Ben Hoffman crushed the bike with a 2:01:11 split and stormed to a win at the 2011 Ironman 70.3 Muncie. Mike Caiazzo's 1:16:07 run allowed him to take second place and Brit Rich Allen rounded out the podium.
Hoffman had won 70.3 Boise about a month ago in a very similar fashion and many eyes were on him here in Muncie. The Durango, CO resident did not disappoint and exited the water in 26:08 not too far behind swim leaders Stanislav Krylov and Joe Umphenour who swam 25:48 and 25:49 respectively.
Hoffman quickly went past them though and with his 2:01:11 bike split was well ahead of all competitors when he reached the bike-run transition. Rich Allen had the next best bike split, but had lost almost 4.5 minutes to the fast man from Durango.
Hoffman closed out his day with a 1:18:31 run and a total time of 3:48:14 to take the win.
"I had a fantastic swim, and it really set the tone for the day. Within the first three miles of the bike, I was on my own and committed to the effort of building the biggest lead I could manage. I wasn't sure that the tactic would work on a flatter course and riders in a pack behind me, but I pushed hard and the Shiv came through again in the clutch. For the second time in two races, I wasn't pressed to dig too deep on the run, but kept the pace solid as I logged one of my last hard training sessions for Lake Placid in two weeks," said Hoffman to slowtwitch. "It was great to take the win in such a legendary venue, and I am excited for what the rest of the season holds... Maybe a sub-2 hour split?"
It wasn't too surprising that Leanda Cave was first out of the water in 27:19, and she was followed by Kelly Williamson, Tenille Hoogland and Dede Griesbauer in close proximity. The next batch of women led by Margaret Shapiro were already a minute down.
Cave also looked very fast on the bike and pulled away from all other competitors. By the time she reached the bike-run transition the tall Brit had recorded the fastest bike split in a time of 2:14:34 and that gave her a lead of more than 4 minutes over Griesbauer who was next into transition. Rollison meanwhile had quietly moved herself into third position with a 2:16:47 bike split.
Out on the run Cave started to slow down and the fast running Rollison was starting to gain on her, having passed Griesbauer for second place earlier. Meanwhile a bit further back Williamson was running fast too and slowly moved through the field from 6th position after the bike. Aussie Rollison caught Cave around mile 8 and crossed the line in 4:08:48 to take the title. Williamson snagged second place from Cave and the Brit had to settle for the final podium spot.
"The bike was tough... For the first half I had a dead leg, it felt really tight and fatigued. But after about 40km it went away and I started to feel good," said Rollison to slowtwitch. "When I jumped off the bike and started running I was puffing hard and my legs were tired. I was worried but after a mile I felt great. I actually felt really good for the whole rest of the run. Then at mile 8 I took the lead. From here I thought my chances are definitely looking good but I guess you are never completely confident you are going to win until you can see the finish line."
Ironman 70.3 Muncie
Muncie, IN / July 9, 2011
1. Ben Hoffman (USA) 3:48:14
2. Mike Caiazzo (USA) 3:53:12
3. Rich Allen (GBR) 3:54:18
4. Joe Umphenour (USA) 3:55:11
5. Daniel Bretscher (USA) 3:55:36
6. Torsten Abel (GER) 3:56:40
7. Joe McDaniel (USA) 3:57:08
8. Luke McKenzie (AUS) 3:57:47
9. Brent Poulson (CAN) 3:59:17
10. Stanislav Krylov (RUS) 3:59:55
1. Melissa Rollison (USA) 4:08:48
2. Kelly Williamson (USA) 4:12:19
3. Leanda Cave (GBR) 4:12:35
4. Margaret Shapiro (USA) 4:18:20
5. Dede Griesbauer (USA) 4:20:55
6. Jessica Meyers (USA) 4:22:35
7. Tenille Hoogland (CAN) 4:24:30
8. Christie Sym (AUS) 4:24:54
9. Madeleine Oldfield (AUS) 4:32:51
10. Holly Haemmerle (USA) 4:41:51 * AG W35-39