first, followed closely by Gomez, the younger Brownlee and the current leader of the ITU WCS standings Jan Frodeno of Germany.
Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee usually work together at the start of the bike to try and open a gap on the field. The course today, however, was too flat and they ended up spending most of the ride in the pack. There were two groups at the start of the bike but the flat course kept the lead pack from riding hard and the entire field was together by the 4th of 8 laps. The pack stayed together until the 7th lap when two small groups containing Stuart Hayes of Great Britain and Reinaldo Colucci of Brazil went off the front. The two breakaways merged and started to gap the field. They entered T2 with 36 seconds on the field.
Alistair Brownlee made a tactical mistake in the final few miles of the bike, which may have cost him the win today. Brownlee was the 21st man from the main pack to hit T2 and started the run a full 7 seconds behind Frodeno, who was first out of transition.
Leaving transition several seconds behind his rivals forced Brownlee to make a choice. He could either run a steady pace and hope the other contenders didn’t burn out of T2 and leave him behind or he could sprint to the front to make sure he didn’t get left behind. In typically aggressive fashion, Brownlee decided to sprint into the lead and was at the front after only 300 meters.
7 men from the breakaway were still up the road, including dangerous runners Hayes and Spain’s Ivan Rana. Brownlee’s furious pace quickly sorted out the rest of the competitors behind them. Both Brownlees were at the front with Javier Gomez- everyone else was trailing. The race had turned into the showdown between Alistair Brownlee and Gomez that everyone was expecting. Jonathan Brownlee’s presence, however, was a surprise.
To be honest, it was a massive shock to find I was so near the front. It’s the first time I’ve been at the front in a race like this. I thought ‘what’s going on here?’- Jonathan Brownlee
Frodeno was 5 seconds back after the first lap as other renowned runners—including Tim Don and Simon Whitfield—faded. Alistair kept pushing the pace through the first two laps and the threesome brought back all the racers that had broken away on the bike. American Matt Chrabot had a breakout early season but struggled on the run today and finished 51st.
The lead pack of 3 continued to separate themselves from the rest of the group with Alistair and Gomez trading the lead. Gomez accelerated half way through the final lap and Jonathan Brownlee, still only 19 years old, cracked and started to fade. Alistair hung tough but Gomez again forced the pace with 400 meters remaining and the defending world champion began to struggle.
I looked back with 300m to go and realized I was running by myself- Javier Gomez
Gomez had broken the field and he stepped onto the blue carpet leading to the finish by himself. Surprisingly, Jonathan Brownlee was the second person to join him. And Frodeno was the third. Alistair Brownlee eventually stumbled to the finish line, swaying back and forth, 57 seconds behind Gomez. He crossed the line 10th and immediately collapsed into the arms of medical personal who took him off the course in a wheelchair. Brownlee was totally exhausted but would be fine. Perhaps his sprint out of transition contributed to his exhaustion.
World Championship Series Standings
Frodeno’s third place finish kept him in the lead of the ITU WCS standings and Gomez moved into second. American Jarrod Shoemaker’s solid 7th place performance moved him into 6th in the WCS standings.
Dextro ITU WCS London Results
- Javier Gomez (ESP) 1:42:08
- Jonathan Brownlee (GBR) 1:42:14
- Jan Frodeno (GER) 1:42:30
- Alexander Bryukhanov (RUS) 1:42:44
- Mario Mola (ESP) 1:42:46
- Brad Kahlefeldt (AUS) 1:42:54
- Jarrod Shoemaker (USA) 1:42:57
- Stuart Hayes (GBR) 1:42:59
- Steffen Justus (GER) 1:43:04
- Alistair Brownlee (GBR) 1:43:05
Aaron Hersh, senior editor of Triathlete magazine, was on hand at the Dextro ITU WCS London triathlon.