Gomez and Luxford champs at Challenge Wanaka

Javier Gomez managed to hold off Braden Currie, while Annabel Luxford managed to stay just ahead of Laura Siddall for the women's title at the half-distance race at Challenge Wanaka.

| February 17, 2018 | NEWS

Javier Gomez wins Challenge Wanaka 2018.

Javier Gomez wins Challenge Wanaka 2018.

Photo >Getty Images

It was a day of close finishes at Challenge Wanaka, which served as the New Zealand long-distance championship. Javier Gomez took a close race over Kiwi Braden Currie, while Annabel Luxford and Laura Siddall battled through the run to put on quite a show in the women's race - Luxford managed to pull away at the end of the race to take the women's win.

Gomez runs to the win

Javier Gomez (ESP) has his sights set on the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii later this year and made his long-distance debut at Challange Wanaka this weekend. One imagines the Spaniard wasn't expecting that after breaking the old course record by 20 minutes he would still find himself just 17-seconds up on Braden Currie (NZL) across the finish line. 

Gomez, Currie and Dylan McNiece (NZL) were riding together with a decent lead halfway through the bike, but a large group that included Luke McKenzie (AUS), Jesse Thomas (USA), Joe Skipper (GBR) and Luke Bell (AUS) managed to catch up which led to a large group starting the run together. Out on the run course Gomez and Currie separated themselves from the rest of the field and, as he did a few years ago when he held of Jan Frodeno to take the Ironman 70.3 world title, Gomez opened up a gap of a few seconds and just never let Currie get any closer, eventually finishing 17 seconds up.

"Braden put a lot of pressure on me, I did not expect that I would have to run so fast here," Gomez said after his impressive 1:12:39 run split (the course included 260 m of climbing). "But I'm happy with where my fitness is currently."

Jesse Thomas managed to outrun the rest of the contenders to round out the podium.

 

 

Challenge Wanaka 2018 | Men

February 17, 2018 | Wanaka, New Zealand

Name

Country

Total

1.9 km Swim

90 km Bike

21 km Run

1

Javier Gomez

ESP

03:57:27

00:23:15

02:16:41

01:12:39

2

Braden Currie

NZL

03:57:44

00:23:21

02:16:34

01:13:32

3

Jesse Thomas

USA

03:59:33

00:25:54

02:13:51

01:14:58

4

Dylan McNeice

NZL

04:02:45

00:23:13

02:16:54

01:18:33

5

Dougal Allan

NZL

04:03:09

00:27:51

02:11:28

01:19:08

6

Luke McKenzie

AUS

04:03:34

00:25:57

02:13:39

01:19:17

7

Joe Skipper

GBR

04:08:13

00:27:04

02:12:14

01:23:44

8

Luke Bell

AUS

04:14:48

00:25:29

02:13:48

01:30:24

9

Olly Shaw

NZL

04:17:30

00:26:56

02:21:48

01:23:55

10

Jason Hall

NZL

04:18:05

00:26:01

02:28:24

01:18:46

Swipe me

Luxford stays strong on the run

Annabel Luxford (AUS) enjoyed a five-minute lead over Laura Siddall (GBR) after the swim, but the Brit managed to move to the front of the race by the 70-km point of the bike and led the way by a few seconds into T2. Heading out onto the run it was clear the race was turning into a two-woman battle - Luxford managed a speedy transition and was two seconds up and the pair were almost two-minutes ahead of Amelia Watkinson (NZL), who was another five-minutes ahead of Rebecca Clark (NZL).

Luxford managed to pad her lead a bit through 8 km to 39 seconds, but with 2 km to go the gap was down to 21 seconds. In the end, though, Luxford hung tough for an 11-second win. Watkinson rounded out the podium, but was over 11 minutes behind the first two.

Challenge Wanaka 2018 | Women

February 17, 2018 | Wanaka, New Zealand

Name

Country

Total

1.9 km Swim

90 km Bike

21 km Run

1

Annabel Luxford

AUS

04:27:02

00:25:49

02:32:17

01:24:00

2

Laura Siddall

GBR

04:27:13

00:30:52

02:27:26

01:24:10

3

Amelia Watkinson

NZL

04:38:11

00:28:28

02:31:11

01:33:11

4

Christine Gross

USA

04:42:49

00:29:10

02:35:56

01:31:42

5

Hannah Wells

NZL

04:48:02

00:29:13

02:40:50

01:32:21

6

Julia Grant

NZL

04:49:45

00:30:56

02:39:27

01:34:37

7

Rebecca Clarke

NZL

04:51:03

00:25:50

02:39:38

01:40:29

8

Laura Wood

NZL

04:52:29

00:27:25

02:42:59

01:37:00

9

India Kraal

NZL

04:52:36

00:30:49

02:39:29

01:37:10

10

Fiona Crombie

NZL

04:55:00

00:27:11

02:48:57

01:33:06

Swipe me