By Peter Holmes on 05/10/09 at 4:58 pm
Javier Gomez and Lisa Norden showed their competitors a clean pair of heels at the weekend’s LA Triathlon as they shifted racing formats to non-draft racing. The Dextro Energy Triathlon – ITU World Championship silver medallists overcame choppy Pacific swells and currents before time trialling their way through 40km of cycling and a 10km run.
Photographs courtesy of Rich Cruse / www.richcruse.com
Norden crushed the opposition in the women’s race as she finished over a minute ahead of Sarah Haskins from the USA, the world championship series sixth place finisher with Switzerland’s Daniela Ryf in third. Norden’s bike split of 59:44 took her to the head of the race with training partner Ryf, however a quick 35:46 run split gifted her a comfortable win.
“Today I did well to ride with Daniela (Ryf) who was really pushing the pace,” said Norden, who added that after her epic duel with Emma Moffatt at the ITU World Championship finale on the Gold Coast, she recovered well and came to the US stronger than ever. “After Gold Coast, I rested up then had two really good training weeks there. My coach Darren Smith had us do a lot of tough uphills which made me ready for this course.”
Further back Britain’s Athens Olympian Julie Dibens finished fourth with compatriots Liz Blatchford sixth and 2008 world champion Helen Jenkins seventh. London Dextro Energy Triathlon – ITU World Championship Series winner Nicola Spirig took fifth with defending race winner Becky Lavelle in sixteenth.
The men’s race was a tighter affair with double ITU world champion Greg Bennett leading into transition, only to be run down by the European trio of Gomez, Stuart Hayes and Filip Ospaly. It took the Spaniard until the last mile to find his running legs as he drew away from the chasing pair with Britain’s Hayes able to hold of the Czech to take second place. Bennett, the three time defending champion, finished in fourth.
“The bike took a lot out of you, so I knew I had to drop off the pace near the end of the bike to save some energy for the run,” said Gomez. “After such a big effort on the bike, you have to start slower. But the leaders were not so far ahead, so I had time to find my pace in the beginning.”
Stuart Hayes was very satisfied with a second to the great Gomez. “For a moment, I was outrunning Javier and thought I might have a chance,” said Hayes. “But that guy’s a freak …he’s always had a strong bike, so I wasn’t surprised. Right now I’m in the best shape of my life, so to come that close to Javier was really good.”
Following a busy Dextro Energy Triathlon - ITU World Championship Series many athletes are looking to race in different race formats as they look to stay in good shape ahead of the Huatulco ITU Triathlon World Cup in November and next year’s highly anticipated World Championship Series.