Olympic medalist takes big boost from home turf win ahead of San Francisco T100 test

Triathlon legend Javier Gomez finally got his season underway on Saturday, with the 41-year-old picking up a win over the half distance at vi half gasteiz in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain.

The Spaniard, who last year also used lower level middle distance races on home turf to test his fitness, is set to race next weekend at the T100 Triathlon World Tour event in San Francisco.

After a tough last six months, that have seen Gomez battle injury, personal loss and difficult DNF’s, triathlon fans will be relieved to see him back winning races again.

“I enjoyed racing on a challenging course”

Having not raced since a DNF at IRONMAN 70.3 Tasmania back in February, Gomez took a comfortable victory in Vitoria, winning by almost seven minutes ahead of fellow countryman Emilio Aguayo Muñoz.

Javier Gomez IRONMAN 70.3 Mossel Bay 2023 bike
[Photo credit: IRONMAN South Africa]

Despite racing solo for most of the day, the five-time ITU World Champion still split some impressive times, running a 1:10:02 half marathon off the back of a 22:46 swim and 2:06:34 bike in wet conditions.

Taking to social media after the race, the characteristically humble Spaniard congratulated his fellow competitors, before thanking volunteers, and will now look ahead to San Francisco.

“Great day in @vihalfgasteiz today. I enjoyed racing on a challenging course and in a beautiful city. Even in the rain! Well done to the organization, volunteers and everyone involved in the event. Also, congrats to @aguayotri and @joanesgoitisolo for their podium. Thanks to everyone cheering today.”

San Francisco is calling

Despite being a contracted athlete to the T100 Tour, Gomez is yet to start a PTO Tour event in his career, with next weekend his second appearance over the 100km distance after Challenge Daytona in 2020.

IRONMAN 70.3 Mossel Bay 2023 Men Pro Podium - Javier Gomez, Matt Trautman, Nicholas Quenet
[Photo credit: IRONMAN South Africa]

Last year, Gomez took the win at a competitive IRONMAN 70.3 Mossel Bay following two consecutive victories at local Spanish races, and will hope to follow that same pattern in San Francisco.

His performance in the water in Vitoria this past weekend suggests he will certainly swim with the front pack, and it will likely be his bike that is challenged the most on what is set to be a demanding course in California.

Rolling back the years

Even if Gomez isn’t in contention for a win or the podium in San Francisco, most triathlon fans will be more fascinated in how he fares against lifetime rival Alistair Brownlee, as the pair go head-to-head for the first time since 2020.

London 2012 Olympic Games - Alistair Brownlee, Javier Gomez, Jonathan Brownlee
Photo Credit: Delly Carr / World Triathlon

In their most famous clash over the middle distance, Brownlee thwarted Gomez at the 2018 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in South Africa, on a day where both athletes were put to the sword by Jan Frodeno.

Going back even further, it has been almost 12 years since the pair’s mesmerizing battle in Hyde Park at the London Olympics, and it will be this race that defines the relationship between the athletes for the rest of their careers.

However, for two men that have suffered an enormous amount of setbacks in recent seasons, old rivalries may well be forgotten on race day, as the pair offer each other a comforting sense of familiarity in an ever changing professional landscape.

Related Articles

Back to top button