By Fergus Murray on 24/11/10 at 9:52 am
A popular stop on the ITU circuit since 2003, Hamburg, Germany once again came alive to host the world’s best triathletes on July 17-18. The 2010 Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series reached the halfway point when the scene shifted to downtown Hamburg where residents lined the streets to show their support.
Almost 13,000 athletes registered to compete in the Age-Group, Kids and Elite competitions, making the Hamburg Triathlon the largest in the world.
In the elite men’s competition, Javier Gomez showed he was back to world-class form after a relatively slow start to the 2010 season due to a hip injury.
He and about 30 other men made up the lead group coming out of the water and into transition. Two packs merged during the 40-kilometre bike course but in the late stages, a few men broke away, creating a half-minute lead heading into the run.
The stronger runners emerged and the race soon transformed into a tantalizing dual between Gomez and home favourite Jan Frodeno. Not wanting to take his chances in a final stretch sprint, Gomez cranked up the pace on the final lap and ran away with the Hamburg title uncontested.
“I knew Jan would be faster than me if I let it come down to a sprint,” Gomez said after the race. “So I gave everything I had at the beginning of that last lap. I believed that I could do it, if I put everything I had in the final lap and I was able to pull away.”
Gomez, the 2008 ITU World Champion threw down an astounding run split clocked at 29:17 to triumph in front of a raucous German crowd.
“Javier was too strong today, when he kicked on that final lap I had nothing left. I couldn’t go with him,” said Frodeno, who did take over the Series lead with his second place finish.
The elite women took over Hamburg the following day with a loaded field that included a number of Olympic and World Champions. The women did not disappoint the crowds, delivering a spectacular three-way sprint for gold.
After a pretty even swim, more than 20 women entered T1 together but a few tried to make a move early on the 40-kilometre bike course. A group of nine women, led by Aussies Annabel Luxford and Emma Moffatt, surged to build a lead. But last year’s World Championship runner-up Lisa Norden pushed to close the gap and it paid off as she brought the first chase pack even with the leaders.
The new lead group was now bigger and stronger and added to its lead over the second chase pack, which was handed a deficit of more than two minutes after the bike. This race would be decided on the 10-kilometre run course.
By the midway point of the run, the leaders simmered down to eight women. Moffatt, last year’s World Champion, seemed determined to put the race away and turned up the intensity. While some dropped off, others hung on including Norden, Kate Roberts of South Africa, Ireland’s Aileen Morrison and Andrea Hewitt of New Zealand.
As they hit the finish chute, Norden put in one final enormous push to the finish line, a phenomenal effort to edge out Moffatt for the gold. Morrison shocked many with her bronze medal performance.
“This exceeded all of my expectations,” Norden said. “I came here just hoping for a top ten finish so I could score some world rankings points, but I really didn’t expect to win. It’s absolutely amazing.”
Moffatt overtook top spot in the rankings with yet another podium finish.
Site of the wildly successful 2007 World Championships, Hamburg will again host a leg of the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series next year on July 16-17.
|4.||Javier Gomez Noya||ESP||01:53:17|
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