Ryf reclaims 70.3 world crown
Ryf wins Ironman 70.3 world champ for the third time while GB’s Emma Pallant puts in stunning performance to take silver
@danielaryf is your new Icy Hot IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion! 🏊🚴🏃🏆 Photo by Talbot Cox #IM703WC #ironmantri #swimbikerun #triathlon
Held in Chattanooga in Tennessee the strong pro women field for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships included the 2015 world champ Daniela Ryf and 2016 world champ Holly Lawrence, as well as Olympic triathlete Sarah True, who has made the move to middle distance racing this year
USA’s Lauren Brandon led the swim in the Tennessee River with Haley Chura in second and True in third while eventual winner Daniela Ryf from Switzerland exited the water 40secs behind in the chase group. Defending champ Holly Lawrence exited 2:17mins behind, and GB’s Emma Pallant 23secs behind her.
The leading three maintained their lead for the first few miles but Ryf started closing as soon as she hit the bike and at 5 miles was in the lead with Chura in 2nd, and True in 3rd.
Defending champ Lawrence managed to make some time up and briefly got to second place, but then retired at 25 miles.
“I just didn’t have it from the start,” she said.
Ryf finished the hilly, technical bike course, almost 9 minutes in front of the next competitor—Germany's Laura Philipp, who had put in a sterling bike performance.
Those in the chasing group included Brit Emma Pallant who ran into second place within a mile of T2, and maintained it till the end, earning the race-best run split (1:19:48), finishing just 6:30mins behind Ryf.
"It was one of these races you wish to have at a world championship," Ryf said. "It was not perfect—I lost my nutrition at 5k on the bike and I wasn't sure I was going to make it through the bike. I grabbed everything I could at the aid stations."
Philipp remained consistent to hold on to third, with 70.3 newcomer True finishing in fourth.