Britain’s Joe Skipper beasts bike leg at Ironman Texas

Course record-breaking bike split of 4:10:07 propels Brit to silver

Despite hot and humid conditions, British pro Joe Skipper put in the race of his life at Ironman Texas last Saturday (16 May) to claim silver, breaking the course bike record along the way with a 4:10:07 split.

The men’s race started with Todd Skipworth (AUS), Barrett Brandon (USA), and Ben Hoffman (USA) taking the early lead on the swim at Lake Woodlands. It was Todd Skipworth (AUS), Barrett Brandon (USA), Faris Al-Sultan (GER), and Jeremy Jurkiewicz (FRA) who entered T1 first however, just slightly ahead of Hoffman and Andreas Raelert (GER).

By the halfway point, Hoffman's strong riding put him back at the front, with Lionel Sanders (CAN) and Joe Skipper (GBR) behind him. Sanders and Skipper eventually bridged the gap to Hoffman, putting their race-best bike splits to use, with Skipper taking the lead shortly afterwards. 

Once out onto the run, Sanders chiseled away patiently at Skipper's lead, but it was Matt Hanson (USA) who upped the pace and took the lead after the halfway point, with Skipper holding fast and Sanders eventually struggling from the heat and fading. 

Hanson's course-record 8:07:04 landed him the win and a ticket to the Ironman World Championship in October, as Skipper finished in second and Ronnie Schildknecht (SUI) working his way into third.

Women’s race

2012 Kona champ Leanda Cave (GBR) and 2013 Kona runner-up Rachel Joyce (GBR) led the swim from the start, with Katy Blakemore (USA) joining the leaders 15mins in to the swim. Into the canal, the three leaders had a minute on the rest of the field.

Out onto the rolling bike course, Joyce and Cave played cat and mouse up until around the halfway point, when Angela Naeth (CAN), blazed to the front.

Naeth barely managed to hold off Cave through the end of the bike, beating her into T2 by only a few seconds. Joyce entered 2:10mins back, losing a minute in the last 10mins of the bike. Corinne Abraham (GBR) stole the show on the bike with her race-best 4:40hr split.

Naeth headed out of T2 onto the run first with Cave following. Abraham started the run with a 3:30min deficit off the leaders, with Rachel Joyce almost five minutes back.

Angela Naeth wins Ironman Texas 2015

Naeth and Cave ran shoulder to shoulder until mile five, when Cave began to falter and Naeth seized the opportunity to pull away – a lead she'd go on to extend by about two minutes.

Cave held strong for second while Rachel Joyce managed to fend off a fading field behind her to take the final podium place. 

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