Britons Harry Wiltshire and Catherine Faux won Ironman Vichy Sunday in France.
Wiltshire emerged from the swim 5 seconds back of the leader Ivan Risti of Italy, took the lead early on the bike before falling 5:20 behind hard- charging 48-year-old Andreas Niedrig atT2. By 15km of the run, Wiltshire and Risti took over the lead, chased by Tim Brydenbach of Belgium (+2:17) and a fading Niedrig (+4:42).
By 27 km of the run, Wiltshire established a 2:28 lead on Brydenbach, 4:16 on Risti and 5:39 on Marc Duelsen of Germany. After a 3rd-fastest 2:51:04 marathon, Wiltshire finished in 8:17:14 with a 1:20 margin of victory over Brydenbach (2:51:41 run) and 2:44 over 3rd-place Risti (2:53:46 run).
Trevor Delsaut of France made up a lot of ground after his 57:15 swim with a 3rd-best 4:30:31 bike split and a 2nd-best 2:48:49 marathon to finish 4th, 4:37 behind the winner. Christian Brader of Germany closed with a race-best 2:45:37 run to finish 5th, 52 seconds behind Delsaut.
The win comes after Wiltshire’s 3rd place at Ironman Malaysia and 5th places at Ironman Wales and Ironman UK, which earned him a slot at the Ironman World Championship.
Faux started her day with a 1:00:23 swim which put her in 5th place, 5:09 behind swim leader Celine Schaerer of Switzerland. Faux was tied with Ironman veteran and pre face favorite Diana Riesler of Germany who was pulled out of the race for an alleged equipment violation.
Riesler vehemently protested the decision on Facebook:
“Totally devastated! :-( Got disqualified at IRONMAN Vichy because I wore a speed suit over my sleeveless race suit - which was allowed by the rules organizer … after the [pro] briefing. Most of the pros did the same, but didn't get disqualified. So unfair and arbitrary! I'm sick and tired that race organizers don't know their own rules - not at race briefing and not on race site.”
Schaerer maintained the lead until Faux took over by 80km and established a 1:05 lead on Schaerer and 5:20 on Keiko Tanaka halfway through the bike leg. By 137km, Faux increased her lead on Schaerer to 2:13. Not given to surrender, Schaerer regrouped and hit T2 close behind Faux, who posted the women's-best 4:54:23 bike split. Schaerer, who started the bike leg with a 5 minutes lead on Faux, rode a women's second-best 4:59:51 to start the run with a 17 seconds deficit.
Faux took off and quickly began increasing her lead in Schaerer from 19 seconds at 6.3km to 1:33 at 1:33 at 8.7km to 2:22 at 13.9km to 4:06 at 27km.
After a women’s 3rd-best 3:13:01 marathon, Faux finished in 9:13:40 with a 3:41 margin of victory over Schaerer and 14:16 over 3rd-place Kelly Fillnow of the U.S. who closed with a 2nd-best 3:09:45 marathon. Lauren Capone of the U.S. made up a lot of ground for her 5:24:07 bike split with a women’s-best 3:01:19 run to finish 4th, 6:10 behind Capone.
Faux’s win fulfilled the great promise she displayed with wins at the European and ITU World Long Distance Age Group Championships in 2011 , 7th overall at Ironman South Africa, 2nd place in the F25-29 age group at Kona in 2012 and her dominating overall age group victory and 10th overall woman finish at the 2013 edition of the Ironman World Championship.
Faux put her triathlon ambitions on hold as she began her medical career in 2014 but re-started triathlon competition earlier this year with a 1st overall woman and 13th overall including the men and teams at the Outlaw Half Holkham half Ironman.
August 28, 2016
S 2.4 mi. / B 112 mi. / R 26.2 mi
1. Harry Wiltshire (GBR) 8:17:14
2. Tim Brydenbach (BEL) 8:18:34
3. Ivan Risti (ITA) 8:19:58
4. Trevor Delsaut (FRA) 8:21:51
5. Christian Brader (GER) 8:22:43
1. Catherine Faux (GBR) 9:13:40
2. Celine Schaerer (SUI) 9:17:21
3. Kelly Fillnow (USA) 9:27:56
4. Lauren Capone (USA) 9:34:06
5. Keiko Tanaka (JPN) 9:35:46