Olympic medalists Nicola Spirig and Javier Gomez proved their pedigree with wins at the Cozumel World Cup on Sunday. The race was Spirig’s debut back to ITU racing since winning gold in London last year, while 2013 World Champion Gomez collected his 14th World Cup title to close his season.
London Olympic gold medalist Nicola Spirig (SUI) made her return to the international scene with a bang on Sunday at the Cozumel World Cup, winning her first race back on the ITU circuit since the Olympics and her first World Cup since Kitzbuehel in 2008. Sarah Groff (USA) and Lisa Perterer (AUT) were able to battle through the heat and humidity to round out the podium on the sprint course.
Groff, Katie Hursey (USA) and Pamela Oliveira (BRA) led the group out of the swim, with Spirig exiting the water 29 seconds back. Two groups formed in front early on the bike, with Spirig driving the pace in the chase group to catch the lead pack by the end of lap two.
A group of 16 women entered T2 together, but splintered apart from there. By the end of the first lap, Spirig, Groff, Perterer and hometown favorite Claudia Rivas (MEX) were pushing the pace, with Joanna Brown (CAN) not far behind.
The last lap of the run was when Spirig sprung into action, breaking off from Groff, Perterer and Rivas with less than 2.5km to go. She crossed the line in 57:53, ahead of Groff, who finished in 57:58.
Read more: Triathlon.org
Javier Gomez (ESP) finished up his season the same way he started it – winning. Despite soaring temperatures and humidity, Gomez collected his 14th World Cup title with an impressive ocean-side run. Aurelien Lescure (FRA) was second, while Dmitry Polyanskiy (RUS) took third.
The sprint swim did little to break up the long start list, as a massive group of men formed together on the bike. The group continued to swell over the four-lap bike course until the third lap when give men engineered a break.
But it wasn’t enough to hold off the golden Gomez, as he shot off as soon as he racked his bike in transition. Despite the unforgiving temperatures, Jarrod Shoemaker (USA) and Polyanskiy answered the pounding pace. Behind them, Lescure began consistently picking off the competition and in a surprising burst of speed, the Frenchman blew past Shoemaker and Polyanskiy, pulling up to Gomez right before hitting the finish chute.
But when the pair crossed onto the blue carpet, Gomez gunned it and left the competition behind him to finish his season with a World Cup win, which is exactly how he started it in Mooloolaba seven months ago. Lescure crossed over just two seconds after Gomez to earn his first World Cup medal since 2011. After finishing just off the podium in his last two races, Polyanskiy engaged in a down to the line battle with Shoemaker. In a photo finish, it was determined Polyanskiy earned bronze in 53:31.
Read more: Triathlon.org