Daniela Ryf didn't make it look as easy as she did a year ago, but still managed to dominate Challenge Roth as she defends her title.
July 9, 2017 | NEWS|
Daniela Ryf looked her usual unbeatable self for much of the bike ride in Roth today, but during the closing stages of the run appeared to struggle, but still managed a 3:06 marathon, which was more than enough to allow her to defend her title.
Out of the water this morning Ryf was in the lead, but just seconds behind was Heather Wurtele, who appeared ready to challenge the Swiss world champ here in Roth. About six-minutes down was Laura Siddall (GBR) and Yvonne Van Vlerken (NED), who gunned out of T2 together, marking the beginnings of a duel that would continue through the early stages of the run.
Ryf appeared on track for the course-record she had hoped to go after through the first half of the bike, but then the wind picked up and she dropped off the pace. She still came into T2 with a sizeable lead and seemed destined to easily defend her title. We knew that Ryf was coming off an injury, so it probably shouldn't have come as too much of a surprise that she would falter over the final kms of the run. We got reports that she was struggling, but still cruised across the line over 11-minutes up.
Wurtele was quickly spat out of the back of the Ryf train and found herself in a heated battle with a number of age group men, trying to stay in a legal position but also trying to ride aggressively to keep herself from losing too much time to Ryf. After getting a drafting penalty shortly after the start of the second loop, Wurtele decided to call it a day rather than deal with the five minute penalty along with an added 1.5 km run. That left Siddall and Van Vlerken to duel through the bike ride. It was Siddall who led the way off the bike and onto the run course. Once there, the Brit (who finished fourth here last year and seemed determined to move up to the podium this year) never looked back and held tough for the runner up spot.
Van Vlerken, who was coming off her own injury issues after a crash a few weeks ago, struggled in the marathon, as well, and would be passed by American Lisa Roberts - her 2:56 marathon allowed her to round out the podium.
Challenge Roth | Women
July 9, 2017 | Roth, Germany
3.8 km Swim
180 km Bike
42 km Run
Yvonne van Vlerken
Julie von Gruenigen