Manoel Messias was a man on a mission in Lima after his individual silver at July’s PanAmerican Games, and he pulled away from the pack over the final 500m to earn a brilliant World Cup gold ahead of Florin Salvisberg (SUI) and Felix Duchampt (ITU).
“That makes me very happy,” said Messias. “It was hard out there with some strong runners but I was decisive at the end. Now it is on to Santo Domingo where I hope I can do the same again”
The ocean swell had grown even larger as the men took to the start two hours after the women, but the shallow waters provided a challenging start to proceedings and stretched things out quickly as the front markers gunned towards the first turn.
It was Bob Haller who came closest to breaking the eight-minute mark as he rode in on a timely wave and was out quickly towards transition for the first time, Kenji Nener (JPN) and Morgan Pearson (USA) his nearest rivals as they got out onto the bike course.
The brief climb and descent at the start of the each lap gave only a short opportunity to lay down any form of intention to breakaway, and with nobody seizing that moment, a group of 40 came together for most of the 20km ride.
Stefan Zachaus (LUX) and Jan Volar (CZE) were the first to try and make a move but their effort was short-lived, then Yuki Abe did likewise, but it wasn’t until the final kilometre that Jumpei Furuya (JPN) and Reinaldo Colucci (BRA) tried to force an advantage to take into transition.
The duo did manage to carve out a ten-second gap to take onto the 5km run, but it was to be another Brazilian, Manoel Messias, who was now taking the run by the throat, powering past his teammate and Furuya as he found his legs and gave the rest of the field plenty to think about early on in the run.
Messias looked untouchable for a kilometre, but Zachaus, the US duo of Kevin McDowell and Pearson, Israel’s Ran Sagiv and Tim Helvig (GER) refused to let him out of their sights. There, too, were Salvisberg, Duchampt and Rostislav Pevtsov (AZE) as part of a seven-strong lead bunch at the bell and it was the Americans trying to squeeze the pace.
At the final 300m the lead group was down to five, but it was Messias who then accelerated away in style once again and this time he would not be caught. The Brazilian took the tape by two seconds from an emotional Salvisberg, Duchampt holding firm for bronze ahead of the American pair of McDowell and Pearson.
Full results available here