Daniela Ryf will start her 2019 season in similar fashion to last year - she'll look defend her title at Ironman 70.3 Rapperswil, then head to Ironman Austria.
January 28, 2019 | NEWS|
As she did last year, Daniela Ryf will start her season in her home country as she looks to defend her title at Ironman 70.3 Rapperswil on June 2. The four-time Kona champ will then look to validate her world-championship spot five weeks later at Ironman Austria on July 7. It's the first time in a number of years that the Swiss star won't be at either the Ironman European Championship in Frankfurt or Challenge Roth, typically the two biggest full-distance races of the European season.
That said, don't be surprised if Ryf looks to rip through the speedy Ironman Austria course in a world-best time. In 2011 Marino Vanhoenacker broke the world-best time in Austria with his 7:45:48, only to have that record broken a week later at Challenge Roth by Andreas Raelert when he went 7:41:33. Chrissie Wellington's 8:18:13 was set at Challenge Roth that same year.
Ryf dominated the world scene in 2018, winning all of her races and taking her fourth Ironman 70.3 world title along with her fourth consecutive Ironman World Championship, where she shattered her previous course record with her 8:26:18 finish.
Thanks to her impressive exploits she was named Swiss Sportswoman of the Year and has been nominated World Sportswoman of the Year at the 2019 Laureas World Sports Awards. That ceremony (and announcement of the winner) will take place on February 18 in Monaco.