Daniela Ryf is fantastic in Frankfurt

It's hard to imagine how the day could have been much better for Daniela Ryf, who finished in seventh place overall, just 38 minutes behind the men's winner. Her thoughts after her impressive win at the Ironman European Championship.

| July 12, 2018 | PERSONALITY

Daniela Ryf wins the Ironman European Championship in Hamburg.

Daniela Ryf wins the Ironman European Championship in Hamburg.

Photo >Kevin Mackinnon

So how good was Daniela Ryf's race in Frankfurt in taking the Ironman European Championship? Ryf finished seventh overall, less than 38 minutes behind men's champion Jan Frodeno. Her 8:38:44 annihilated her old course record of 8:51 set while winning the race in 2015. In fact, her own times were her only competition - after coming out of the water with super-rookie Sarah True, Ryf proceeded to bike away from the rest of the field - her 4:40:55 was over 25 minutes faster than any of the other women.

Ryf was justifiably satisfied with her race. Heading into just her second race of the season, she said that she was "looking forward to testing herself." Needless to say, she passed the test, even by her standards.

"It was one of the days when I felt like I pushed and pushed and didn’t get tired," she said after the race. "It was a really amazing feeling. I think coming down from altitude really helps, you really feel your lungs are able to give you more and the muscles also felt strong. I am really happy with my bike performance, it felt like I was flying all along the course. The wind was really good – it was coming from the side and really pushed you forward. It was good to see that the changes we did with my set up seemed to work and definitely the form – it’s all coming together well and today – it was very nice to see in numbers."

The race in Frankfurt marked a huge difference from where Ryf was a year ago as she competed at Challenge Roth. After suffering through much of the spring with back issues, she was just happy to get through the race in Roth in one piece.

"It was very hard with the back issues," she said. "You like to ride your bike and you like to push hard and I couldn’t really do that. Now, this year, it was very different. I’ve had a lot of turbo sessions and a lot of strength work. To be able to race and not have any pain is amazing. I look back to South Africa last year where I was really fragile and I didn’t know if my back was going to cramp or get a nerve twitch. It feels great to be healthy and to be able to show my best potential"

Ryf didn't just "show her potential," she made it abundantly clear to the rest of the women with world champion aspirations that they will have to come up with something very special if they are going to beat Ryf if she's at her best, as she was in Frankfurt.