A critical look at the weekend's racing

The Crank is back with his thoughts on the exciting racing from this weekend, along with some more on Super League.

| April 3, 2017 | NEWS

Jan Frodeno deals with a flat at Ironman 70.3 Oceanside.

Jan Frodeno deals with a flat at Ironman 70.3 Oceanside.

Photo >Felix Rüdiger / Plan A GmbH

Daniela Ryf’s win was a good one in South Africa b,ut we all expected that. Not that we want to dismiss the win streak that Ryf has got going, but name one person who tipped against Ryf in this race? Kaisa Lehtonen was another big winner in this one as she got it done and went sub-nine hours and sub-three hours in the marathon. A great day all round for the flying Finn.

When you break eight hours in an Ironman these days you can’t expect to win. Once again two sub-eight hour days in South Africa were recorded. Ben Hoffman superb in first (7:58) and Nils Frommhold superb in second (7:59).

The WTF award this week goes to Jan Frodeno for ruining our weekend with his puncture! We always want to see big athlete showdowns and no one wants to see a race decided by a lack of air.

In saying that the Colonel, Lionel Sanders, was a boss and took Oceanside on the weekend. That guy can bike and he set up his win courtesy of a good ol' two wheel smacking.

Holly Lawrence was a step above the rest too in Oceanside. Her bike too set up finish line all to herself.

Young Aussie hotshot Ellie Salthouse is still head turning. A second in Oceanside ahead of the likes of the two Heathers (Wurtele and Jackson) just adds to her experience and her rep as a 70.3 threat.

The “Welcome Back Kotter’ Award heads to Rachel Joyce, who is back to the pro ranks and took seventh in Oceanside.

Richard Murray continues his string of form with a win in New Plymouth. Fresh off his Super League pay day, Murray shrugged off a 12 second T2 to win. And if Super League has taught me right, the wacky funster probably broke a rule or two on the way.

And in the women’s race in New Plymouth seconds were everything as Katie Zaferes won and the women’s podium in New Plymouth was separated by New Plymouth.

Jenni Seymour wins the ‘Ninja Stealth” award for her win in China with a come from behind victory. On the men’s side Tim Don beat the aviator Jesse Thomas in race he owned in Liuzhou.

You know seeing all these great 70.3 names and results racing around the world this weekend is just another reason to corral the pros and have some big fields, paid deeper and more, racing. We don’t see 70.3 triathlon going full "Top Gun" often enough.

Ever tried to sell anyone some air? Sure, they achieved this in the Lorax, but this ain’t Doc Suess. Super League gained some notoriety a couple of weeks back because it did not host a women’s race. And for those paddling that canoe, you can understand their logic given that triathlon has always had a high rate of equality in racing (if not numbers). But here’s the rub. Race one of Super League was a proof of concept. This race simply acted as a way to gain marketing collateral and a test race to see if this crew was ready to host something like this. Short answer was they ticked a few boxes there. Now, in a press release issued last week, Super League’s commitment was underlined to get women on the bill. So hold the vitriol until they don’t deliver in race two.