With rising temperatures and a full slate of competitors in Sunday’s Cozumel World Cup, no obstacle appeared to be too much for Etienne Diemunsch (FRA), who won his first world cup title since 2011. Diemunsch sprinted across the line to capture the win after trailing through the first part of the race, finishing just seconds ahead of Americans Jarrod Shoemaker and Joe Maloy.
“I am very happy,” Diemunsch said. “It was hard because of the heat. I was not confident about my swim. We biked very hard, all the guys in the chase group, thanks to Fernandes (BRA), and we caught the first pack right before the run.”
Diemunsch missed a podium spot earlier this year in Huatulco and had not finished on the podium in a World Cup since Guatape in 2011. Along with eventual podium finishers Shoemaker and Maloy, Diemunsch came out of the water in the middle of the pack, which was led by Richard Varga (SVK). The trio was part of a chase group that had to work to gain time on the leaders over the course of four laps, merging the packs in the last lap.
It didn’t take long for Diemunsch to move to the front of the pack after the second transition, with Shoemaker and Maloy hot on his heels at the end of the first run lap. Shoemaker improved on his fourth-place photo finish from 2013 to lock up his second World Cup podium finish of the season.
“You’ve got to be very steady. You can’t go to the front as fast as you want,” Shoemaker said. “This is a great crowd here in Cozumel. They know triathlon and they love it. I’ve raced in Mexico a lot through my career and a lot of the Mexicans know me too, and cheer for me. It’s hot, but everybody has to deal with the same conditions.”
Maloy had never finished on the podium at a World Cup prior to today, with his best finish a fifth place in Tongyeong in 2013.
“I didn’t come here for an easy race,” Maloy said. “The conditions here are no secret - it’s hot, it’s hard, it’s a sprint distance so everything is a little bit faster. I was kind of just prepared to adjust to wherever I was and make the most of the opportunity.”