Despite the heat, Mola was able to remain within the top tier from start to finish and then showcase his signature running speed in the final two and a half kilometres to bypass Great Britain’s Jonathan Brownlee and compatriot Fernando Alarza.
Mola said: “It was really tough. Jonny was really strong during most of the run. I am very happy for Fernando that he got second place. I felt great during the whole race. I tried to stay in the front as much as I could on the bike in order to make it a 10k run and I think things went well and I am very happy with the result.”
Running past Brownlee in the final kilometre to earn the silver was Alarza, with Brownlee ending the day with bronze.
“It was an amazing final run, I thought I was only going to get the bronze medal and then when I saw that Jonny was down, I thought now, now now, so I am very happy with the silver medal,” Alarza said. “This is for my family and for my girlfriend. I think this was my best swim, my best cycle and a good run so I am just so very happy.”
The top men all positioned themselves on the right side of the pontoon, to try and make the most of the current at the Broadwater Parklands. It was Richard Varga (SVK), as usual, who led out the swim, followed by Igor Polyanskiy (RUS), Henri Schoeman (RSA) and Jonny Brownlee.
This leading pack were joined by seven others, including Aaron Royle (AUS), Ben Kanute (USA) and Alessandro Fabian (ITA), in the first bike lap to create a 12-strong lead pack on the bike.
However with Alistair Brownlee (GBR), Ryan Fisher (AUS), Ryan Bailie (AUS), Thomas Bishop (GBR) and Mola in the chase group, the leaders were hard-pressed to make their break stick, and by the third lap the peloton then tallied 29.
An episode of breakaway attempts then occurred in the latter half of the bike leg. Alistair Brownlee was first to enjoy a solo ride and his pushed through a lap on his own. But he retreated back to the pack when he was unable to gain any company.
It was then that Ben Shaw (IRL) and Tom Bishop (GBR) went together on a breakaway push and were able to create a gap of 50 seconds and enter the second transition zone together with a slight advantage.