Filip Ospaly took his third Ironman 70.3 Austria in 3:54:45 and held off a pretty stellar field in the process. Julia Gajer ran down Natascha Badmann and held off Erika Csomor to take the women's title.
Many eyes in St. Pölten were on Andreas Raelert, Faris Al-Sultan and 2-time defending champion Filip Ospaly, but it was ITU Pro Denis Vasiliev who led the men out of the water in 23:16 with a 16 second advantage over a small group that contained Ospaly, Martin Krnavek and Bjorn Andersson.
Andersson and Vasiliev took charge on the bike early on but a group of five that included Ospaly, Raelert, Francois Chabaud, Cyrill Viennot and Anton Blokhin managed to get off the bike first just seconds apart. Faris Al-Sultan had made a few attempts to solo off the front but could not stay away from that lead group and in the end finished outside the top ten.
Ospaly moved into the lead in no time and held on to the win in 3:54:45 with a race best 1:11:33 run. Raelert grabbed second place and seemed quite content with that effort, if nothing else, he was certainly gracious. Viennot who had raced hard up front all day held on to finish third.
A pretty stellar field had lined up in St. Pölten and among them were Natascha Badmann, Caroline Steffen, Erika Csomor, Yvonne Van Vlerken, Sonja Tajsich and Gina Crawford.
Anja Beranek though was first out of the water though and held on to that lead throughout the bike and early into the run. But behind her Natascha Badmann was rolling through the field and recorded the fastest bike split with a time of 2:25:09. Sonja Tajsich also had a fast time on the bike, but had given up even more time in the water than Badmann.
The 6-time Ironman World Champion though still had work to do and indeed caught the long time leader from Germany during the run, but Csomor and Gajer were not very far behind. Gajer (née Wagner) and Csomor caught Badmann to take the lead, and grab first and second place respectively. Gajer though is not an unknown quantity, the speedy German finished second at Challenge Roth in 2011 and confirmed with this Ironman 70.3 Austria title that she is indeed someone to watch.
Ironman 70.3 Austria
St. Pölten, Austria / May 20, 2012
1.2m swim / 56m bike / 13.1m run
1. Filip Ospaly (CZE) 3:54:45
2. Andreas Raelert (GER) 3:55:24
3. Cyril Viennot (FRA) 3:56:18
4. Alessandro Degasperi (ITA) 3:57:25
5. Francois Chabaud (FRA) 3:57:26
6. Bart Aernouts (BEL) 3:57:54
7. Dorian Wagner (GER) 3:58:26
8. Boris Stein (GER) 3:59:15
9. Stephan Vuckovic (GER) 4:00:37
10. Michael Göhner (GER) 4:01:44
1. Julia Gajer (GER) 4:23:14
2. Erika Csomor (HUN) 4:24:08
3. Natascha Badmann (SUI) 4:24:24
4. Sonja Tajsich (GER) 4:25:08
5. Caroline Steffen (SUI) 4:25:35
6. Anja Beranek (GER) 4:25:55
7. Gina Crawford (NZL) 4:30:37
8. Simone Braendli (SUI) 4:32:15
9. Eimear Mullen (IRL) 4:33:29
10. Jenny Schulz (GER) 4:37:07