Olympic silver medallist Javier Gomez of Spain fought off
oppressive heat and a spirited effort by crowd favourite Hunter
Kemper today to win the 2012 Hy-Vee Triathlon 5150 Elite Cup and
take home USD$171,000 in prize money, while Bevan Docherty and
Clark Ellice proved best of the Kiwis, finishing 4th and 8th
respectively in the rich non-drafting race.
Docherty earns USD$25,000, while Ellice picks up a cool USD$14,000
in a race with a total prize purse of USD$1,000,000. Of the other
Kiwis, Kris Gemmell came home 15th (USD$7,500) and Dylan McNeice
"It was a really hard race. It was more about fighting the sun and
high temperatures and trying to maintain a good pace," said Gomez,
who outdistanced the man who defeated him at the Summer Games in
London, Great Britain’s Alistair Brownlee, with a strong run
leg that saw him grab the lead from 2011 Hy-Vee champ Greg Bennett
of Australia on the second lap and hold off Kemper by 22 seconds.
Bennett finished third.
"It’s a strong man’s course," an obviously drained
Kemper said after the race. "The whole day was hard."
With temperatures approaching 33 degrees and very little breeze,
the 31-man field hit the water at Gray’s Lake and immediately
set a furious pace. Aussie Josh Amberger was the first man out of
the water on lap one, with former University of Iowa swimmer
Cameron Dye and Gomez in hot pursuit. Gomez swallowed up
Amberger’s lead on lap two and led the leaders into the first
That’s where American Ben Collins took over. Just like he did
in 2011, Collins took the lead on the bike and was gobbling up real
estate when - just like last year - misfortune hit. A broken wheel
knocked Colin off the lead lap. In 2011, it was a broken foot that
sidelined him on the second lap on the run.
Australian Paul Mathews took the lead, but Bennett quickly chased
down his countryman and led the field into the 10-kilometre run.
Kemper, who battled back from a series of injuries to earn a berth
on the U.S. Olympic Team (he finished 14th in London) made his
customary charge, but he could not catch Gomez, the world overall
champion in 2008 and 2010.
Brownlee who has dominated the sport at the Olympic distance the
past three years, got off to a slow start, briefly threatened on
the bike leg, but finished 14th.
"This race was completely different than the Olympics because of
the heat," Gomez said while sitting in a tub of ice after his
victory. "But I pushed hard the whole time. It was a good race and
a good win."
The raced proved a good hit out for Docherty who will next turn his
attention to the 70.3 World Championships in Las Vegas next weekend
where he will be amongst a host of New Zealanders, before he looks
to conclude his ITU racing for the season with a farewell
appearance at the Barfoot & Thompson ITU World Triathlon Grand
Final in Auckland in October, a race set to also feature Ellice,
Gemmell, London Olympian Ryan Sissons and a host of other New
Zealanders up against the best in the world.
Des Moines, Iowa
1 Javier Gomez Noya ESP 1:51:21
2 Hunter Kemper USA 1:51:59
3 Greg Bennett AUS 1:52:24
4 Bevan Docherty NZL 1:52:46
5 Matt Reed USA 1:53:24
8 Clark Ellice NZL 1:54:46
15 Kris Gemmell NZL 1:58:35
30 Dylan McNeice NZL 2:14:46