Oakley's Javier Gomez Wins the Los Angeles Triathlon
Oakley’s Javier Gomez of Spain broke from a group of four in the final minutes of the run to win the Los Angeles Triathlon on Sunday.
Gomez finished in 1 hour, 50 minutes, 17 seconds to win the Olympic distance race composed of a swim off Venice Beach, followed by a 24.8-mile bike ride from the beach to downtown Los Angeles, and ending with a 6.2-mile run to the finish line across from the Staples Center.
Sweden’s Lisa Norden won the women’s race in 2:00:20, more that one minute faster than runner-up Sarah Haskins of the United States. The two-time defending champion, American Becky Lavelle, was 16th.
Javier Gomez and Lisa Norden showed their competitors a clean pair of heels at the weekend’s Los Angeles Triathlon as they shifted racing formats to non-draft racing. The Dextro Energy Triathlon – ITU World Championship silver medalists overcame choppy Pacific swells and currents before time trialing their way through 40km of cycling and a 10km run.
The men’s race was close with double ITU world champion Greg Bennett leading into transition, only to be run down by the European trio of Gomez, Stuart Hayes and Filip Ospaly. It took the Spaniard until the last mile to find his running legs as he drew away from the chasing pair with Britain’s Hayes able to hold of the Czech to take second place. Bennett, the three-time defending champion, finished in fourth.
“The bike took a lot out of you, so I knew I had to drop off the pace near the end of the bike to save some energy for the run,” said Gomez. “After such a big effort on the bike, you have to start slower. But the leaders were not so far ahead, so I had time to find my pace in the beginning.”
Stuart Hayes, who finished second at LA last year, was very satisfied with a second to the great Gomez. “For a moment, I was outrunning Javier and thought I might have a chance,” said Hayes. “But that guy’s a freak … he’s always had a strong bike, so I wasn’t surprised. Right now I’m in the best shape of my life, so to come that close to Javier was really good.”