Austria’s Michael Weiss defended his 2013 title thanks to a dominant performance on the bike, while 2012 Olympic gold medalist Nicola Spirig grabbed the win in her debut at the distance.
Weiss came out of the water in 20th position just over six minutes down on swim leader Peru Alfaro (ESP). The Austrian quickly erased that gap and took over the lead by the 55K mark of the bike. Weiss’ pedal-to-the-metal bike strategy – and bike split of 4:22:20 – earned him an advantage of 15:54 over Clemente Alonso McKernan (ESP) and 15:58 over Matt Chrabot (USA) at the end of 112 miles of biking. Weiss used a 2:55:22 marathon to maintain his lead to the finish line, defending his title with a time of 8:12:16. Chrabot finished second at 8:29:50, with Alsonso McKernan rounding out the top three at 8:30:17.
Switzerland’s Celine Schaerer, the Czech Republic’s Lucie Zelenkova, Spirig and Ruth Nivon Machoud (MEX) led the women out of the water, with contenders Michelle Vesterby (DEN), Kelly Williamson (USA) and others following over two minutes back. Corrie Kristick (USA), Vesterby, Celine Schaerer (SUI) and Spirig made up a front group early, earning a more-than-four-minute lead at the 55K mark. Vesterby eventually broke away on her own, grabbing a 2:10 lead over Spirig, 5:51 over Schaerer and 11:36 over Kristick to end the bike. Vesterby had a quick transition and had a solid advantage to start the bike, but it was evident Spirig would likely take the lead thanks to her solid running legs. Spirig, who ran a 2:38 standalone marathon at the European Athletics Championships earlier this year, earned the top spot at the 20K mark. Her 3:06:19 marathon gave her the first Ironman victory of her career at 9:14:07. Don’t expect to see her going after a Kona spot next year as the Olympic champion will now turn her focus to qualifying for the 2016 Rio team. Vesterby held strong, claiming second in 9:17:30. Williamson ran a 2:57:02 marathon to grab third in 9:24:41.
Cozumel, Mexico – Nov. 30, 2014
2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run
1. Michael Weiss (AUT) 8:12:16
2. Matt Chrabot (USA) 8:12:16
3. Clemente Alonso McKernan (ESP) 8:30:17
4. Trevor Delsaut (FRA) 8:35:54
5. Jonathan Shearon (USA) 8:45:41
1. Nicola Spirig (SUI) 9:14:07
2. Michelle Vesterby (DEN) 9:17:30
3. Kelly Williamson (USA) 9:24:41
4. Celine Schaerer (SUI) 9:38:20
5. Lucie Zelenkova (CZE) 9:50:11