Andreas Dreitz of Germany defended his 2014 crown with a dominating bike split and Daniela Ryf of Switzerland continued her hot streak with a wire-to-wire victory at Ironman 70.3 Mallorca.
Dreitz quickly overcame a 31 seconds deficit after the swim with a smashing 2:10:14 bike split – 8 and a half minutes better than the next-best men. Then the German finished his day with a relaxed 10th-best 1:19:06 run to finish with a 2:24 margin on Patrik Nilsson of Sweden and 2:55 over 3rd-place finisher David McNamee of Great Britain.
Ryf had women's best splits in all disciplines - 23:14 swim, 2:29:31 bike split and 1:20:01 run – to finish with a 9:28 margin on Julia Gajer of Germany and 11:38 on 3rd-place finisher Yvonne Van Vlerken of Netherlands.
Ryf’s victory is just the latest prize in a remarkable string that includes a win at the 2014 Ironman 70.3 World Championship, a runner-up finish at the 2014 Ironman World Championship, and 2015 victories at Challenge Fuerteventura and Challenge Dubai.
Eric Watson of Australia led the swim in 22:12, followed 4 seconds later by Manuel Kueng of Switzerland and 7 seconds arrears by Michael Raelert of Germany. Top contenders among a large pack of chasers included David McNamee (+22 seconds), Ivan Raña of Spain (+26s), Jan van Berkel of Switzerland (+28s), Patrick Lange of Germany (+29s), Patrik Nilsson of Sweden (+30s) and defending champion Andreas Dreitz of Germany (+31s).
Quickly, 2012 Mallorca 70.3 champion Raelert fell back 26 minutes within the first 10 miles.
By 15k, Kueng led by 34 seconds over Dreitz, followed by Antony Costes of France (+45 seconds), Patrick Lange of Germany (+1:31), van Berkel (+1:32), Johann Ackermann of Germany (+1:34) and McNamee (+1:35). Superb runner Ivan Raña of Spain was 10th, 1:39 back, and Patrik Nilsson of Sweden was 11th, 1:41 down.
At the big climb 50 kilometers through the bike, race reports had Kueng with a 400 meter lead on Dreitz. But official times at the 78k point of the bike split had Dreitz with a 6 minutes lead on Kueng, followed by Costes (+7:06), van Berkel (+7:08), Lange (+7:09), McNamee (+7:11), Allan Steen Olesen of Denmark (+7:13), Artem Parienko of Russia (+7:14) and Nilsson (+7:16).
Dreitz polished off his devastating 2:10:14 ride on Mallorca’s hilly bike leg – 8 and a half minutes better than the next best riders - with a 7:27 lead on Kueng, and 8 and a half on a tight pack including Olesen, Lange, van Berkel, Costes, McNamee, Parienko, Nilsson and Carlos Lopez of Spain. Raña lagged 10:17 arrears in 11th.
With such a lead, Dreitz could cruise to the win with a 10th–best 1:19:06 run to finish in 3:56:48. Nilsson slashed through the field from 9th to the runner-up slot with a race-best 1:12:56 run, 2:24 behind the winner and McNamee utilized a 2nd-best 1:13:31 run to take the final spot on the podium, 31 seconds behind Nilsson. Artem Parienko ran a 5th-best 1:14:43 split to take 4th, 1:11 behind McNamee and Lange finished 5th, 39 seconds later. Raña posted a 3rd-best 1:13:49 run to advance from 11th to 6th.
After all his troubles Raelert slogged his way to an honorable finish in 4:48:29.
Ryf began another perfect day with a women’s-best 23:14 swim, 54 seconds ahead of Julia Gajer of Germany, 1:25 ahead of Michelle Vesterby of Denmark, 1:27 ahead of Mette Pettersen Moe of Norway, 1:39 ahead of Natascha Schmitt of Germany. Fine biker-runners lagged further back - Yvonne Van Vlerken of the Netherlands (+2:45) 10th, Tine Deckers of Belgium 13th (+3:33). and Kristin Moeller of Germany 16th (+5:35).
After yet another women's-best split of 2:29:31 on the bike, Ryf had a 5:59 lead on Deckers (2nd-best 2:31:27 bike split), 6:03 on Gajer, 6:32 on Van Vlerken, 9:47 on Riesler and 10:26 on Vesterby.
Ryf capped off her perfect day with a women’s-best 1:20:01 for the half marathon, which gave her a 9:28 margin on Gajer and 11:38 on 3rd-place finisher Van Vlerken. Deckers was 4th and Vesterby 5th – respectively 15:58 and 16:57 behind the champion.
Thomas Cook Ironman 70.3 Mallorca
May 9, 2015
S 1.2 mi. / B 56 mi. / R 13.1 mi.
1. Andreas Dreitz (GER) 3:56:48
2. Patrik Nilsson (SWE) 3:59:12
3. David McNamee (GBR) 3:59:43
4. Artem Parienko (RUS) 4:00:54
5. Patrick Lange (GER) 4:01:33
6. Ivan Raña (ESP) 4:02:56
7. Jan van Berkel (SUI) 4:04:40
8. Manuel Kueng (SUI) 4:05:14
9. David Plese (SLO) 4:06:02
10. Allan Steen Olesen (DEN) 4:06:29
1. Daniela Ryf (SUI) 4:17:25
2. Julia Gajer (GER) 4:26.53
3. Yvonne Van Vlerken (NED) 4:29:03
4. Tine Deckers (BEL) 4:33:23
5. Michelle Vesterby (DEN) 4:34:22
6. Kristin Möller (GER) 4:36:15
7. Verena Walter (GER) 4:38:32
8. Diana Riesler (GER) 4:39:57
9. Mette Pettersen Moe (NOR) 4:43:18
10. Natascha Schmitt (GER) 4:43:40
Image courtesy of Sebastian Kuhn / drehmomente.de