Javier Gomez Noya Ironman 70.3 World Champion
Great athletes win races, even big races. But champions rise when the title of best in the world is on the line. Today in Mont Tremblant Canada the Subaru Ironman 70.3 World Championship took place, and was contested by many great athletes, and even some champions. But only two could be called World Champion today, and for the men his name would be Javier Gomez Noya. What makes this story even more amazing is that only one week ago, Javier donned the mantle of World Champion, in the draft legal Olympic format. In that format the athletes ride more traditional road bikes with drop bars and minimal aero equipment, and are allowed to draft ala road racing style. Showing us once again why we need to pay attention when this man toes the line, because he is making history right before our eyes.
Todays race had so many great athletes who were capable of winning that it was quite overwhelming. Within the SRAM stable we had the two reigning 70.3 World Champions, Sebastian Kienle and Melissa Hauschildt, the 2008 Olympic gold medalist Jan Frodeno and 70.3 World Champion Terenzo Bozzone, the current ITU World Champion Javier Gomez, and more than a half dozen other athletes who have raced remarkably this year hence qualifying for this championship contest. The one common element that they all relied on today…. SRAM RED 22. The extremely challenging bike course in the mountains surrounding Mont Tremblant commanded that the athlete’s bikes were not only impeccably tuned, which the SRAM Road Sports Marketing aces saw to. But, they also needed to allow these athletes to access and rely on every single one of their 22 gears. As well, even with the challenging climbs and descents, these athletes all recognized that aero is king in non-draft racing. Virtually every SRAM athlete was also under the stable and slick control of Zipp’s Firecrest front wheels and Super9 Discs. At the speeds that these athletes travel they need every technological advantage that they can find, and there is nothing faster or more stable than their chosen wheelsets. All of their drive trains and wheel/tire combinations performed flawlessly on the day, delivering them to T2 safe and fresh for the run. Lastly, but certainly not least, most of the SRAM athletes also rely on Quarq power meters to guide their training and racing.
But even in the middle of this who’s who of greatness and champions, one stood taller than the rest. Gomez showed his intentions immediately by leading all out of the water. Once on the bike the likes of Frodeno and the young Aussie Josh Amberger did their very best to dispatch the quiet Spaniard, but to no avail. They were able to make their way to T2 with only about a minute advantage on Javi. Once on the run, he quickly made up that minute and found his way in front by about 25 seconds, near the 10k point. From there on Frodeno pulled out every trick in his book to take those precious seconds back, but it just was not allowed. Today, Javier Gomez Noya showed why he came into this race as a 4X World Champion, and would walk away a 5X World Champion. At the finish line the two friends smiled and shook hands as they have done for the past several years, each having just a little bit more respect for their friend than they did even this morning.
photo: Nils Nilsen