Gomez drives for five titles in Chicago

by Erin Greene on 13 Sep, 2015 07:56 • Español
Gomez drives for five titles in Chicago

The race for the men’s elite World Championship title is one of the closest to be contested since the start of the ITU World Triathlon Series, with only 530 points separating the top four men in the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings. The final race of the four-day Grand Final, Spaniards Javier Gomez Noya and Mario Mola will line up as the men to beat, followed by France’s Vincent Luis and South Africa’s Richard Murray on Saturday in Chicago.

Drive for five
This week in Chicago, Gomez could become the first athlete to win five Olympic distance World Championship titles. Last year he entered rare territory by joining just Simon Lessing with four crowns after he cruised to a cool third place at the Edmonton Grand Final, which was good enough to win the overall title. Now only 51.5 km stands in his way until he enters territory as the single most successful World Championship athlete. He can swim. He can bike. And he can run. Having made the podium in seven of the eight WTS events he’s contested this year, it doesn’t appear that much can stand in his way, save a major malfunction to make the drive for five come alive. That said, with three other men right on his heels, this could be one of the toughest titles to take home.

New flesh
With the Brownlee brothers both having endured injuries this season, their inability to race during the Series has opened the hatch for new talent to bubble up. Vincent Luis is one of the athletes that rose to the task, as is Fernando Alarza (ESP). Luis, like Gomez, can swim, bike, and run with the best of them, including a show stopping speed on the run which has seen him score a medal in four of the five WTS races he’s lined up for. Alaraza has only been on the podium once this year, but he’s performed consistently enough to mix it up the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings and effect the podium with his racing style whether he’s scoring a medal or not. Aaron Royle (AUS) and Joao Pereira (POR) have also enjoyed a late season surge, suggesting they’ll be on point and ready for another podium in Chicago.

The Mola / Murray factor
Mario Mola and Richard Murray have been flirting with the top of the rankings for a number of years now, with Mola finishing second in the Series last year and Murray ranked fourth heading into Chicago. While both of the men have struggled in the swim, Murray missing the lead pack in Chicago last year, the South African is an expert bike handler and will excel on this technical course. If anyone is poised to drag up a chase on the bike, it’s Murray. And when these men hit the final discipline, all bets are off. They’ve both recorded incredible come-from-behind performances on the run this year as two of the fastest runners on the circuit. Whoever wants to be on the podium will have to be seriously far in front of this duo.

The return of Brownlee
Jonathan Brownlee (GBR) started the season with a bang, etching out wins in both Auckland and Gold Coast, but an injury meant the Olympic bronze medallist was forced to miss the back half of the season, including the Rio Test Event. While he’s not in contention for the World Championship title, he will likely play a part in who goes home crowned as the world’s fastest triathlete. A well-rounded triathlete capable of making an impact in all three disciplines, little is known on the former World Champ’s form. But one thing is certain. He rarely races unless he’s ready to fire on all cylinders. Add in that only Gomez and Jonny’s brother Alistair Brownlee have ever won a Grand Final and Jonny may just gun to add his name to that list.

Getting in front
There’s a host of men that will set the tone of the men’s elite World Championship race including Royle, Gomez, Brownlee, and Luis in addition to Russian brothers Dmitry and Igor Polyanskiy, France’s Dorian Coninx, Pierre Le Corre, and Anthony Pujades, USA’s Ben Kanute and Gregory Billington and South Africa’s Henri Schoeman. This group will push the pace on the swim and several of them know how to push out the watts early on to keep the chase away. Anyone trying to make the front pack on the bike needs to keep this crew in sight.

Click here for the men’s start list

The men’s elite World Championship will be held on Saturday, September 19 at 5pm following the Age Group standard distance World Championships. To watch the races live, tune in at triathlonlive.tv. For play by play updates, follow us on twitter at @triathlonlive. For the start time in your local area, click here.

Article gallery
Related Event: 2015 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Chicago
15 - 20 Sep, 2015 • event pageall results
Results: Elite Men
1. Mario Mola ESP 01:44:53
2. Javier Gomez Noya ESP 01:44:57
3. Richard Murray NED 01:45:35
4. Crisanto Grajales MEX 01:45:40
5. Vincent Luis FRA 01:45:44
Results: Elite Women
1. Gwen Jorgensen USA 01:55:36
2. Non Stanford GBR 01:56:05
3. Vicky Holland GBR 01:56:20
4. Andrea Hansen NZL 01:56:44
5. Rachel Klamer NED 01:56:50
Results: Junior Men
1. Manoel Messias BRA 00:51:50
2. Peer Sönksen GER 00:51:51
3. Léo Bergere FRA 00:52:01
4. Roberto Sanchez Mantecon ESP 00:52:08
5. Matthew Hauser AUS 00:52:10
Results: Junior Women
1. Laura Lindemann GER 00:57:28
2. Taylor Knibb USA 00:58:14
3. Lotte Miller NOR 00:58:39
4. Alberte Kjær Pedersen DEN 00:58:40
5. Hye Rim Jeong KOR 00:59:05
Results: Men's PT1
1. Bill Chaffey H2 AUS 00:58:38
2. Krige Schabort USA 00:59:55
3. Jetze Plat H2 NED 01:00:32
4. Geert Schipper H2 NED 01:01:47
5. Giovanni Achenza H1 ITA 01:03:04
Results: Women's PT1
1. Kendall Gretsch H2 USA 01:13:29
2. Emily Tapp H1 AUS 01:19:45
3. Lizzie Tench H2 GBR 01:20:05
4. Rita Cuccuru H1 ITA 01:23:51
5. Eva María Moral Pedrero H1 ESP 01:26:04
Results: Men's PT2
1. Michele Ferrarin ITA 01:10:00
2. Stephane Bahier FRA 01:10:34
3. Ryan Taylor GBR 01:11:11
4. Mark Barr USA 01:11:57
5. Mohamed Lahna USA 01:14:09
Results: Women's PT2
1. Allysa Seely USA 01:25:03
2. Hailey Danz USA 01:25:45
3. Melissa Stockwell USA 01:26:07
4. Liisa Lilja FIN 01:26:38
5. Elise Marc FRA 01:27:27
Results: Men's PT3
1. Oliver Dreier AUT 01:08:15
2. Alejandro Sánchez Palomero ESP 01:09:15
3. Justin Godfrey AUS 01:09:54
4. Vasilii Egorov RUS 01:10:44
5. Daniel Molina ESP 01:11:01
Results: Women's PT3
1. Sally Pilbeam AUS 01:20:22
2. Kerryn Harvey AUS 01:24:04
3. Saskia Van Den Ouden NED 01:24:15
4. Nora Hansel GER 01:27:32
5. Andrea Walton USA 01:33:32
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