Pro fields, superstars and more thoughts from the Crank

Josh Amberger has arrived, Alistair Brownlee can suffer, Flora Duffy's amazing day, Rachel Joyce is back and much more from the Crank.

| June 13, 2017 | NEWS

Rachel Joyce wins our \"Welcome back Kotter\" award with her win at Ironman Boulder.

Rachel Joyce wins our "Welcome back Kotter" award with her win at Ironman Boulder.

Photo >Donald Miralle/IRONMAN

Josh Amberger showed that a strong bike can translate into a strong run. His 4:17/ 2:53 puts him in the “I’m a threat every day of the week" category.

Sarah Crowley used a masterful swim to win Ironman Cairns this weekend. Swim/ Gap/ Bike/ Run.

Is Trip Hipple the best pro name in the triathlon world?

"ToinTri" Tim O’Donnell was the man in Boulder. He towered above the rest of the field and was in a league of his own as he destroyed the rest. His bike/ run combo included a stellar 2:53 run. Memo to O’Donnell: bottle that form for Kona! O’Donnell is a man with vast experience and, if he brings that game to the Big Island, he will once again go deep.

The “Welcome Back Kotter” award has to head to Rachel Joyce. Joyce is back in town and, with another Ironman win (Boulder), has once again laid claim to her position as one of the top flight triathletes in the world.

Heather Jackson continues her run of consistency with another podium. She was the only other athlete on course in Boulder to test Joyce.

Another ITU race, another Brownlee win. But this quote from the ITU will tell you all you need to know about the Brownlee psyche. Commenting on how the chase pack were close at one point, Alistair said, “when it was that close, Jonny said ‘let’s call it a day now and give up’, and I just said ‘No, let’s keep working because they’ve still got to catch us at the end of the day’ and the time started going out. We just kept working hard and we stretched it out. We had to work a lot harder in the first two or three laps in the city center circuit than we’ve had to work before and that tired us out quite a bit.” The man is willing to suffer.

Flora Duffy was a rock star in Leeds. Her win time of 90 secs in ITU terms is the equivalent to a four touchdown NFL win, a straight-sets tennis victory, a 60 point AFL win ... you get the picture.

A good field was on hand at 70.3 Switzerland. Wild, Cunnama, Küng, Van Berkel and Schildknecht put on a good show. Wild's win was a good one. Looked like another stroll for Ryf in Rapperswil.

Sebastian Kienle was in another postal code in Kraichgau this weekend. Of course we know this guy is good, but an 11-minute win in a 70.3?

Seven women raced at 70.3 Kraichgau, separated at the end by over an hour. What the? That said, Laura Philipp had an impressive day - a 12-minute win over Yvonne Van Vlerken, who is a class athlete.

Looking at the results across the world this weekend there is a very clear line between the haves and the have nots. There might never be a better time for a pro class division than now.

Mixed relay gets into the Olympics in 2020. I did make the comment that this "dilutes the sport" further. There will be more on this in the coming days. However, it does allow triathlon to get more than one day in the Olympic sun and it does allow greater reward for athletes who want to earn the rings.

Sam Appleton's story is a good one and it keeps on getting better. His win at Eagleman saw him alone at the end. Appleton was a class above the rest of the pros racing.

How are you swimming 1:15 in an Ironman and calling yourself a pro? You can’t leave the water 18 minutes down.