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Americans Ben Hoffman and Alicia Kaye were victorious on Sunday in Calgary, but the day didn’t come without its share of controversy. Canada’s Magali Tisseyre took the finisher’s tape and was crowned the female winner, but was later disqualified for going off course. In the men’s race, it came down to a sprint finish between Americans Andy Potts and Ben Hoffman with Hoffman gaining an edge in the chute.
The men’s race was a close battle between Potts and Hoffman—who will both be top contenders heading into October’s Ironman World Championship. Potts had a 45-second advantage out of the swim over a large chase group that included Hoffman. Hoffman posted the fastest bike split to catch Potts and the two entered T2 within a few seconds of each other. The pair turned in nearly identical run splits, with Hoffman taking the victory by a mere two seconds at 3:50:43. Potts was second in 3:50:45, with Justin Metzler making it an all-American podium in third at 3:57:01.
The swim for the pro women was full of confusion, with Lauren Brandon (USA) emerging first at 25:51, followed by Tisseyre at 26:23, Emma-Kate Lidbury (GBR) at 27:23, Robin Pomeroy (USA) at 27:27 and Kaye at 27:23. There was reportedly immediate speculation about the fact that various athletes seemed to take different paths to reach the swim finish. It’s unclear at this point if other athletes (including professional men and age groupers) were also affected on the swim course. Tisseyre rode to first and started the run in the top spot, with a 1:58 advantage over Brandon and a 2:23 advantage over Kaye. Tisseyre was first at the finish line and was crowned the winner, with Kaye crossing in second at 4:12:09. After the race, Tisseyre was disqualified for going off course, making Kaye the winner.
Race organizers later tweeted a statement saying, “There were issues this morning with our swim course which caused many athletes to be confused. We are reviewing the problems and seeking the best solution to all athletes involved.”
Tisseyre also reacted to the news on Twitter saying, “Very frustrating DQ. Would have been nice if it had been mentioned that.most of the pro field went off course on the swim.”
Ironman 70.3 Calgary
Calgary, Canada – July 26, 2015
1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run
1. Ben Hoffman (USA) 3:50:43
2. Andy Potts (USA) 3:50:45
3. Justin Metzler (USA) 3:57:01
4. Matt Lieto (USA) 3:57:57
5. Chris Leiferman (USA) 2:58:20
1. Alicia Kaye (USA) 4:12:09
2. Mlindi Elmore (CAN) 4:26:12
3. Lauren Brandon (USA) 4:27:06
4. Emma-Kate Lidbury (GBR) 4:29:50
5. Erin Spitler (USA) 4:30:21
*Results are still unofficial. Will post final results once confirmed.