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O’Donnell, Cave Take Ironman 70.3 Florida

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The United States’ Tim O’Donnell and Great Britain’s Leanda Cave turned in fast performances to win today’s Ironman 70.3 Florida triathlon on the grounds of Walt Disney World. O’Donnell took the victory thanks to narrowly edging out a fast running Viktor Zyemtsev of Ukraine. Cave’s win came as she dominated the rest of the women’s field by posting the fastest bike and run splits.

The day started with a group of six men exiting the water within ten seconds of each other. The pack included last year’s champion, Dirk Bockel of Luxembourg and O’Donnell. American TJ Tollakson headed onto the bike course about 30 seconds back of the lead pack. The gap didn’t phase Tollakson as he surged to the front and posted a blazing bike split of 1:59:57. Tollakson took t0 the the half-marathon course with a lead of nearly seven minutes, but his effort on the bike proved to be too much for a fast run. As Tollakson faltered, the chase pack kept a solid pace on the flat run course. O’Donnell was the first to pass Tollakson and he never looked back, crossing at 3:51:18. Zyemtsev turned in the fastest run of the day at 1:13:53 to propel himself from ninth off the bike to second at the finish line in 3:52:39. Bockel was close behind in third at 3:52:55.

The women’s race started with Florida’s own Sara McLarty posting the fastest swim of the day, men or women, at 24:11. Another American, Amanda Stevens, was second out of the water at exactly a minute later. Cave found herself in unfamiliar territory and headed onto the bike with more than two and a half minutes to make up on McLarty. There was little shuffling on the 56-mile ride, as McLarty, Stevens and Cave headed onto the run in the same order they exited the swim. Once on the run, McLarty struggled and failed to finish the race. Cave ran an impressive 1:26:29 to overpower Stevens and take the win in 4:14:22. Stevens finished second at 4:18:55, with Canada’s Magali Tisseyre taking the final podium spot at 4:23:10.

Ironman 70.3 Florida
Orlando, Florida – May 16, 2010
1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run

Men
1. Tim O’Donnell (USA) 3:51:18
2. Viktor Zyemtsev (UKR) 3:52:39
3. Dirk Bockel (LUX) 3:52:55
4. Richie Cunningham (AUS) 3:57:06
5. David Kahn (USA) 3:57:14

Women
1. Leanda Cave (GBR) 4:14:22
2. Amanda Stevens (USA) 4:18:55
3. Magali Tisseyre (CAN) 4:23:10
4. Ayesha Rollinson (CAN) 4:29:07
5. Jacqui Gordon (USA) 4:29:39