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On a new course that will now be rotated every year, the 2014 Ironman 70.3 World Championship took place in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, Canada. Because the race fell during the sweet spot of two years after the London Olympics and two years out from the next games in Rio, the stacked field was populated with strong ITU racers who took their speed to long course, making for some heated competition for the entire field.
It was seemingly distance-agnostic 2012 Olympians Javier Gomez (ESP) and Daniela Ryf (CHE) who took the 70.3 titles, both with impressive recent results—Gomez just earned the ITU world championship title last weekend in Edmonton, and Ryf was coming off of two Ironman wins in eight weeks as well as winning the Ironman 70.3 European Championship title.
The front pack out of the water included Javier Gomez (ESP), Jan Frodeno (DEU), Josh Amberger (AUS), Clayton Fettell (AUS) and Jimmy Seear (AUS). Frodeno took charge out in front to start the bike, with Ben Collins, Amberger and Joe Gambles (AUS) all taking the front at times to set the pace. Although there was shifting in front, a group of about 10—including Gomez and Tim Don (GBR)—stayed close during the ride. By the end of the bike, 2013 Ironman 70.3 World Champion Sebastian Kienle was more than five minutes back from the leaders.
Out of T2, Frodeno, Collins, Terenzo Bozzone (NZL) and Amberger started the run together with a 30-second gap on Gomez, but it wasn’t long before it became a battle between the 2008 Olympic gold medalist (Frodeno) and 2012 silver medalist (Gomez). Four miles in, Gomez started to pull ahead, building a gap of 25 seconds through the halfway point. Frodeno never let the gap grow too large, and kept charging through the last 5K, but it wasn’t enough to catch the versatile Gomez, who clocked a 1:09:27 half marathon (the fastest of the day).
Gomez crossed first in 3:41:30, followed by Frodeno in 3:42:11, and Don—also a former Olympian—stayed strong to make his way into third in 3:44:38. Behind the podium came a solid performance by Lionel Sanders (CAN), who posted the fastest bike split (2:04:14) then ran his way to fourth with a third-fastest 1:11:22 after leaving T2 3:10 down from the leaders. Nils Frommhold (DEU) rounded out the top five.
Dominant swimmer Jodie Swallow (GBR) led the women’s pack out of the water in 23:59, trailed by Helle Frederiksen (DNK), Annabel Luxford (AUS), Mary Beth Ellis (USA) and Daniela Ryf (SWZ). The group of five went to work on the bike to create a gap of over a minute early on to the rest of the field. Behind them, Ironman 70.3 Mont-Tremblant winner Meredith Kessler was pushing the pace with a second group.
Ryf made a move around 35 miles into the bike to extend her lead ahead of the group, and by the time she left T2 she had 2:45 on second-place Swallow. Swallow was steadily chipping away seconds on the lead but it wasn’t enough to get within striking distance, leaving Ryf untouched during the run. The true battle was behind them for third place, with Kessler and Heather Wurtele (CAN) gunning to make up ground on Ellis. At the halfway point, the trio was within 30 seconds of each other, but with two miles to go, Wurtele solidified her spot in the top three using her 1:22:19 half marathon. Ryf crossed the line in 4:09:19 to win her first 70.3 world championship title, Swallow came in second in 4:11:43 and Wurtele claimed third in 4:14:55, followed by Kessler and Ellis.
Ironman 70.3. World Championship
Sept. 7, 2014 – Mont-Tremblant, Canada
1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run
1. Javier Gomez (ESP) 3:41:30
2. Jan Frodeno (DEU) 3:42:11
3. Tim Don (GBR) 3:44:38
4. Lionel Sanders (CAN) 3:46:03
5. Nils Frommhold (DEU) 3:46:25
6. Joe Gambles (AUS) 3:46:34
7. Tim Reed (AUS) 3:47:07
8. Bart Aernouts (BEL) 3:48:05
9. Terenzo Bozzone (NZL) 3:48:20
10. Will Clarke (GBR) 3:48:44
1. Daniela Ryf (CHE) 4:09:19
2. Jodie Swallow (GBR) 4:11:43
3. Heather Wurtele (CAN) 4:14:55
4. Meredith Kessler (USA) 4:16:03
5. Mary Beth Ellis (USA) 4:17:03
6. Radka Vodickova (CZE) 4:17:47
7. Lisa Huetthaler (AUT) 4:18:16
8. Svenja Bazlen (GEO) 4:18:48
9. Rachel McBride (CAN) 4:19:52
10. Magali Tisseyre (CAN) 4:20:38