Pablo Dapena Gonzalez
Pablo Dapena Gonzalez
Country
World Rank
29
Weight
65kg
Height
1.68m
Age
33
DOB
01/19/88
Swim: OrcaBike: BMCRun: Brooks
96%Swim86%Bike90%Run91%Overall
Athletes are measured as a percentage (for each discipline and overall) based on a relative comparison to the #1 ranked athlete who's rated at 100%.
Biography More

Pablo Dapena Gonzalez

So many of triathlon's most iconic moments have been duels - and Pablo Dapena Gonzalez was involved in one for the ages against Lionel Sanders at Challenge Daytona in 2019.

The Spaniard, who comes from the same town as Javier Gomez and also trains with him, burst onto the scene in 2018 when he won the ITU Long Distance World Championship and a stack of prestigious middle-distance events.

Those victories included Challenge Gran Canaria, Challenge Lisboa and Challenge Mallorca - which helped him tie for first in the Challenge Family World Bonus Pool.

It was clear he was one of the most exciting up-and-coming talents around when Gran Canaria saw him see off then reigning IRONMAN World Championship winner Patrick Lange.

A super-smooth runner, Dapena Gonzalez actually started as a swimmer before transitioning to triathlon in 2010.

Asked how the move came about, he admits: "It was a bit boring spending all day training in the pool!"

Making his mark

Like many longer distance triathletes, he began at ITU shorter distances and won several national titles en route to moving onto the world stage at half distance.

Going into Challenge Gran Canaria in April 2018, it's fair to say Pablo - or Pablito as he's also known - wasn't on the list of main favourites.

He had finished second (to Adam Bowden) at Challenge Roma the week before and was the reigning Spanish Long Distance Champion.

But he was up against a stacked field, not just two-time Kona champion Lange, who was making his seasonal debut. Also there was the reigning Challenge Roth hero Bart Aernouts plus Pieter Heemeryck, Patrik Nilsson, Andi Böcherer and Sven Riederer.

It was Böcherer who opened up a two-minute advantage by the start of the half-marathon, but both Lange and Dapena Gonzalez soon started to close on him.

And thanks to a 1:09:24 split it was Pablo who came out on top by 22 seconds to Böcherer, with Lange rounding out the podium.

He repeated the feat a month later at Challenge Lisboa, but the year was to get even better as he added a world title to the CV. That was at the ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships in Fyn, Denmark.

It was tightly packed at the head of the race after the swim, with Pablo right in the mix.

And it couldn't have been much closer after the bike. Switzerland's Ruedi Wild held a 30 seconds advantage, but heading out of T2 there were just metres between the next five - Dapena Gonzalez, Marko Albert, Giulio Molinari, Kevin Maurel and Mathias Lyngsø Petersen, with the sextet surely having the medals between them.

And there was no doubt about the strongest on the 30km run as Dapena Gonzalez caught Wild within the first 5km, and then powered away thanks to a race-fastest split of 1:47:39.

"To take the win was unbelievable," he says. "I'd felt strong coming into the race, but I didn't expect to be a world champion!"

An already-memorable year was rounded off in style when he landed another middle-distance Challenge, this time in Mallorca. That also helped him to a share of the spoils at the top of the Challenge Family Bonus Rankings alongside Sebastian Kienle, each taking home $25,000.

"To be tied with someone of Sebi's calibre is a true honour," said a delighted Pablo.

Dual focus

The winning run continued in 2019 but that year was defined by two races in particular - the defence of his title at the ITU Long Distance World Championships in his home town of Pontevedra - and that epic duel after the sun set at Daytona.

It was always going to be a special race for Pablo in Pontevedra, trying to retain his crown in front of home crowds and with fellow local Gomez - a role model of his as well as training partner - also battling for the win.

So it was fitting that the two of them closed out the top two spots in emphatic style, though there was little between them early on. A shortened swim meant 15 men were within 90 seconds of each other, Gomez leading the way and Dapena Gonzalez just a handful of seconds behind at T1.

It was still close at T2, but as the gaps increased the Pontevedra pair had the top two spots locked down and while he couldn't quite defend his title, Pablo had plenty to smile about: "I stopped before the finish to walk and enjoy it - the crowd was incredible. I'll never forget this moment."

It all meant he was in prime form going into Daytona, having added a victory at Challenge Cape Town to his palmarès - and this time there was virtually nothing to split the pair at the pointy end of the race.

Sanders was the man he'd replaced as ITU Long Distance World Champion the previous year, and they served up a race to remember on the famed racetrack.

With the swim and bike done, they settled down for the 13km run and surged into the lead after 5km.

It was shoulder to shoulder from then on to the finish as they pushed each other to the limit, Sanders finally asserting in the closing stages.

"I had a fantastic battle and it's a shame I had to settle for second in the final metres, but I am proud of my performance," reflected Pablo afterwards. "It's not every day you can say you held the same bike pace as (Andrew) Starykowicz for a lap or you can fight for the victory with Lionel Sanders. It is a race I will never forget."

It all bodes well for a bright future, and hopefully many more thrilling battles to come.

Current PTO World Ranking Points
29
Average best 3 races 2019/2020
90.35
2021 Challenge Gran Canaria
84.57
Average
87.46
Ranking History
#1#145#289#433#5772016201720182019202020212016Overall49.4363 pts#427Swim84.0864 pts#409Bike49.6459 pts#574Run39.2236 pts#5322017Overall96.7655 pts#326Swim158.006 pts#146Bike75.0299 pts#464Run91.2102 pts#2962018Overall241.635 pts#57Swim204.942 pts#4Bike147.089 pts#129Run147.092 pts#932019Overall272.089 pts#25Swim213.961 pts#4Bike154.485 pts#96Run174.691 pts#312020Overall271.061 pts#19Swim209.645 pts#4Bike140.261 pts#122Run174.691 pts#222021Overall87.4618 pts#29Swim98.5961 pts#9Bike74.0369 pts#92Run84.1194 pts#36
Results
29 Races5
1
13
2
2
3
2021
Points: NaN
DatePlaceRace
Swim
Bike
Run
OverallAITPoints
30 May
4
Challenge St Pölten
25:07
2:11:10
1:08:59
3:50:04
77.6896
03:42:3777.69
9 May
2
Challenge Riccione
26:41
2:12:34
1:11:36
3:53:54
83.8965
03:48:2383.90
24 Apr
2
Challenge Gran Canaria
21:52
2:05:42
1:10:58
3:42:30
84.5698
03:37:2884.57
12 Mar
12
Challenge Miami
20:43
1:26:43
56:18
2:45:46
74.8191
02:39:4474.82
2019
Points: NaN
DatePlaceRace
Swim
Bike
Run
OverallAITPoints
14 Dec
2
Challenge Daytona
20:44
1:17:22
43:31
2:23:32
90.4201
02:21:3090.42
10 Nov
1
Challenge Capetown
--:--
--:--
--:--
3:46:48
84.664
03:41:4284.66
3 Nov
2
IM 70.3 Buenos Aires
--:--
--:--
--:--
3:38:46
95.9119
03:37:2695.91
19 Oct
4
Challenge Peguera
23:32
2:19:16
1:12:45
3:59:18
64.3923
03:47:1064.39
22 Sep
DNF
Challenge Madrid
--:--
--:--
--:--
--:--
08:25:41-
8 Sep
14
IM 70.3 World Championship
23:27
2:29:05
1:10:29
4:06:55
71.4205
03:56:4671.42
27 Jul
3
Challenge Prague
--:--
--:--
--:--
3:59:04
68.1519
03:48:1068.15
23 Jun
3
IM 70.3 Elsinore
21:07
2:05:32
1:09:08
3:41:03
84.7293
03:36:0684.73
2 Jun
2
IM 70.3 Switzerland
22:53
2:08:48
1:14:25
3:49:29
80.5153
03:42:5880.52
18 May
2
Challenge Lisboa
--:--
--:--
--:--
3:51:39
63.4183
03:39:3663.42
4 May
2
ITU Long Distance
20:37
2:52:17
1:53:39
5:11:21
73.2754
04:59:2173.28
7 Apr
2
Challenge Salou
23:08
2:08:32
1:13:19
3:48:02
79.6123
03:41:1679.61
2018
Points: NaN
DatePlaceRace
Swim
Bike
Run
OverallAITPoints
20 Oct
1
Challenge Peguera
23:43
2:13:33
1:13:34
3:54:08
76.3642
03:46:0776.36
23 Sep
2
Challenge Madrid
46:13
5:24:53
3:09:08
9:23:01
65.0883
08:55:0065.09
12 Aug
2
Challenge Finland
24:21
2:02:50
1:12:04
3:42:20
72.6341
03:33:3472.63
28 Jul
2
Challenge Prague
21:21
2:04:11
1:19:54
3:50:53
79.5139
03:44:0079.51
14 Jul
1
ITU Long Distance
36:56
2:51:19
1:47:39
5:19:30
85.7567
05:12:4985.76
27 May
2
Challenge Salou
22:56
2:07:33
1:16:09
3:46:38
71.3658
03:37:1871.37
19 May
1
Challenge Lisboa
--:--
--:--
--:--
3:39:11
54.6857
03:25:1454.69
21 Apr
1
Challenge Gran Canaria
26:05
2:21:31
1:09:25
4:00:25
73.6735
03:51:1773.67
15 Apr
2
Challenge Roma Half
--:--
--:--
--:--
3:24:11
45.6167
03:08:4745.62
2017
Points: NaN
DatePlaceRace
Swim
Bike
Run
OverallAITPoints
27 Aug
DNF
ITU Long Distance
--:--
--:--
--:--
--:--
0
--
28 May
5
Challenge Salou
24:00
1:58:28
1:06:43
3:29:11
47.3292
03:13:5247.33
2016
Points: NaN
DatePlaceRace
Swim
Bike
Run
OverallAITPoints
16 Oct
9
Challenge Peguera
23:50
2:19:54
1:20:37
4:07:03
49.4363
03:49:3849.44
18 Sep
48
WTS Cozumel
17:25
1:00:23
34:45
1:53:50
0
--
Ranking per Season
Overall
Year
Points
Position
2021
87
29
2020
271
19
2019
272
25
2018
241
57
2017
96
326
2016
49
427
Swim
Year
Points
Position
2021
98
9
2020
209
4
2019
213
4
2018
204
4
2017
158
146
2016
84
409
Bike
Year
Points
Position
2021
74
92
2020
140
122
2019
154
96
2018
147
129
2017
75
464
2016
49
574
Run
Year
Points
Position
2021
84
36
2020
174
22
2019
174
31
2018
147
93
2017
91
296
2016
39
532
TEST