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Ueda and Gomez Win ITU Huatulco

Widney places 10th.

Japan’s Ai Ueda stormed to her second straight victory in Huatulco, her second World Cup title.  Switzerland’s Nicola Spirig came from behind to take the silver while Dutch youngster Rachel Klamer surprised all, winning bronze in her first ever World Cup race. Edmonton’s Chantell Widney had the sixth best run of the day to get tenth place.

“I love Huatulco.  I think a positive mind was the key to winning today.  I’m very happy,” said Ueda after the race.

Former World Champion Helen Jenkins (GBR) led the women out of the first transition and onto the 40-kilometre bike course.  Her and four others made up the lead group who owned a 45-second lead on the chase pack of five women.  But Spirig, a ferocious cyclist, put her head down and went to work, slowly but surely chipping away at the lead.  After the fifth of eight laps, the lead had evaporated and the leaders became a group of ten women, which included Ueda.

“It’s always hard to say how much (the bike leg) takes out of you but I’m sure it took a lot of energy,” said Spirig, who finished on the podium for the 5th time this year.  “In the beginning of the run I felt really bad but it got better and better.”

The group headed into T2 together and set out onto the 10-kilometre run with Spirig, Ueda, Rachel Klamer (NED) and Jenkins pushing the pace.  But Ueda began to pull away in the first lap and built an insurmountable lead, winning by a comfortable margin.  Ueda has surprisingly had her best results in Mexico; her two World Cup victories plus a silver in Monterrey earlier this year.

Spirig’s silver medal performance was impressive given she endured a stressful few days after the airline lost her luggage and bike.  Her bike only arrived yesterday but without her luggage, she had to race in her practice suit and shoes.

“I took it as a challenge and it was a happy ending,” said Spirig.

Top 10 Elite Women

1. Ai Ueda (JPN)  1:59:51 Audio interview with Udea

2. Nicola Spirig (SUI) 2:00:24

3. Rachel Klamer (NED) 2:00:40

4. Helen Jenkins (GBR)  2:01:11

5. Gwen Jorgensen (USA)  2:01:25

6. Melanie Annaheim (SUI)  2:02:29

7. Kerry Lang (GBR)  2:02:50

8. Alexandra Razarenova (RUS)  2:02:56

9. Jillian Petersen (USA)  2:03:15

10. Chantell Widney (CAN)  2:03:30

Reigning world champion Javier Gomez of Spain closed out his 2010 ITU season in style with a convincing win at the Huatulco ITU Triathlon World Cup.  Ruedi Wild won Switzerland’s second silver medal of the day while American Matt Chrabot, last year’s winner, came from behind to take the bronze.

“It was a real tough race because of the heat but I felt good,” said Gomez at the finish area.

A huge field of almost 70 men ran into Santa Cruz bay to begin the 1.5-kilometre swim.  With no one breaking clear from the field, a substantial group of more than 30 riders came together on the bike course.  Some athletes tried to get away but it wasn’t until the final laps on the bike that a small group claimed a significant lead.  Chrabot led the men into T2 and as they headed out onto 10-kilometer run course, the scorching heat began to take its toll.

Gomez came off the bike trailing the leaders by almost a minute but in typical Gomez fashion, he made his move on the run.  Surging hard, the World Champion scorched the run course and created enough distance between him and the rest of the field and cruised to the finish line, 30 seconds ahead of his closest competitor.

“In the first two laps I had to push really hard.  As soon as I caught the leaders I stayed a bit behind them and then I forced myself again to go fast and soon as I had a gap of 15-20 seconds, I controlled the distance because I didn’t feel very good but I did my job and I’m happy to win another World Cup,” said Gomez.

Wild celebrated down the finish chute as he came across the line, taking silver for the second straight year.

“It was a really tough race, maybe one of the toughest races I’ve ever done but I’m absolutely pleased with my result and couldn’t have been better; second behind Javier is the best result I could have expected,” said Wild.

Last year’s champion Chrabot came from behind on the run to secure the bronze, his second World Cup podium this season after winning silver in Monterrey, Mexico earlier in the year.

Top 10 Elite Men

1. Javier Gomez (ESP)  1:49:08  Audio interview with Gomez

2. Ruedi Wild (SUI)  1:49:38

3. Matt Chrabot (USA)  1:49:54

4. Reinaldo Colucci (BRA)  1:50:09

5. Premysl Svarc (CZE)  1:50:17

6. Peter Croes (BEL)  1:50:22

7. Leonardo Chacon (CRC)  1:50:25

8. Gavin Noble (IRL)  1:50:40

9. Bruno Pais (POR)  1:50:43

10. Aurélien Lescure (FRA)  1:50:53

28. Andrew Russell (CAN)  1:52:45

41. Andre Paul Baillargeon Smith (CAN)  1:54:33