Sebastian Kienle of Germany and Lisa Roberts of the U.S. set fast times to win Ironman Cozumel Sunday in Mexico.
Kienle combined an 8th-best 41:36 split on an unusually fast swim course, a race-best 4:10:49 split on the tabletop flat bike course, and a 4th-best 2:51:43 marathon to finish in 7:48:11 with a 5:16 margin of victory over Michael Weiss of Austria and 10:28 over 3rd place Ivan Rana of Spain.
Kienle's win gives him an early validation for his 2018 Kona entry, based on his 4th place finish at the Ironman World Championship.
Roberts overcame a 7:27 deficit after the swim and a 25:31 deficit after the bike leg with a women's-best 2:59:20 run to finish in 8:54:00 with a 4:27 margin of victory over Kirsty Jahn of Canada and 6:53 over 3rd-place Sonja Tajsich of Germany.
Rachel McBride of Canada rode to a big lead at T2 with a 2nd-best 41:52 swim and a by-far women's-fastest 4:42:47 bike split which gave her a 7 minutes lead on Angela Beranek, 17:31 on Jahn, 23:21 on Alicia Kaye of the U.S., 24:02 on Jessie Donavan of the U.S., and 25:31 on Roberts.
McBride held stubbornly to her huge lead through 21 kilometers of the run, then faded fast. By 28 kilometers, Beranek took a 19 seconds lead on Jahn, 1:55 on Roberts, 8:10 on McBride, and 8:34 on Sonja Tajsich.
With 7 kilometers to go, Roberts took the lead over Jahn as Tajsich held third, Beranek faded to 4th, and McBride went into a survival slog after her bike heroics.
After a race-best sub-3 hour marathon, Roberts finished in 8:54:00 with a 4:27 margin of victory over Jahn (3:11:54 run) and 6:53 over Tajsich (3:02:01 run).
McBride fell to 7th place with a 3:47:50 run that left her 22:27 behind Roberts.
The victory added to Roberts' 2017 triumphs at Challenge Madrid and Ironman Louisville.
They came after her disqualification at Challenge Roth for an anti-doping rule violation - failure to apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption for her use of the asthma inhaler Breo Ellipta, which contains the WADA-prohibited substance Vilanterol. Because Roberts had declared her use of the inhaler beforehand and USADA determined Roberts had mistakenly failed to apply for the TUE, USADA gave her a public warning, declared her third place finish at Roth void, and approved her TUE application so she could compete the rest of the year. The acceptance of Roberts application for a TUE for Vilanterol was based on Roberts' doctor's declaration that Roberts' asthma was not controlled by her first inhaler and that the Breo Ellipta inhaler with Vilanterol was required to treat her asthma.
November 26, 2016
S 2.4 mi. / B 112 mi. / R 26.2 mi.
1. Sebastian Kienle (GER) 7:48:11 S 41:36 B 4:11:01 R 2:51:43
2. Michael Weiss (AUT) 7:53:27 S 44:56 B 4:12:57 R 2:50:47
3. Ivan Rana (ESP) 7:58:39 S 39L18 B 4:31:39 R 2:43:41
4. Stefan Schmid (GER) 7:59:44 S 41:43 B 4:25:45 R 2:47:53
5. Trevor Delsaut (FRA) 8:07:10 S 41:47 B 4:29:08 R 2:52:16
1. Lisa Roberts (USA) 8:54:00 S 49:16 B 5:00:09 R 2:59:20
2. Kirsty Jahn (CAN) 8:58:27 S 44:53 B 4:56:43 R 3:11:54
3. Sonja Tajsich (GER) 9:00:53 S 51:07 B 5:02:28 R 3:02:01
4. Anja Beranek (GER) 9:03:41 S 41:50 B 4:48:50 R 3:28:12
5. Sue Huse (CAN) 9:13:18 S NA B NA R 3:13:52
6. Jessie Donavan (USA) 9:14:49 S 54:50 B 4:53:23 R 3:22:08
7. Rachel McBride (CAN) 9:16:27 S 41:52 B 4:42:47 R 3:47:50