Holly Lawrence dominated the swim and the bike then held on to take the women's title, while Adam Bowden ran his way to the men's title at the opening leg of the Triple Crown at Ironman 70.3 Dubai.
February 1, 2019 | NEWS|
The Nasser Bin Hamad Triple Crown, with a cool $1 million bonus, goes to any athlete who wins Ironman 70.3 Dubai, the Ironman 70.3 World Championship and the Ironman 70.3 Middle East Championship Bahrain within one calendar year. Daniela Ryf won the first Triple Crown in 2015, the only man or woman to take the big payday.
Heading into round two, this year's 70.3 worlds in Nice, there will be only two athletes with a shot at the big money - Holly Lawrence and Adam Bowden.
After leading the rest of the women by 98 seconds out of the water, Lawrence padded her lead, ending up in transition almost six minutes ahead of Germany's Anne Haug. By T2 the race had become a two-woman affair, with the speedy Haug setting out in pursuit of the 2016 Ironman 70.3 world champion. By 10 km the gap was down to 3:30. By 17 km it was just over two minutes, but from there Haug's big move stalled as Lawrence pushed for home, eventually finishing 1:38 up after a 1:20:27 half-marathon. Haug would post the fastest run split of the day, 1:16:23, to take second, with Great Britain's Sarah Lewis rounding out the podium.
Bowden powers through
Bowden led a group of eight out of the water with his 23:38 split. In that group was pre-race favorite Kristian Blummenfelt, but it was already apparent as the Norwegian ran to his bike that something was wrong - turns out he was already dealing with cramps.
France's Sébastien Fraysse pushed the early part of the bike course, but it would be Germany's Johann Ackermann who would lead the way into T2, with Bowden 13 seconds down with Fraysse, Eric Watson and Patrik Nilsson all within. (Blummenfelt would succumb to the leg cramps on the bike and have to pull out.)
Once out on the run, Bowden's 1:10:35 split was more than enough to keep him clear of Nilsson, who posted a 1:12:44 to take second. Fraysse would hang on for third.
Ironman 70.3 Dubai | Women
February 1, 2019 | Dubai, UAE
1,9 km swim
90 km bike
21,1 km run
Judith Corachán Vaquera
Ironman 70.3 Dubai | Men
February 1, 2019 |Dubai, UAE
1.9 km Swim
90 km Bike
21.1 km Run