A new era

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - FEATURES -

For years we’ve been talk­ing about how much ITU ath­letes mov­ing up to longer dis­tances are go­ing to change the dy­nam­ics of Iron­man rac­ing, but it’s re­ally been the ar­rival of Jan Fro­deno and Daniela Ryf over the last cou­ple of years be­fore we’ve truly seen the changes. There’s a rea­son we pro­filed both cham­pi­ons in our mag­a­zine ear­lier this year – they are the new face of Iron­man rac­ing. De­fend­ing cham­pion Se­bas­tian Kienle had the best swim of his Iron­man ca­reer in Kona, com­ing out of the wa­ter 2:30 down, which al­lowed him to be in the lead by the 50 km point of the ride, but the ex­tra ef­fort he ex­pended to get him­self to that po­si­tion even­tu­ally cost him the race – he faded dur­ing the lat­ter half of the bike and dur­ing the marathon even­tu­ally fin­ish­ing eighth.

While Jodie Swal­low en­joyed a lead of about a minute af­ter the swim, it didn’t take long for Ryf to catch up and force the pace on the bike. Head­ing into the turn­around in Hawi, Ryf sim­ply pulled away from ev­ery­one in the field and came off the bike seven min­utes ahead of Swal­low and never looked back. Ryf had the eighth fastest swim, fastest bike and third fastest run on the day. Fro­deno had the sec­ond fastest swim, sev­enth fastest ride and fifth fastest run.

There’s a rea­son Kienle is work­ing so hard on his swim and run abil­i­ties, and why Mirinda Car­frae was com­ing in to the race in the best swim and bike form of her ca­reer (she was un­able to show that fit­ness – see p.60). Un­less you are ex­tremely good in all three dis­ci­plines you are not go­ing to win this cham­pi­onship any­more.

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