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Gomez Takes Men’s Sydney ITU WCS Title

Despite a bike crash, Javier Gomez surges to the finish line to take the title in the 2011 Dextro Energy Triathlon in Sydney, Australia

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Despite a bike crash, Javier Gomez surges to the finish line to take the title in the 2011 Dextro Energy Triathlon in Sydney, Australia.

On Sunday, April 10, 2011, Javier Gomez won the male professional race of the Dextro Energy Triathlon in Sydney, Australia to kick off the 2011 ITU World Championship Series, which next takes place in Yokohama, Japan on May 14 and 15. The day started off with cloudy skies and the possibility of rain as spectators lined up on the steps of the world-famous Sydney Opera House. Athletes would be swimming the photogenic Sydney harbour, riding across the Sydney Harbour Bridge and then running through the city on one of the most iconic triathlon courses in existence.

The male professionals took to the water at 2:16pm in Farm Cove, after the female professional and age-group races were completed. Auralien Raphael led the men at the start of the swim, but was overtaken by Ivan Vasiliev at the halfway point when the men had to run up onto the pontoon before the second lap of the 1500M swim. Coming out of the water into T1 first was Vasiliev with a time of 9:36, followed by Hauss who was two seconds back and Alistar Brownlee, another two seconds back after Hauss.

However, Vasiliev was quickly overtaken, as both Hauss and Brownlee were jockeying for first position on a seven-lap bike course. Hauss was able to claim the lead onto the incline of Macquarie Street; but leads changed constantly. At the 4.6K mark, Javier Gomez, one of the favorites and wearing No. 1, surged ahead to make his mark on this race and force the chase pack to keep up. Both Brownlee brothers, Alistair and Jonathan, were also maintaining a fast cadence and driving the top men to push harder.

Alistair led the chase pack for a few kilometers, but Hunter Kemper looked to be in top form and broke away around kilometer 13.

The weather changed during the bike leg of the triathlon and rain caused slippery conditions, plus the men had to deal with a headwind. The streets were also slick with gasoline, making conditions even worse. Matt Chrabot crashed hard, as did Manny Huerta, who both took DNFs for accidents.

At the halfway point, Jan Frodeno led the pack, but Alistair still held on for second. At the 30K mark, Gomez took a self-inflicted crash, but decided not to take a DNF and returned to the race.

First into T2 was Jonathan with a time of 59:26, followed quickly behind by the chase pack. All the big names, minus Chrabot and Gomez, were all entering T2 within seconds of each other. Alistair was just two seconds behind his brother with a time of 59:28.

Both brothers stayed near the front of the pack on the run, each jockeying for first position. Sexton surged ahead, but it wasn’t enough to hold off Jonathan. Due to the tough conditions, Alistair suffered a fall and was noticeably in pain. His brother tried to encourage him to push on, but verbal encouragement wasn’t enough and he dropped back to finish in a disappointing 29th place.

Gomez, who fell on the bike, sprinted to the finish line to take the title in one of the toughest wins in his career. Jonathan came in second, followed by Sven Riederer.

ITU World Championship Series – Sydney
April 10, 2011 – Sydney, Australia
1.5km swim, 40km bike, 10km run

Unofficial Results
1. Javier Gomez 1:50:22
2. Jonathan Brownlee 1:50:28
3. Sven Riederer +00:11
4. Brendan Sexton +00:18
5. David Hauss +00:26