JAVIER Gomez of Bahrain Endurance 13 Team kicked off the 2018 season with a win at Ironman 70.3 Geelong in Australia.
The two-time Ironman 70.3 champion and five-time ITU world champion came into the race a strong favourite and showed no signs of off-season rust as he broke the tape in three hours, 45 minutes, 23 seconds, four minutes ahead of the rest of the field.
Gomez emerged from the 1.9km swim a mere second behind leader Josh Amberger. However, as Amberger was delayed in transition by a mechanical issue, Gomez and four other athletes capitalised on this and pushed out in front on the bike.
While Amberger managed to reel them in by the end of the 90km cycle course, Gomez left them all in the dust with a blistering 1:11:36 half-marathon, the day’s fastest run.
“It was perfect conditions, perfect temperature, no wind and a fast course. I really enjoyed it out there,” said Gomez.
“There was a group of four or five of us at the front and I rode quite conservatively. The first couple of kms on the run I didn’t feel very good, so I set a more comfortable pace and gradually increased the speed and was then able to control the race.
“At the 10km of the run I felt good, I had a decent gap so I knew the race was within my grasp. I was a bit conservative because I have a lot of racing coming up but overall it was a very consistent race and I am happy with the win.
“It is great to be qualified for the Ironman 70.3 World Championship already so I can focus on my next few races and I don’t have to worry about that anymore.
“I can just prepare and train for that race which is one of the main focuses of the year. Tokyo 2020 is also a big focus and I will see how the first races of the World Triathlon Championship series go and hopefully I can qualify for Tokyo and be competitive there,” Javier said.