Javier Gomez (ESP) finished up his season the same way he started it - winning. Despite soaring temperatures and humidity, Gomez collected his 14th World Cup title with an impressive ocean-side run. Aurelien Lescure (FRA) was second, while Dmitry Polyanskiy (RUS) took third.
“It was a very tough race. It was extremely hot out there,” Gomez said. “I was dead on the run. The last 1km I tried to hang on and give my all the last 100m. I was sick for a few days this week, so I wasn’t really sure, but I’m happy to win.”
Tommy Zaferes (USA) and Marcus Vinicius Fernandes (BRA) were out of the one-lap ocean swim first, followed by Polyanskiy. The sprint swim did little to break up the long start list, as a massive group of men formed together on the bike.
Pre-race favourites Ben Kanute (USA), Steffen Justus (GER), and Gomez were amongst those in the dense cloud of men. The group continued to swell over the four-lap bike course until the third lap when Gregor Buchholz (GER), Carlos Arcadia (MEX), Travis Johnson (RSA), Fabio Carvalho (BRA) and Oscar David Preciado (COL) engineered a break.
But it wasn’t enough to hold off the golden Gomez, as he shot off as soon as he racked his bike in transition. Despite the unforgiving temperatures, Jarrod Shoemaker (USA) and Polyanskiy answered the pounding pace. Behind them, Lescure began consistently picking off the competition and in a surprising burst of speed, the Frenchman blew past Shoemaker and Polyanskiy, pulling up to Gomez right before hitting the finish chute.
But when the pair crossed onto the blue carpet, Gomez gunned it and left the competition behind him to finish his season with a World Cup win, which is exactly how he started it in Mooloolaba seven months ago. Lescure crossed over just two seconds after Gomez to earn his first World Cup medal since 2011.
“I worked to beat Gomez at the end, but he was too strong – the best in the world,” Lescure said. “I’m not so good at sprint finish, so I tried to make the gap earlier in the race.”
After finishing just off the podium in his last two races, Polyanskiy engaged in a down to the line battle with Shoemaker. In a photo finish, it was determined Polyanskiy earned bronze in 53:31.
In her debut return to ITU racing since winning gold at the 2012 London Olympics, Nicola Spirig joined Javier Gomez, along with Mexico's Claudia Rivas and Crisanto Grajales to talk to press at the Cozumel World Cup.
For the second consecutive weekend, ITU will host a World Cup with the circuit stopping for a second time in Mexico this weekend. World Champion Javier Gomez and Olympic gold medallist Nicola Spirig headline the start lists.