Dextro Energy Triathlon World Championship Series Grand Final
September 12, 2009 (Gold Coast, Australia) – Alistair Brownlee’s dominance was on display yet again Saturday, capping a near perfect season with a win at the ITU Dextro Energy Triathlon World Championship Series Grand Final in Gold Coast, Australia, and earning the series victory.
The 21-year-old from Great Britain used a final surge near the end of the 10k run to drop Spaniard Javier Gomez, the defending world champion. Olympic gold medalist Jan Frodeno of Germany placed third.
“I gave my best, one of my best races ever, but Alistair was flying,” Gomez said. “I tried many times on the hill to drop him, but I couldn’t get rid of him. He’s been the best today and the best the whole season.”
Jarrod Shoemaker was the top American in 14th place. Shoemaker, who won the Hamburg World Championship Series race earlier this summer, said he was disappointed with not finishing inside the top 10.
“I’m not going to lie, that was a pretty big disappointment. I felt great leading into it and then I just got a cramp a kilometer and a half into the run. I just couldn’t breathe at all,” Shoemaker said. “I felt great this whole week. I have a lot more in me.”
After placing 14th, Shoemaker slipped from 7th to 10th in the ITU World Championship Series final standings. Brownlee’s five World Championship Series wins cemented his position atop the series leaderboard. Gomez finished second and Maik Petzold of Germary finished third.
Not surprisingly, the Grand Final came down to the run. A large group of athletes exited the swim together, and three large groups formed early on the bike leg. American Matt Reed, who has found success recently in non-drafting races like the Chicago Triathlon, tried to break away multiple times and succeeded toward the end of the bike leg. Reed and Canadian Paul Tichelaar entered T2 50 seconds ahead of the contenders, but they were quickly swallowed up on the run by the hard-charging pack of Brownlee, Gomez and Frodeno.
“I kept attacking and attacking then I just got off the bike and felt terrible from the get-go,” Reed said. “In the end, it’s a triathlon, not a bike race.”
USA Triathlon Sport Performance Director Scott Schnitzspahn was pleased with the U.S. team’s execution of the tactical plan, but not the end result.
Shoemaker, a former track star at Dartmouth, had the race in his favor when he got off the bike with the main group. But about 1.5k into the run, he was slowed by a cramp.
“I’m not going to lie, that was a pretty big disappointment,” he said. “I felt great leading into it and then I just got a cramp, and I just couldn’t breathe at all. I tried to work it out and then I came back toward the end. I felt great this whole week. I have a lot more in me, and I’m disappointed because I wanted to be top 10.”
Other American finishers included Mark Fretta – 24th, Kevin Collington – 37th , Matt Reed – 43rd, and Matt Chrabot – 47th.
2009 was the first year for the eight-race World Championship Series format, which has been a hit with the athletes.
“It’s fun to race against the best people in the world at every race,” Shoemaker said. “It really proves who the best racer all year is. Obviously Brownlee proved that all year long and Gomez also had a solid year.”
2009 ITU World Championships Grand Final
1.5k swim, 40k cycle, 10k run
Gold. Alistair Brownlee, Great Britain. 1:44:51
Silver. Javier Gomez, Spain. 1:44:57 +0:06
Bronze. Jan Frodeno, Germany. 1:45:21 +0:30
4. Maik Petzold, Germany. 1:45:25 +0:34
5. Courtney Atkinson, Australia. 1:45:27 +0:36
6. Dmitry Polyansky, Russia. 1:45:29 +0:38
7. Steffen Justus, Germany. 1:45:30 +0:39
8. Simon Whitfield, Canada. 1:45:31 +0:40
9. Laurent Vidal, France. 1:45:37 +0:46
10. Alexander Brukhankov, Russia. 1:45:38 +0:47
2009 Dextro Energy Triathlon Series Final Standings
Gold. Alistair Brownlee, Great Britain. 4400pts / 2009 World Champion
Silver. Javier Gomez, Spain. 3959pts
Bronze. Maik Petzold, Germany. 3442pts
4. Jan Frodeno, Germany. 3162pts
5. Steffen Justus, Germany. 3139pts
6. Laurent Vidal, France. 3048pts
7. Courtney Atkinson, Australia. 2980pts
8. Kris Gemmell, New Zealand. 2903pts
9. Dmitry Polyansky, Russia. 2858pts
10. Jarrod Shoemaker, USA. 2783pts