Continuing his year of podium appearances, XTERRA champion Mauricio Mendez (MEX) captured first place at IRONMAN 70.3 Cozumel on Sunday. The victory, the first long-course win in his professional triathlon career, came after taking top spots at three off-road races on this summer’s XTERRA European Tour.
“Never underestimate Mauricio, whether off-road or on 70.3 courses,” said Human Interest Group Director Michael Cardoza. “With this win in Cozumel, where he came in 11th last year, Mauricio shows that he has the power and speed to be a formidable contender on both XTERRA and IRONMAN circuits.”
“Great job by Mau, and like everyone else, I anticipate another strong performance at the XTERRA World Championship in a few weeks.”
With swim clocking in at 19:20, Mendez started the bike leg of the race on the heels of the lead pack and quickly moved past his competitors. It was the run, however, that clinched Mendez’s victory in Cozumel. As he demonstrated during the XTERRA European Tour, Mendez rocketed past his closest competitors with run time of 1:14:33. No longer only an off-road champion, Mendez crossed the finish first, about seven minutes ahead of second and third places.
Over six weeks this summer, Mendez beat back strong competition on the XTERRA European Tour to claim first places at XTERRA Italy, Sweden, and Denmark and 2nd at XTERRA Poland. Mendez next travels to Maui for 2016 the XTERRA World Championship where he, as the youngest pro racing, placed 4th last year.
IRONMAN 70.3 Cozumel
Mauricio Mendez (MEX) 3:43:43
Richie Cunningham (AUS) 3:50:08
Luis Knabl (CHE) 3:50:35