Gomez, Moffatt win Des Moines triathlon
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Javier Gomez of Spain took the lead with about a mile left in the run to defend his title in the Hy-Vee Triathlon Sunday in Des Moines, Iowa. Emma Moffatt of Australia won the women’s race.
Gomez and Moffatt each earned $100,000 for their victories.
Though the event’s purse was cut from $1.1 million to $500,000 this year, it still offers the biggest prize in the world for Olympic-style distance triathlons.
Gomez, the silver medalist from the London Games, was more than minute behind the leaders after the cycling portion of the event before catching them in the run.
American Hunter Kemper was second, finishing 12 seconds behind Gomez.
Moffatt, who won in Des Moines in 2009 and finished second twice, was 1:26 ahead of runner-up Melissa Hauschildt.
Gomez opened the event by taking a sizeable lead in the swim, only to give it back on the cycling portion.
But Gomez is among the world’s best at closing triathlons in the run, and he caught Kemper and third-place finisher Greg Bennett for a decisive victory.
“When I realized it was maybe 10 seconds behind ... I started to breathe a little again, get some air and just went flat out, as hard as I can for the last mile,” Gomez said.
Lisa Norden, the two-time defending winner of the women’s event and the silver medalist at the London Olympics, withdrew earlier Sunday after writing on her personal website about feeling worn down.
Moffatt took advantage of Norden’s absence. She was second after the swim and kept pace during the cycling leg — which she acknowledged isn’t her strong suit.
Moffatt then blew past the leaders with a commanding 34:59 in the 10-kilometer run.
“I guess everything went to plan, and I’m pretty happy with that,” Moffatt said. “Des Moines has been pretty good to me.”