Javier Gomez Noya’s quest to become the second man to win four ITU World Championships gained strength in Cape Town, as he comfortably beat Jonathan Brownlee for his second consecutive ITU World Triathlon Series win in 2014. It was another auspicious moment in triathlon history, as the Series made its debut in Africa.
If that was impressive, it was only slightly more so than South Africa’s Richard Murray performance, who ran the fastest run split of the day along with Mario Mola, to claim fifth and fourth respectively.
As always, it came down to the run. Gomez put the hammer down with around 4km to go. Just like in the series opener in Auckland, Brownlee just couldn’t stick with him. It means Gomez holds onto the lead in the Threadneedle rankings and looks the one to beat in the race for the 2014 world title. But Gomez revealed afterwards he wasn’t confident at the start of the 10km run.
“One the run, I didn’t feel very fresh… I think we all were pretty tired. I had heavy legs, but I just went as hard as I could on that third lap and I could make this little gap with Jonathan and luckily I could commit,” Gomez said. “I just didn’t look back and went as hard as I could.”
Brownlee was filled with nothing but praise, admitting he just didn’t have Gomez’s measure again.
“I was even more impressed this time to be honest with you, in Auckland I let him kind of run the race at the front,” Brownlee said. “Here I thought I would change it up a bit but every time he went for it, I kind of counter attacked and then he counter attacked again and dropped me. It’s as simple as that. He was very impressive today. He was strong on the bike, strong in the swim and then on the run. He was a lot better than me on the run, so well done to him.”
It added yet another chapter to their rivalry, as Gomez now just leads in WTS encounters. In 19 races, Brownlee has five wins and Gomez six. It’s also the third consecutive time Gomez has beaten the younger Brownlee brother, after last year’s London Grand Final and the season opener in Auckland.
While the top two podium places were again filled by Gomez and Brownlee, it was Russia’s Dmitry Polyanskiy who re-captured his best form to collect another career WTS medal. In another impressive comeback run performance in Cape Town, following on from Gwen Jorgensen in the women’s race, Mario Mola and Richard Murray pushed their way back from the chase pack into the top five, claiming fourth and fifth places respectively on the back of the fastest runs of the day.
2014 World Triathlon Cape Town – 27 April
1.5km swim – 40km bike – 10km run – Final Results – Elite Men
1. Javier Gomez Noya ESP 01:44:52
2. Jonathan Brownlee GBR 01:45:11
3. Dmitry Polyanskiy RUS 01:45:35
4. Mario Mola ESP 01:45:44
5. Richard Murray RSA 01:45:57
6. Aaron Royle AUS 01:46:05
7. Aaron Harris GBR 01:46:06
8. Vincent Luis FRA 01:46:10
9. Joao Pereira POR 01:46:12
10. Ryan Sissons NZL 01:46:17