Javier Gomez Noya (ESP) claimed yet another World Triathlon Series win with a supreme performance in Chicago.
Gomez oozed class from start to finish and now has four wins from five WTS races in 2014. Joao Pereira (POR) claimed a second successive podium in second place and Mario Mola (ESP) continued his excellent from with a third place finish.
Ben Kanute (USA) kicked off the day with a sizzling swim under an equally sizzling sun to lead the men out of the two-lap swim. Gomez swam a controlled 1500m tucked just behind the leaders in prime position to pop onto his bike at the helm of the bike.
Kanute gave it a go out in front on the first bike lap before being swallowed up by a midsized group on the first lap. Their pace wasn’t enough to hold off the cycling danger of Tom Davison (NZL) who pulled the chase up to make a large 33-man lead group by the second lap. That move got the likes of Mola and Ryan Sissons (NZL) back in the game, while South Africa’s Richard Murray fell behind in the chase.
A lactic acid’s dream course, Davison continued to hammer through the twisting eight-lap course that featured multiple hard right turns on each lap. The Kiwi had threatened a breakaway with no takers before he eventually went for it on lap 5. Cameron Good (AUS) followed suit and the duo kicked it up a gear and grinded away for a break that stuck in the final three laps.
Behind them, the main chase worked together to chip away at the distance from the large lead group and managed to sneak up on them by the end of the 40km bike, making it a congested transition of 44 men.
While Good and Davison hit the pavement with two feet first, Gomez and Mola immediately went to work hunting them down and did so by the end of the first run lap.
Pereira, who finished third in London over the sprint distance, seized the opportunity to run with the dazzling Spanish duo making it a three-man break early in the run. But true to their signature run speed, Gomez and Mola dropped the Portuguese, leaving him to fend off the quickly approaching Adam Bowden (GBR).
With the crowd anticipating another thrilling sprint finish between the Spanish speedsters, Gomez kicked on with a burst from nowhere and left Mola for dead with two run laps remaining. Gomez maintained his lead for a lap before increasing the distance and cruising home in the Chicago sun.
Behind him, the amazing Pereira, who looked limp on his feet after being dropped by Mola and Gomez, staged a remarkable recovery and was gaining on the beleaguered Mola. On the last lap, Pereira passed Mola and went onto claim a career best second place in the World triathlon Series.
Mola did just enough to fend off any further threat from down the field and finished in third, making it his third successive WTS podium.