Spain’s Javier Gomez continued his unbeaten record in Auckland today, claiming victory in the opening round of the ITU World Triathlon Series ahead of fellow countryman Mario Mola (ESP) and Joao Silva (POR).
Gomez maintains his unbeaten record in New Zealand with four wins over the past decade. He won in a 2008 World Cup in New Plymouth, the 2003 Under23 World Championship in Queenstown and series Grand Final last year in Auckland. He added another title in Auckland today, after opening his season with a win at the ITU World Cup in Mooloolaba just three weeks ago.
“It’s pretty amazing to win here again, fourth race in New Zealand,” he said. “It was a pretty good day, I had a good swim and was solid on the bike then my team mate Mario, made me run really fast and so happy for him making his first podium.”
Auckland turned on perfect conditions to kick start the 2013 ITU World Triathlon Series, the water temperature measured 20.7 degrees with the air temperature a moderate 21 degrees.
Gomez showed what a class athlete and smart racer he is with a calculated win after emerging from the 1500m swim in fourth place behind Richard Varga (SVK), Ivan Vasiliev (RUS), Igor Polyanskiy (RUS) and Aaron Royle (AUS) with the remainder of the field out in quick succession.
Gomez worked hard in the early stages of the bike leg over the tough 8 lap course to ensure he stayed out of trouble and ensure the group remained effective and away from the chase group that was headed by Jan Frodeno (GER) who had been having trouble with a hip injury prior to the race in the early stages. However, it was Mola who then took charge of the chase group to close the gap on the leaders and the two became one in the final stages.
A small breakaway heading back to transition by Stuart Hayes (GBR) and Ryan Bailie (AUS) gave them a slight buffer as they headed out onto the run but the Spanish didn’t take long to respond with Gomez and Mola spearheading the charge. Tony Dodds (NZL) and Joao Silva (POR) joined the pair for the initial laps, Silva was the first casualty from the group then Dodds. It was then the Spanish duo left to fight it out. On the final lap Gomez stepped it up another gear to tearaway from Mola and claim his third consecutive ITU victory. Mola was delighted to claim his first podium and finish second to his idol Gomez. Silva dug deep to claim the bronze in a thrilling race in front of a vocal crowd, just edging out Laurent Vidal.
Canada’s Andrew Yorke had a career best 16th in the World Triathlon Series. While Kyle Jones got caught in a bike crash and fell out of contention for the podium. Nevertheless, he continued to race posted one of the fastest runs of the day to finish 26th.
“I was trying to conserve for the run, and be ready for a solid 10k”, said Yorke to Triathlon Canada, whose previous best World Triathlon Series finish was 18th at last year’s Grand Final on the same layout. “On the run, I just kept telling myself that every place counts. I was trying to battle for every spot, and not give up any points. I was fortunate to spend part of the winter in Florida and Arizona, and I feel like I’m well ahead of past years at this point. I’m pleased with my improvements and this result.”
“I love this race and courses like this that suit me well don’t come around often,” said Jones to Triathlon Canada. “Everything happened so fast, but my reaction was to get right back on my bike and continue riding. My chain came off and was caught in my derailleur. I eventually fixed it but lost nearly four minutes. I could have easily packed it in, but I did not come all the way over here, and not finish.”
From Triathlon Canada
Andrew Yorke Kicks of World Triathlon Series with Career-Best 16th at Season Opener in Auckland
-Kyle Jones rebounds after crash on bike to post impressive sixth fastest run time-
AUCKLAND, N.Z.-Canada’s Andrew Yorke kicked off his 2013 race season with a career-best 16th-place finish at the World Triathlon Series race in Auckland, New Zealand on Saturday morning.
The 24-year-old Yorke, of Caledon, Ont., battled his way throughout the congested 1.5-kilometre swim before throwing down a gutsy move on the first lap of the 40-kilometre bike where he tried to bridge solo to the lead group. After nearly making it, Yorke had to be patient when a large pack finally formed before a solid 10-kilometre run. Yorke, who was named an alternate on Canada’s 2012 Olympic squad, clocked a finish time of 1:58.19 under warm conditions on the very hilly and highly technical New Zealand course.
“I was trying to conserve for the run, and be ready for a solid 10k”, said Yorke, whose previous best World Triathlon Series finish was 18th at last year’s Grand Final on the same layout. “On the run, I just kept telling myself that every place counts. I was trying to battle for every spot, and not give up any points. I was fortunate to spend part of the winter in Florida and Arizona, and I feel like I’m well ahead of past years at this point. I’m pleased with my improvements and this result.”
It was an unfortunate day for the leader of the Canadian men’s team, Kyle Jones, who also spent a chunk of winter in Florida. The Oakville, Ont. Olympian was well placed coming out of the water to put him in the front group on the bike until the seventh of eight laps when two athletes in front of him collided and took the 28-year-old Canuck down.
“I love this race and courses like this that suit me well don’t come around often,” said Jones. “Everything happened so fast, but my reaction was to get right back on my bike and continue riding. My chain came off and was caught in my derailleur. I eventually fixed it but lost nearly four minutes. I could have easily packed it in, but I did not come all the way over here, and not finish.”
Jones did anything but call it a day. He proved his fitness and that he had one the best winters of training in his career when he exited transition two at the back-end of the field before putting down the sixth-fastest run time.
“It was quite a challenge to motivate myself to run hard knowing I was well out of contention, and no one in sight,” said Jones. “Had I not crashed and come off the bike with the lead group, I truly believe I would have been on the podium today. But that is sport. Sometimes it just doesn’t seem fair.”
Jones finished 26th with a time of 2:00.28.
Spain’s Javier Gomez remained unbeaten in his four starts on the Auckland, New Zealand course. The 2012 Grand Final winner carried his momentum into the new season to post a golden time of 1:55.51. Mario Mola, also of Spain, finished second at 1:56.03, while Portugal’s Joao Silva ran to the bronze medal with a time of 1:56.22.
No Canadian women competed in New Zealand. A solid group of Canadian men and women will compete at the next stop on the World Triathlete Series in San Diego scheduled for April 19-20.
Triathlon Canada is the governing body for triathlon in the country. Recognized as an Olympic medal sport since 2000, Triathlon Canada’s mandate is to promote, foster, organize and develop the sport of triathlon, and its related disciplines, in Canada. For more information on Triathlon Canada, please visit us at www.triathloncanada.com..