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Challenge Dubai organizers announced today that reigning ITU and 70.3 world champion Javier Gomez (ESP) has signed on to compete at Feb. 27’s half-iron distance Challenge Dubai.
“I am excited to start the 2015 season, Challenge Dubai is going to be my first race of the year,” Gomez said in the press release. “I’m happy to see how triathlon is growing in the Middle East countries, I’m sure it is something very good for the people, especially for the kids, and it is definitely very positive for our sport.”
“I like half distances races and I really look forward to racing against the best triathletes in this distance,” he continued. “I expect Challenge Dubai is going to be a very tough and fast race because of the highest pro field level.”
The Challenge Family recently revealed that the race would offer a $300,000 prize purse, with $65,000 going to both the male and female winners.
Gomez will face a strong field that so far includes big names like Jan Frodeno (GER), Michael Raelert (GER), Luke McKenzie (AUS), Tim Reed (AUS), Brad Kahlefeldt (AUS), Pete Jacobs (AUS) and Terenzo Bozzone (NZL).
Though he hasn’t stated when he’ll kick off his ITU season, it’s likely that Gomez will stay in the region and compete at the 2015 World Triathlon Series opener in Abu Dhabi the following weekend.