Triathlon Magazine Canada - - FEATURES -

Cwhen­ever some­one asked me to pre­dict the women’s race, I of­fered two sce­nar­ios: re­ally boring if the Daniela Ryf I saw “rock­ing Roth” (where she smiled her way through an 8:22 per­for­mance, lit­er­ally danc­ing across the fin­ish line to record the sec­ond-fastest full-dis­tance time ever) ap­peared, or re­ally ex­cit­ing if we saw the same woman who “strug­gled” to fourth in Mooloolaba.

Un­for­tu­nately for the rest of the women, the “Roth Ryf” was on the Big Is­land for this year’s race.

It didn’t look like that at first. Out of the wa­ter the women’s race looked like we were go­ing to fi­nally wit­ness a close con­tin­gent bat­tling things out on the bike, sim­i­lar to what we’re used to in the men’s race.

Led by Mered­ith Kessler (52:46), 12 women came out of the wa­ter within nine sec­onds of each other. Fol­low­ing Kessler you had 2012 champ Le­anda Cave, Ironman Asia-pa­cific cham­pion Jodie Swal­low, Annabel Lux­ford, Cana­dian-turned-amer­i­can (but we’ll still claim her) Alicia Kaye, Mary Beth El­lis, Camilla Pedersen, Ryf, Ger­many’s Anja Ber­anek, Lau­rel Wass­ner, Michelle Vesterby and Katja Kon­sh­cak.

Car­frae would exit the wa­ter four min­utes down along­side Cana­dian Heather Wurtele, while an­other of the race favourites, Melissa Hauschildt, would hit the bike course six min­utes be­hind the lead­ers.

Once out on the bike course Kessler and Vesterby seemed to be the most ag­gres­sive rid­ers dur­ing the early por­tions of the race, with Kaye even pop­ping up at the front on oc­ca­sion. Then, just as we were pre­par­ing ourselves for a group ride up to Hawi, Ryf took off. Fright­en­ing Ryf fact: she didn’t even think she was tak­ing off. “We were all just tak­ing turns at the front,” she would say later at the press con­fer­ence. “I went to the front and then no one came by.”

Ryf then pro­ceeded to ride away from the group. Only Ber­anek would try to stay with the de­fend­ing cham­pion, which she man­aged to do un­til the turn in Hawi, at which point Ryf sim­ply used her in­cred­i­ble power to fly away on the down­hill and leave the Ger­man in no-women’s land.

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