Photos: Lightning, Rain, and Dominance at the 2021 70.3 World Championships

Check out the epic day.

Photo: Nils Nilsen

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The 70.3 World Championship race in St. George, Utah delivered all kinds of drama: A storm that blew in, two defending champions, and an Olympic gold medalist finishing despite a mechanical knocking him out of contention.

Lucy-Charles Barclay led from start to finish, riding away from a chase group trying to ride her down and then running the fastest women’s split of the day as the skies opened up—while defending champion Daniela Ryf had the rare off day and struggled with ongoing health issues. Behind the Brit with the battle braids, teammates Jeanni Metzler and 23-year-old Taylor Knibb battled for second all the way to the line.

In the men’s race, defending champion Gustav Iden took the lead on the climb and descent in Snow Canyon and was never caught again, running the fastest half-marathon of the day to finish in a stunning 3:37. Behind him, up-and-coming Sam Long pulled away from the chase group on the run and took his first major world podium.

Read the full race coverage, and check out the photos of the race—where the slogan was “Rise to It.”

The race started as the sun came up at Sand Hollow State Park. (Photo: Nils Nilsen)
Lucy Charles-Barclay prepares for the day in the dark. (Photo: Nils Nilsen)
The pro men lined up for an aggressive start. (Photo: Nils Nilsen)
The front group of men exited the water about a minute up on Gustav Iden, who said he fractured a rib during the swim. (Photo: Nils Nilsen)
The men stayed in a group of about ten until Iden broke away in Snow Canyon. (Photo: Nils Nilsen)
Sam Appleton ultimately finished 9th. (Photo: Nils Nilsen)
Ellie Salthouse rides a few minutes down on the leades. (Photo: Nils Nilsen)
Jeanni Metzler was in the chase pack behind Lucy Charles-Barclay out of the swim, but came into T2 in a group two minutes down on Taylor Knibb. (Photo: Nils Nilsen)
Nine-time world champion Daniela Ryf had the rare off day, finishing 11th and citing ongoing health issues. (Photo: Nils Nilsen)
Holly Lawrence rode with the chase group, but wasn’t able to close on the run and finished 8th. (Photo: Nils Nilsen)
Lucy Charles-Barclay led from start all the way to finish. (Photo: Nils Nilsen)
As the pros hit the run a storm rolled in. Skye Moech runs along the bluff. (Photo: Nils Nilsen)
Lucy Charles-Barclay didn’t slow as lightning and thunder erupted. (Photo: Nils Nilsen)
The 25-year-old Sam Long made up a two-minute swim deficit on the bike and then ran his way to second. (Photo: Nils Nilsen)
Miki Taagholt surprised the field for fourth. (Photo: Nils Nilsen)
After a surprise win in 2019, Gustav Iden was considered a favorite this time around. (Photo: Nils Nilsen)
“Winning is a choice” is Iden’s motto. (Photo: Nils Nilsen)
Champaign bottles can be slippery. (Photo: Nils Nilsen)
After a number of second-place finishes at world championships, Lucy Charles-Barclay was thrilled to take her first world title. (Photo: Nils Nilsen)
Jeanni Metzler made the pass for second in the final miles and crossed the line an emotional 11 seconds ahead of Taylor Knibb. She said hi to her husband and parents on the broadcast, and thanked them. (Photo: Nils Nilsen)
The women’s podium. (Photo: Nils Nilsen)
Age-group athletes had to battle through the elements as the day wore on. (Photo: Nils Nilsen)
The storm made for a wet and later steamy run. (Photo: Nils Nilsen)
Many of the female age-group athletes were caught on the bike in the downpour. (Photo: Nils Nilsen)
The new two-loop run course was considered harder by most. (Photo: Nils Nilsen)
Headed home. (Photo: Nils Nilsen)

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