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Belgium’s Marino Vanhoenacker and Great Britain’s Bella Bayliss easily win in Klagenfurt.
Race favorites Marino Vanhoenacker of Belgium and Bella Bayliss of Great Britain did not disappoint. Each held the lead throughout the entire marathon and crossed the finish line well ahead of their fellow competitors. For Vanhoenacker, it was a record-breaking performance to earn his fourth straight victory at Ironman Austria. The victory was equally as sweet for Bella Bayliss, who finished second here last year.
Australia’s Paul Ambrose led the men out of the water with a time of 47:25. While Vanhoenacker was sixth out of the water, he found himself only trailing the leaders by 11 seconds. Vanhoenacker quickly made his intentions clear, building a significant lead over a chase group of Ambrose, Great Britain’s Stephen Bayliss, Austria’s Bernhard Hiebl, Austria’s Norbert Langbrandtner, South Africa’s Brad Storm and Sweeden’s Björn Andersson. The chase group rode close to each other through much of the bike, until Andersson worked to break away and try to catch Vanhoenacker. Heading onto the run, Andersson was five minutes back of Vanhoenacker, with the remaining chase group coming in around 12 minutes back. Vanhoenacker’s lead continued to grow early on the marathon, with Andersson falling back and the chasers unable to outpace Vanhoenacker. Vanhoenacker’s time of 8:01:38 earned him his fourth straight victory and a new course record. South African James Cunnama also ran an impressive marathon, working his way from fifth to second and earning a time of 8:14:18. Last year’s runner up, Stephen Bayliss, rounded out the podium at 8:17:06.
The Czech Republic’s Lucie Zelenkova dominated the women’s swim, exiting the water at 47:32 with the lead men. At 51:05, Austria’s Eva Dollinger emerged as the second women out of the water. Bella Bayliss was third into T1, but immediately found herself 6:28 behind her teamTbb-teammate Zelenkova. The top-three women stayed in that order through much of the bike, with Bella Bayliss working patiently and eventually catching both Zelenkova and Dollinger. Bella Bayliss led the women onto the run, with Zelenkova in second and Germany’s Sonja Tajsich in third. Dollinger faltered at the end of the bike and headed onto the run in fifth. Once on the run, it was clear that Bella Bayliss would be difficult to catch. She posted a field-leading 3:00:21 marathon to earn the victory and a time of 8:50:13. Tajsich ran the second-fastest marathon, taking the second spot at 8:59:45. Zelenkova easily claimed third at 9:07:24.
Klagenfurt, Austria – July 5, 2009
2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run
1. Marino Vanhoenacker (BEL) 8:01:38
2. James Cunnama (RSA) 8:14:18
3. Stephen Bayliss (GBR) 8:17:06
4. Bernhard Hiebl (AUT) 8:22:08
5. Frederik Van Lierde (BEL) 8:26:58
1. Bella Bayliss (GBR) 8:50:13
2. Sonja Tajsich (GER) 8:59:45
3. Lucie Zelenkova (CZE) 9:07:24
4. Eva Dollinger (AUT) 9:23:17
5. Nicole Woysch (GER) 9:29:37