Daniela Ryf Defends Her Title at Kona World Championship

Felt Bicycles Daniela_Ryf IA Disc Kona 2018
In the week leading up to race day, Daniela Ryf’s primary focus was maintaining a consistent series of easy runs, light swims, and plenty of time aboard her new Felt IA Disc in order to ensure her pedaling legs were feeling strong. Photo: Corey Seip / Felt Bicycles
Felt Bicycles Daniela_Ryf IA Disc Kona 2018
Daniela Ryf had the option of riding either her old Felt IA rim brake-equipped bike, or the new IA Disc. She opted for the IA Disc, citing its enhanced stiffness and improved handling. Photo: Corey Seip / Felt Bicycles
Felt Bicycles Daniela_Ryf IA Disc Kona 2018
Daniela Ryf knows the Queen K Highway as well as anyone, and says it’s still one of her favorites places to ride her bike, competition or not. Photo: Corey Seip / Felt Bicycles
Felt Bicycles Daniela_Ryf IA Disc Kona 2018
The road to Hawi is one of the most iconic elements of the Kona bike course, and Daniela Ryf has always made it a top priority to become as familiar with the road as possible. Photo: Corey Seip / Felt Bicycles
Felt Bicycles Daniela_Ryf IA Disc Kona 2018
Every triathlete dreams of racing on the lava fields of Kona, one of the most unique racecourses in the world. Photo: Corey Seip / Felt Bicycles
Felt Bicycles Daniela_Ryf IA Disc Kona 2018
Head down and fully committed, Daniela Ryf made sure to put the power down on a few training rides in the days leading up to her Kona title defense. Photo: Corey Seip / Felt Bicycles
Felt Bicycles Daniela_Ryf IA Disc Kona 2018
For fans and age-group racers, alike, there’s no better time to get up close and personal with their favorite pro athletes (and to check out the latest gear and tech) than at the Kona check-in. Photo: Corey Seip / Felt Bicycles
Felt Bicycles Daniela_Ryf IA Disc Kona 2018
After being stung by a jellyfish two minutes before the start of the race, Daniela Ryf had some ground to make up on her rivals during the bike leg. Photo: Corey Seip / Felt Bicycles
Felt Bicycles Daniela_Ryf IA Disc Kona 2018
Daniela Ryf would go on to break the bike course record at Kona aboard her Felt IA Disc (to say nothing of a new overall course record she’d claim by day’s end). Photo: Corey Seip / Felt Bicycles
Felt Bicycles Daniela_Ryf IA Disc Kona 2018
This was the race’s biggest moment. After starting the bike leg over nine minutes down on rival Lucy Charles, Daniela Ryf passes Charles to take the lead on the Queen K Highway. As one witness noted, “Daniela passed Lucy like she was standing still, and never looked back.” Photo: Corey Seip / Felt Bicycles
Felt Bicycles Daniela_Ryf IA Disc Kona 2018
After breaking the bike course record and heading into T2 with a lead, Daniela Ryf just needed a strong run to close out the day. Photo: Corey Seip / Felt Bicycles
Felt Bicycles Daniela_Ryf IA Disc Kona 2018
Daniela Ryf ran a 2:57:05 marathon, which helped her break the overall Kona course record, and still had some energy to celebrate with fans on her way through the finishing chute. Photo: Corey Seip / Felt Bicycles
Felt Bicycles Daniela_Ryf IA Disc Kona 2018
For four straight years, this is all that competitors would see of Daniela Ryf as she rode or ran her way off to a world championship.
Daniela Ryf
Daniela Ryf has now won four consecutive Kona World Championships, a feat shared with only one other woman—the great Paula Newby-Fraser. Ryf is also the reigning Bike Course and Overall Course Record Holder.