ITU Superstars Win in L.A.

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Javier Gomez wins the 2009 LA Triathlon. Photo: Rich Cruse
Javier Gomez wins the 2009 LA Triathlon. Photo: Rich Cruse

No drafting, no problem for Gomez and Norden at 10th annual Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Triathlon.

With the ITU championship series out of the way, draft-legal standouts Javier Gomez (ESP) and Lisa Norden (SWE) tried their hands at a non-drafting event, and the end result was a pair of wins at the tenth edition of the Los Angeles Triathlon.

A mean surf off of Venice Beach made for a tough swim for the pros as well as the 3,000 age-group athletes competing. The conditions proved tough for almost all of the pro men, with a large group of ten swimmers exiting the Pacific within half a minute of each other. Among the leaders were Gomez, three-time L.A. Tri winner Greg Bennett (AUS) and Britain’s Stuart Hayes.

Bennett pulled away from the group toward the end of the bike leg and entered T2 with a 40-second lead on Gomez. Hayes took over the lead shortly after leaving transition and brought along the Czech Republic’s Filip Ospaly. A lead pack of four eventually formed with Gomez pulling away in the final mile to win by 20 seconds. Hayes finished second, 15 seconds in front of Ospaly.

In the women’s race, American Sarah Haskins took the lead early on and appeared poised to grab her third Lifetime Fitness Triathlon Series win of the year. Haskins maintained the lead until the end of the bike leg, when she was joined by Julie Dibens (GBR), Daniela Ryf (SUI) and Norden. The quartet entered transition separated by only a few seconds, but Norden took command of the race right at the start of the run. Ryf did a good job of keeping pace and hung to second for most of the run, but Haskins eventually ran Ryf down to move into second. Norden wouldn’t be caught, however, and finished over a minute ahead of the American.

Kaiser Permanente L.A. Tri
Los Angeles – Oct. 4, 2009
1.5-km swim, 40-km bike, 10-km run

1.         Javier Gomez (ESP)                1:50:17
2.         Stuart Hayes (GBR)                1:50:27
3.         Filip Ospaly (CZE)                 1:50:42
4.         Greg Bennett (AUS)                1:51:03
5.         Fabio Carvalho (BRA)           1:52:33

1.         Lisa Norden (SWE)                2:00:20
2.         Sarah Haskins (USA)              2:01:27
3.         Daniela Ryf (SUI)                   2:01:54
4.         Julie Dibens (GBR)                2:02:49
5.         Nicola Spirig (SUI)                 2:04:31

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