Ben Kanute continued his 70.3-racing excellence with an impressive win at Ironman 70.3 Texas.
April 8, 2018 | NEWS|
After the big showdown in Oceanside yesterday between Jan Frodeno and Lionel Sanders, many triathlon fans were anxious to see how Sebastian Kienle would fare today as he took on a tough field at Ironman 70.3 Texas. Early this morning, though, the 2014 Ironman world champion announced that he had to pull out of the race.
"Unfortunately I have to make a smart decision and withdraw from today’s
#IM703Texas," Kienle said via Twitter. "One of those problems nobody really likes to talk about. Gutted. I wish everybody a great race today."
It's not as though that suddenly left a door open for the rest of the field - with athletes like Ben Kanute, Andrew Starykowicz and Michael Weiss in the field, Kienle might have been a race favorite, but he was going to be facing some stiff competition.
As we learned when we caught up with Kanute earlier this year, the runner-up from last year's Ironman 70.3 World Championship plans to hit a balance of super-fast ITU races (with a spot in Tokyo on the Mixed Relay in mind) while also pursuing another passion - 70.3 racing - through 2018. The American had an incredible season last year with impressive results over a variety of distances - fifth at Ironman 70.3 St. George, that runner-up finish in Chattanooga and a big win at the Island House Triathlon to go along with numerous appearances for the US in sprint, Olympic and relay races at ITU events. He appears to be on track for more of the same this year after a runner-up finish at the Cam-Tri Championship draft-legal race in Sarasota followed by an impressive almost-wire-to-wire win at Ironman 70.3 Texas.
Kanute led the way out of the water, but couldn't hold off super-cyclist Andrew Starykowicz on the bike, rolling into T2 1:39 behind the American uber-biker. Weiss was 5:37 behind Starykowicz heading out onto the run course.
It didn't take long before Kanute was back in the lead - at 3 km the deficit was 11 seconds and a few hundred meters later Kanute was in front and would never look back. Weiss put together an incredible 1:11 run split to move his way to second, while Starykowicz managed to hold off countryman Matt Hanson by just 18 seconds to round out the podium.
1.9 km Swim
90 km Bike
21.1 km Run