Javier Gomez defends his Ironman 70.3 World Championship title in Chatanooga, USA. (Ironman.com)

Spaniard Javier Gomez might not have been the fastest man in the swim and on the bike, but he put in the fastest run of the day to win the Icy Hot IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship convincingly in Chatanooga, USA.

With a field boasting former IRONMAN World Champion Sebastian Kienle (GER), IRONMAN (full -distance) World Record Holder Tim Don (GBR), and Olympic Silver medallist Javier Gomez (ESP), the race promised an exciting battle from the get-go of the 1.9km swim, 90km bike and 21km run.

On the heels of another gorgeous sunrise over the Tennessee River, the professional men’s field lined up with Olympians Ben Kanute (USA) and Javier Gomez immediately putting a gap on the rest of the field, making use of their short-course race experience.

Winner of the day, Javier Gomez putting on the hurt on the 21km. (Ironman.com)

Once on the 90km bike course, Kanute made it clear he was going to make everyone work. Behind him, Gomez managed to hang onto second until halfway through the bike, when strong cyclists began to dig: Maurice Clavel (GER), Rudy Von Berg (USA) and most notably, Sebastian Kienle. Kienle and Clavel jostled for second through the second half of the bike, as Kanute stretched his lead to 4 minutes on the front.

Coming into T2, it was Kienle who would end up leading a large pack containing Clavel, Sam Appleton (AUS), Tyler Butterfield (BER), Gomez, Tim Don (GER), Pieter Heemeryck (BEL), Andreas Dreitz (GER), Von Berg and Matt Chrabot (USA).

Out onto the two-loop run through a city center packed with spectators, Gomez – the ITU world champion and 2012 Olympic silver medalist immediately began chipping into Kanute’s lead with his blistering pace. American Kanute hung on to until the pass of the day was made at KM 13.

Gomez ran down the finish chute, clocking a 3:49:45 finish time that proved he was back for a repeat win of his 2014 Mont Tremblant title. With a 24:09 swim, 2:12:27 bike, and smoking-fast 1:10:30 half marathon, he re-established him as a force on the IRONMAN 70.3 race circuit.

(Twitter)

“Ben was incredible on the bike. I tried to keep up with him at the beginning, and top of the hill I saw my watts and knew I had to slow down. I had to take a risk on the first lap—I ran faster than I should have.” said Gomez.

Giving up only a minute and a half to the Spaniard, Kanute held on for second—the only American to podium all weekend with the event on home soil. IRONMAN world record holder Tim Don joined the short-course specialists on the podium, working with Appleton and Clavel for most of the run and working his way from sixth into third.

Top 10 Pro Men

1 Javier Gomez ESP 0:24:08 2:12:27 1:10:29 3:49:44
2 Ben Kanute USA 0:24:03 2:08:10 1:16:23 3:51:06
3 Tim Don GBR 0:24:58 2:11:13 1:13:05 3:51:59
4 Sam Appleton AUS 0:25:01 2:11:02 1:14:36 3:53:32
5 Sebastian Kienle DEU 0:28:22 2:07:45 1:16:03 3:54:44
6 Maurice Clavel DEU 0:25:07 2:11:03 1:16:33 3:55:17
7 Tyler Butterfield BMU 0:25:18 2:10:40 1:17:27 3:56:20
8 Andreas Dreit DEU 0:26:39 2:09:17 1:17:14 3:56:33
9 Ivan Tutukin RUS 0:26:24 2:15:01 1:12:49 3:56:53
10 Pieter Heemeryck BEL 0:25:27 2:11:03 1:18:27 3:57:36

 

Source: Ironman.com and Twitter.