Javier Gomez of Spain delighted his home crowds winning todays Madrid BG Triathlon World Cup, the historic 200th in ITU history. He becomes just the fourth man to win ten world cup titles, joining the exclusive group that includes Brad Beven, Hamish Carter and Simon Whitfield. The win also extended his incredible world cup podium streak to 16 races.
Its so special, this is my 10th victory. My first one was here. It was perfect with all the people, said Gomez at the finish line.
Frenchman Stephane Poulat and Russias Ivan Vasiliev led the men out of the water but not far behind were Gomez and a several other dangerous threats including 2006 world champion Tim Don, Will Clarke and Maik Petzold of Germany who was looking to claim the final spot on the German Olympic team.
Tough conditions met the men during the 40-kilometer bike course as a substantial rain storm rolled in. The downpour flooded the transition zone and created cold conditions, forcing many to withdraw from the race. A few men attempted breakaways but ultimately 20 rode into T2 together.
Vasiliev was out on the 10-kilometer run course first but was quickly joined by Alistair Brownlee, Clarke and Gomez. After the first lap, the Spaniard started to crank up the pace and put some distance between him and the rest of the field. Brownlee looked like he was trying to match Gomezs intense pace but soon backed off, not willing to risk a meltdown in such a critical British Olympic selection race.
Gomez powered on, building a 25-second lead on the bell lap. To the delight of the Spanish faithful, Gomez cruised to the finish line with a time of 1 hour, 56 minutes and 25 seconds to take his third world cup title of the year and reclaim his world number one ranking.
It was a slow race. The legs were like stones on the run but I just kept my pace and they dropped off. I didnt have to attack, said Gomez. I enjoy [racing at home] more. It is not a negative pressure and I was very excited to race here.
Vasiliev took the silver, finishing 20 seconds back of Gomez for his second world cup medal of 2008. Brownlee, the 2006 junior world champion, hung on for the bronze, fending off a late charge by compatriot Tim Don. With top-8 performances from both Brits, they will be the front runners for selection to the British team along with Will Clarke who finished sixth.
Im absolutely over the moon. I had such a bad start to the season, said Brownlee. On the third [bike] lap it started hammering down and was real dangerous. Lots of guys punctured or fell off and I just tried to keep safe. I love that weather, its what Im used to at home.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day was Christian Prochnow who finished fifth to clinch the final spot on the German Olympic team ahead of established German stars Maik Petzold and Andreas Raelert.
With the tenth place finish, Matt Reed will likely pull the U.S. ahead of Russia for the 8th spot in Olympic country rankings, which sets up a spectacular showdown next month in Vancouver for the BG Triathlon World Championships, the final opportunity for athletes to earn Olympic points.
2008 Madrid BG Triathlon World Cup, Spain
1.5km swim, 40km bike, 10km run
Elite Men Official Results
Gold Javier Gomez (ESP) 1:56:25
Silver Ivan Vasiliev (RUS) 1:56:44
Bronze Alistair Brownlee (GBR) 1:56:53
4th Tim Don (GBR) 1:57:04
5th Christian Prochnow (GER) 1:57:13
6th Will Clarke (GBR) 1:57:15
7th Maik Petzold (GER) 1:57:23
8th Laurent Vidal (FRA) 1:57:39
9th Steffen Justus (GER) 1:57:41
10th Matt Reed (USA) 1:58:09
Click here for official full field results
Earlier in the day Portugals world champion Vanessa Fernandes became the most decorated ITU triathlete ever, winning a record-breaking 20th world cup title. Click here to read more about it in the womens review
The elite men tackle the Madrid hill in a downpour of rain
Javier Gomez savours world cup win #10
|Results: Elite Women|