Gwen Jorgensen and Javier Gomez were crowned 2014 ITU WTS Grand Final in Edmonton Canada.
Going into Edmonton Jorgensen had an almost unassailable series lead over second place Sarah Groff and third place Jodie Stimpson.
Jorgensen took her fifth straight ITU WTS win showing her complete dominance over the season. But Jorgensen (2:00:05) did not have it all her own way as she had strong competition from the New Zealand duo, Andrea Hewitt (2:00:21) and Nicky Samuels (2:00:31) who both performed well in Stockholm and were to do the same here placing second and third respectively. The Edmonton course was the full Olympic distance event of 1,500m swim (2 x 750m laps) , 43.2km bike (2 large loops & (4 small loops) and 10km run (4 x 2.5km laps).
The run phase is undoubtedly Jorgensen’s strength over the rest of the field and boy did she do well. She posted a 33:24 over the 10k a full minute faster than anyone else in the pack. With speed like that and a strong swim and bike (dropped a minute here in Edmonton this time so played catch up on the run) where there are really only a few seconds difference to the pack she is far and away the real deal and a worthy champion.
Stand out performances from Hewitt, Samuels and Groff (who fought hard to take fourth place) meant that Stimpson was demoted to fourth place in the overall series.
The race in Edmonton was all about Alistair Brownlee taking out the win for his second podium top spot of 2014 and Javier Gomez securing the 2014 ITU WTS championship for the fourth time.
After Javier Gomez DNF’d at Stockholm there was a gap of 282 points between himself and Jonathan Brownlee. Gomez had to make sure he finished and stuck with Jonathan to be crowned champion. He did exactly that, letting Alistair breakaway on the bike in the final stages and sticking with Jonny and Mario Mola. With a minute made on the bike and a strong run leg Alistair finished with a winning margin of 20 seconds. Ultimately the minute he made on the bike was lost on the run and it basically boiled down to his super fast swim.
Jonny Brownlee was unable to keep up with Gomez and Mola’s run pace towards the end and came in fourth on the day and with that slipped to third overall on the rankings allowing Mola to grab second spot.
What can be said about the 2014 men’s season? Well we have a deserved champion in Gomez but for me, besides the Brownlee brothers, there have been two really consistent stand out performers in Mario Mola and the ever improving Joao Periera.
All images copyright – Ian Campbell – Photography