The 2019 Ironman World Championship was not won on the bike, but it certainly was lost. As Jan Frodeno and Anne Haug proved, you needed to be near the front of the race by T2 to have a shot at victory.
All images by Eric Wynn for Slowtwitch.
Frodeno used his Canyon Speedmax to power his way into the lead by T2, taking an over two minute advantage into transition.
Tim O'Donnell was no stranger to the front of the race, pushing the pace along with Frodeno.
Alistair Brownlee suffered a flat after the turnaround in Hawi. He worked hard to get back to O'Donnell and Frodeno, but that effort cost him on the run.
One reason that Brownlee was even back toward the front of the race: quick assistance from Shimano bike techs.
Sebastian Kienle, try as he might, could not make the bridge up to the leading trio. He'd wind up earning his podium spot on the run.
Slowtwitch Forum favorite Lionel Sanders hung with Kienle throughout the bike and started the run with him. He'd eventually fade late in the marathon, as so many do here at this race.
Ben Hoffman, aboard his Cervelo PX-Series, was not a name we heard much of during the bike segment. But we heard him plenty come the run, barely missing the podium.
Andy Potts had yet another consistent day in Kona: solid across all three disciplines, including his 4:24 bike split. It left him 14th on the day.
Joe Skipper fought his way up through the field to claim sixth place.
Joe Gambles, meanwhile, found himself in a similar position to Sanders late in the day, coming home 36th.
The Women's Race
Lucy Charles-Barclay attacked from the air horn, drilling the swim and the bike.
However, she'd relinquish the lead to eventual champion Anne Haug in the Energy Lab. Charles-Barclay would hold on for second.
Laura Philipp moved into contention on the bike and used a 3:02 marathon for a fourth place finish.
Heather Jackson's heat-changing Argon E-118Tri was ablaze in red as temperatures soared.
Kaisa Sali moved up one place from her seventh place performance in 2018 to claim sixth.