In his first middle distance competition, Javier Gómez Noya spectacularly won both the Half Distance Triathlon European Championship and Challenge Half Barcelona this Sunday. Camilla Pedersen (DEN) took the women’s title for the second year in a row.
Gomez dominated the competition throughout, scoring his dream debut in Calella. “I only have one word: spectacular. In the beginning, I tried to manage my effort in the very demanding cycling segment, but when I saw myself getting comfortable and securing enough margin, I decided to enjoy the run course and its public. I am very happy with my result, the atmosphere and the great organization of this Challenge competition.”
Jens Toft was the first to complete the 1.9km swim course, followed only three seconds later by Javier Gómez Noya and by Russian Yaroshenko in third position. After the T1 start, the Dane led the first kilometers of the bike segment. The Spaniard started in second position at 13 seconds. Yaroshenko and Italian Alberto Casadei came next. In the downhill part, Gómez Noya launched an attack and managed to overcome the Dane and get in first position. After that, the Spaniard continuously increased his advantage, making the final 21km run look easy. He finished with a six-minute advantage on the runner-up, Martin Jensen, and eight minutes ahead of bronze medalist Jens Toft.
Four-times world champion Chris McCormack, finished sixth. “I travelled a long way looking for a challenge, and I found it. It was a hard race, a very good training at the beginning of the season. Furthermore, I have been able to enjoy it alongside Javier Gómez Noya, an incredible person with whom I can find no fault; he is extremely talented and very classy. I would feel privileged if he would succeed me in this distance; it has been a real pleasure to compete with him in a town like Calella and with the spectacular organization provided by Challenge.”
In the women’s race Camilla Pedersen managed an impressive victory taking the European title and her second consecutive win at Challenge Half Barcelona. After the swim course, Maria Czesnik and Ricarda Lisk were leading the competition, together with Holly Lawrence and Camilla Pedersen.
At the start of the 90km bike leg Great Britain’s Holly Lawrence headed the race, followed by Pedersen and Lisk. The Danish athlete imposed a strong rhythm and achieved the best intermediate mark of this course. Pedersen then managed to leave her rivals as she showed her strength on the challenging cycle course. Pedersen maintained her advantage all along the 21-km run course and reached the finish line with a wide margin over her rivals. Ireland’s Eimear Mullan made the finish line five minutes and 35 seconds after the Dane and won the silver medal. Mullan maintained a constant pace throughout the three segments. Polish athlete Maria Czesnik finished seven minutes after Pedersen and scored the bronze medal.
Upon reaching the finish line, Pedersen declared “it has been incredible… a real challenge with this new cycling course. I had problems with my bike a couple of times, but everything ended up well and I managed to enjoy the circuit, where I felt really comfortable. I love this circuit, it is fun and constitutes a real challenge. I never expect anything specific before starting a new race, I just go out there planning to give my best and it makes me really happy to win.”
For further information and full results, please visit www.challenge-barcelona.es.