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Javier Gómez triumphs in “insane” heat at Challenge Cancún

The two-time Ironman 70.3 world champion proved his resilience ahead of the Olympic Games.


Javier Gómez kept his cool in Mexico’s searing heat, twice coming from behind to seal an ultimately dominant victory at Challenge Cancún. The Spaniard finished in 3:46:36, with fellow On athlete Ruedi Wild (3:50:37) claiming silver in conditions of 96 percent humidity.


Gómez’s finish time was almost five minutes ahead of third-placed Andy Potts (3:51:13). And with his next race in Yokohama, Japan, Gómez admitted Challenge Cancún was an important part of his preparations for the Tokyo Olympics.


He said: “I had a training camp in Cozumel, not far from Cancún, to acclimatize to the heat and conditions we’ll find in Tokyo. This race was a good test after a good block of four weeks’ training in the heat.”   



Gómez trailed Victor Benages by just two seconds after 1.9km swim, but then fell a minute behind Potts just 16km into the 90km ride. A puncture for Potts saw Gómez temporarily take the lead, only for the American to fight back and regain pole position during the final stages on the bike.


Gómez said: “I managed to stay close to the front of the race, so I could play my cards on the run and hopefully get away from the others. Luckily, that’s what happened. I paced myself pretty well from the beginning.”


The Spaniard – and his On shoes – immediately pulled away from the pack, building a three-minute lead after 15km of running that he eventually stretched to four minutes by the finish line.


Gómez said: “Every time you win a race it feels very special, but winning after a hard day like today is even more rewarding.”


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