Port Elizabeth displayed exactly why the city is a world class event destination yesterday as defending IRONMAN 70.3 world champion Daniela Ryf of Switzerland took full advantage of the perfect conditions to reclaim her title.
Under clear skies and in front of thousands of spectators, 45 pro women lined up at Kings Beach for the start of the 2018 World Championship.
As expected, British super swimmer Lucy Charles charged to the front within moments of the start, and swam away from the field. She was first out of the water in 23 minutes, with a 1:24 lead over a chase group of about nine women that included American Sarah True, Daniela Ryf and Germany’s Anne Haug.
Ryf wasted no time reeling in Charles on the bike, and made her pass on a flat section at 37K, seemingly energized by having her in her sights.
Charles retook the lead when Ryf dropped her chain, but after a quick fix, Ryf powered back into the lead. By 60K, the duo had opened up more than a 5-minute lead over the first chase group, which was led by Haug.
The two rode alone at the front for the remainder of the bike leg, with Ryf hitting T2 first in 2:15, and Charles in 2:17.
Czech pro Radka Vodickova came off the bike in third, 7:41 behind the leader, and was followed just a couple seconds later by Imogen Simmonds of Switzerland and Haug.
Ryf was first onto the two-lap run course, with Charles just eight seconds behind her. By 10K the defending champ had stretched her lead over Charles to 1:30, with a hard-charging Haug running in third nearly seven minutes behind Ryf.
Vodickova and Simmonds worked together in 4th and 5th to try to keep Haug within reach. With 5K to go, Ryf enjoyed a nearly three-minute lead over Charles, and never looked back.
She never lost control of the race, posting a 1:16:59 run en route to a 4:01:12 finish. Charles took second in 4:04:58, and Haug held on for third in 4:07:21 with the fastest run of the day (1:15:10).
Brazil’s Pamella Oliveira ran her way into 4th place, finishing in 4:13:43, only six seconds in front of Vodickova.
“It was really challenging day,” said Ryf at the finish line. “It was a great race with a great atmosphere, and I felt like I was flying over the course.
I felt great in the swim, and think our group did a good job not losing more than a minute to Lucy. I knew I had to push hard on the bike because Lucy was powering away.
I put the hammer down, but she wouldn’t let me go. I jumped off the bike and was absolutely smashed.
The pressure was on, and I am happy I could find my legs. It was a really hard day, I have a lot of respect for Lucy.”
Full results can be found at IronMan.com
Originally from: https://eu.ironman.com/triathlon/news/articles/2018/09/ryf-wins-fourth-im703-world-title