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After second place finishes this year at 70.3s in Santa Rosa and Peru and a 4th place at Liuzhou 70.3 – just a few miles north of Qujing – Piampiano was eager to notch her first win since New Orleans 70.3 in 2016. Coming into this race, Kelsey Withrow has had the season of her life with 70.3 wins at Ecuador and Victoria, a 2nd at Palmas and a 5th at Santa Rosa.
Withrow led the swim in 26:19 which gave her a 1:49 lead on Jenny Fletcher of Canada, 3:13 on Piampiano, 3:16 on Kate Bevilaqua of Australia, and 3:45 on Kerry Morris of Australia. Halfway through the 90 kilometer bike leg, Withrow led Piampiano by 1 minute, Morris by 7 minutes, Fletcher by 9 minutes, and Bevilaqua by 10 minutes. After 71km, Piampiano attacked and led Withrow by 40 seconds. After a late surge completing a women's-best 2:16:57 bike split, Piampiano arrived at T2 with a 6:41 advantage on Withrow, 11:40 on Morris, 14:45 on Bevilaqua, and 15:47 on Fletcher.
Halfway through the run, Piampiano maintained a 6:41 lead on Withrow. At 16km, Piampiano increased her lead on Withrow to 9 minutes.
After a women’s-fastest 1:27:20 run, Piampiano finished in 4:18:17 with a 12:43 margin of victory over Withrow (1:37:02 run), 25:14 on Bevilaqua (1:37:43 run), and 25:56 on Morris (1:41:46 run).
Piampiano thus won her first race of 2017 to go with her runner-up finish at Ironman Asia-Pacific at Cairns.