All eyes were on reigning world champ Javier Gomez (ESP) today for the 7am start of Ironman 70.3 Staffordshire, and he didn’t disappoint – though he didn’t take the lead until the run.
Gloriously bright conditions at Chasewater Reservoir were a relief after the sogginess of yesterday, and after a short delay of around 10mins the pro men including GB’s Will Clarke, Gomez and Nick Kastelein (AUS) entered the water.
They’re off! @IM703STAFFS pic.twitter.com/HxUSA4vUEY
— 220Triathlon (@220Triathlon) June 14, 2015
Kastelein led Gomez out of the 1.9km swim with a 23:33min split, and Will Clarke was around 40secs back in third position. But disaster struck for Kastelein moments later, as he tweeted us:
@220Triathlon unfortunately that’s where it ended. Flatted in first km of bike. @IM703STAFFS
— Nicholas Kastelein (@NickKastelein) June 14, 2015
There were more surprises further into the bike – Germany’s Markus Thomschke took up the lead and managed to establish a 90sec lead over Gomez and Romain Guillaume (FRA), with Will Clarke around 6mins behind the leader.
Thomschke, who placed second at Wimbleball 2012 and sixth at Ironman UK last year, extended his lead over Gomez to 2:30mins coming out of T2, with Guillaume and Clarke around 22secs behind Gomez.
The first pros are on the run course! #IM703Staffs pic.twitter.com/XvjIwd9PoN
— IRONMAN 70.3 STAFFS (@IM703STAFFS) June 14, 2015
Yet more drama followed on the run: Thomschke started to fall back and Gomez took up the lead, establishing a 1min margin by the halfway point. Clarke was still within 10mins of the lead at this point, in fourth position behind BMC-Uplace teammate Romain Guillaume.
From here there could only be one winner, with Gomez near-unbeatable in this kind of position – and so it proved to be, as he crossed the line in 4:02:13, ahead of Markus Thomschke and Romain Guillaume. Will Clarke finished fourth in 4:11:10.
1 Gomez, Javier (ESP) +00:00 04:02:13
2 Thomschke, Markus (GER) +05:20 04:07:33
3 Guillaume, Romain (FRA) +06:54 04:09:07
4 Clarke, Will (GBR) +08:57 04:11:10
5 Schilling, Alexander (GER) +15:26 04:17:39
6 Fox, Michael (AUS) +16:42 04:18:55
7 Simon, Oliver (GBR) +17:53 04:20:06
8 Harrison, Stephen (GBR) +20:13 04:22:26
9 Williams, Brad (USA) +21:06 04:23:19
10 Cseik, Marton (HUN) +28:00 04:30:13
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