Frederik Van Lierde of Belgium and Jocelyn McCauley of the U.S. won the elite titles at Ironman 70.3 Vichy.
Van Lierde combined a 5th-best 25:25 swim, a 2nd-fastest 2:02:43 bike split and a 2nd-quickest 1:13:25 half marathon to finish in 3:46:02 with a 3:24 margin of victory over Andi Bocherer of Germany and 5:18 over 3rd-place finisher Antony Costes of France.
Van Lierde began his day 40 seconds behind swim leader Manuel Küng of Switzerland and one second behind his day-long rival Böcherer. Böcherer maintained a 4 seconds lead over Van Lierde with a race-best 2:01:59 bike split. After 10 kilometers of the run, Van Lierde took a slim 3 seconds lead on his German rival. At the 16 kilometer mark, Van Lierde pulled away to a 1:30 lead. After a men’s second-fastest 1:13:25 run, Van Lierde finished in 3:46:02 with a 3:24 margin of victory on Bocherer, who ran 1:16:51. Antony Costes of France ran 1:16:09 to finish 3rd, 1:54 behind Bocherer. Dominik Sowieja of Germany closed with a race-best 1:12:01 run split to take 5th, 56 seconds behind 4th place Arnaud Guilloux of France.
Van Lierde, the 2013 Ironman World Champion, continues a summer hot streak that started with a victory at the challenging and prestigious Ironman France in Nice.
McCauley overcame a 3:31 deficit to Celine Schaerer of Switzerland after the swim, then closed that gap to 5 seconds after a women’s-fastest 2:19:56 bike split that was 3:01 better than Schaerer.
After 5 kilometers of the run, McCauley took a 1 second lead on Schaerer, and then made her move leading into the 8 kilometer mark where she surged to a 30 seconds advantage on her Swiss rival. At the 17 kilometer mark, McCauley expanded her lead to 2 minutes and continued to increase her lead until she crossed the line. McCauley closed the deal with a women’s 3rd-best 1:23:45 run which brought her to the finish in 4:18:21 with a 2 minutes lead on Schaerer and 3:18 on 3rd-place Maria Czesnik of Poland.
McCauley’s victory adds another highlight to her 2017 breakthrough win at Ironman New Zealand where she broke Meredith Kessler’s victory skein with a stellar 9:09:47 time.
Ironman 70.3 Vichy
August 26, 2017
S 1.2 mi. / B 56 mi. / R 13.1 mi.
1. Frederik van Lierde (BEL) 3:46:02
2. Andi Bocherer (GER) 3:49:26
3. Antony Costes (FRA) 3:51:20
4. Arnaud Guilloux (FRA) 3:55:53
5. Dominik Sowieja (GER) 3:56:49
1. Jocelyn McCauley (USA) 4:18:21
2. Celine Schaerer (SUI) 4:20:21
3. Maria Czesnik (POL) 4:21:39
4. Imogen Simmonds (SUI) 4:22:57
5. Sara Loehr Muñoz (ESP) 4:29:22