Portugal’s Joao Silva ran away from the field as soon as he got off the bike at Sunday’s Monterrey World Cup and never looked back en route to his first World Cup victory. Silva held off a hard-charging Matt Chrabot of the United States for the win.
Canadian Andrew McCartney pulled away from the field during the second half of the swim and entered T2 with a slight advantage over Americans Brian Fleischmann, Cameron Dye and Ben Collins. Silva and teammate Duarte Silva Marques exited transition just a few seconds behind the leaders. The big pack arrived in transition just over one minute behind the lead bunch, led by Chrabot and local favourite Francisco Serrano.
Midway through the 40K bike course, a lead group of eight athletes emerged and held a 40-second advantage on the chasers. Silva and Marques worked together to pull up during the third lap of the bike and now sat comfortably at the back of the lead group.
“On the bike I just couldn’t help the other guys in the front pack,” Silva said. “I wasn’t a good friend to those guys today. I didn’t feel good until I started running.”
Also making their way into the front group was a pair of Germans, Stefan Zachaeus and Gregor Buchholz. Chrabot continued to lead the chasers, which slowed during the final two laps of the bike, as few others seemed eager to share the lead.
“I thought we could catch that front pack,” Chrabot said. “But once we hit that 20K mark we really seemed to slow down.”
Zachaeus led the front group into transition, but his lead was short-lived as Silva and Marques came storming out of T2 and quickly took over the lead. The chase group exited T2 exactly as they left the first transition, with Chrabot and Serrano leading the way.
“Heading into the run I thought I could run everyone down until I saw Silva up front,” Chrabot said. “I knew he’s an excellent duathlete and a 30-second lead was too much for a guy like that.”
Five kilometres into the run, Silva had built a 20-second lead on his countryman and had a 35-second advantage over a trio of Americans: Chrabot, Manuel Huerta and Seth Wealing. Buccholz ran another 10 seconds behind. Silva continued to build his lead over the second half of the run, strolling through the chute with plenty of time to celebrate the win. He crossed the line in 1:44:40, then turned to watch the sprint for second-place. Chrabot started the sprint almost 300 metres out and no one else could match his speed. The American finished 25 seconds after Silva and just three seconds ahead of Buchholz. Wealing and Huerta finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
“I was a bit nervous before the swim and had a false start,” Silva said. “But I settled down on the bike and felt great during the run.”