Spain’s Javier Gomez, the 10-time world champion, lived up to his favourite billing at the season-opening Ironman event in Pucon, Chile, today, running his way to the men’s title. In the women’s race Brazil’s Luisa Baptista took the win while Chile’s Barbara Riveros would finish in second.
Gomez returns to long-distance racing
After a stint competing at long-distance races, Gomez set his sights on a return to the Olympics last year. His plan had always been to return to the Ironman though – in 2019 he won Ironman Malaysia, which qualified him for the 2020 Ironman World Championship, which he planned on racing after he rounded out his Olympic career in Tokyo.
All that got put on hold for a year, but now Gomez has made it clear that his focus is on longer distances from here on in, announcing last week that he’d signed with Spanish-based bike company Orbea as he embarked on this next phase of racing.
Gomez started that next phase in style, coming out of the water with a lead group of three, then coming off the bike with in a group of four that included Brazil’s Reinaldo Collucci, Argentina’s Luciano Taccone and Chile’s Vincent Trewhela.
Once out on the run course, though, there was no touching Gomez as he used the day’s fastest run (1:10:04) to take the win in 3:50:54. Taccone would take sedone in 3:52:51, while Collucci would round out the podium in 3:58:12.
Baptista blasts clear on the bike
After coming out of the water in a lead group of five, Baptista rode away from the rest of the field, hitting T2 with a lead of 7:34 over Riveros and over 14-minutes up on another Chilean star, Pamela Tastets. Baptista would continue her dominating day with the day’s fastest run split (1:19:31) to gain more time on Riveros, hitting the finish line in 4:17:12 to Riveros’ 4:25:16. Argentina’s Romina Palacio would run her way to the final spot on the podium, finishing in 4:42:54.
You can find full results from the day here.