Germans Andi Böcherer and Laura Philipp won the elite titles at Ironman 70.3 St. Pölten.
Böcherer was three seconds back after the swim, broke out to a 2:57 lead with a race-best 2:09:03 bike split and closed with a 3rd-fastest 1:14:02 run to finish in 3:52:45 with a 1:48 margin of victory over Ruedi Wild of Switzerland and 4:48 over 3rd-place finisher Paul Reitmayr of Austria.
Laura Philipp topped a 3-woman duel with Yvonne Van Vlerken and defending champ Anja Beranek. She combined a women’s 6th-fastest swim and 2nd- fastest bike split to trail leader Anja Beranek of Germany by 2:08 and Yvonne Van Vlerken of Netherlands by 1:11 at T2. On her way to a women’s-fastest 1:20:44 run, Philipp passed Beranek and Van Vlerken at 16km of the run to finish in 4:22:33 with a 47 seconds margin of victory over Van Vlerken and 52 seconds over 3rd-place finisher Beranek.
Martin Bader of Austria led the swim with a 24:51 split that gave him a 3 seconds lead on Böcherer, 6 seconds on Wild, 8 seconds on Marino Vanhoenacker of Belgium, 10 seconds on Daniil Sapunov of Ukraine, and 11 and 14 seconds on Austrians Paul Reitmayr and Thomas Steger.
By 25.6 km of the bike leg, Böcherer established a 24 seconds lead on Vanhoenacker, 28 seconds on Wild, 30 seconds on Reitmayr, and mid-2 minutes on Steger and Bader. At 32km, Vanhoenacker had a technical issue with a tire and withdrew at 55km. After his race-best bike split, Böcherer led Reitmayr and Wild by 2:57 and 2:58, followed by Steger (+5:41) and Christian Birngruber of Austria (+10:09).
By 10.4 km into the run, Böcherer surrendered just 26 seconds to Wild and increased his margin over Reitmayr by 34 seconds while no one else made a dent. By the finish, Wild’s race-best 1:12:55 run brought him to 2nd place, cutting Böcherer’s margin of victory to a still-comfortable 1:48. Reitmayr ran an 8th-fastest 1:16:09 split to take the final spot on the podium.
The win was Böcherer’s second of the season, 29 days after his victory at Challenge Fuerteventura.
Defending St. Pölten 70.3 champion Anja Beranek led the swim in 27:46, which gave her a 1 second lead on Anastasia Chernenko of Ukraine,1:48 on Susie Cheetham of Great Britain and Leah Lassche of New Zealand, and 1:52 and 1:53 on Yvonne Van Vlerken and Philipp.
Beranek maintained her lead throughout the bike leg, arriving first woman in T2 after a women’s 3rd-fastest 2:27:56 split which gave her a 57 seconds lead on Van Vlerken (women’s-fastest 2:26:46 split) and 2:08 on Philipp (women’s 2nd-best 2:27:50 split).
On her way to a women's best run, Philipp systematically reduced her deficits and took the lead by 16km and rolled to a 47 seconds margin of victory over Van Vlerken and 52 seconds on Beranek.
The win follows Philipp’s recent victory over 2012 Olympic champion Nicola Spirig and Emma Pallant at Ironman 70.3 Mallorca.
1. Andi Böcherer (GER) 3:52:45
2. Ruedi Wild (SUI) 3:54:33
3. Paul Reitmayr (AUT) 3:57:33
4. Thomas Steger (AUT) 4:01:26
5. Christian Birngruber (AUT) 4:03:13
6. Paul Ruttman (AUT) 4:03:21
7. David Plese (SVN) 4:06:13
8. Daniil Sapunov (UKR) 4:07:05
9. Martin Bader (AUT) 4:07:17
10. Thomas Darby (FIN) 4:08:13
1. Laura Philipp (GER) 4:22:33
2. Yvonne Van Vlerken (NED) 4:23:20
3. Anja Beranek (GER) 4:23:25
4. Susie Cheetham (GBR) 4:32:08
5. Sara Svensk (SWE) 4:34:31
6. Leah Lassche (NZL) 4:48:14
7. Simone Fuernkranz (AUT) 4:41:06
8. Annett Finger (GER) 4:44:58
9. Sylvia Gehnboeck (AUT) 4:46:23
10. Michaela Rudolf (AUT) 4:47:13