Potts and Carfrae are the new Ironman 70.3 World Champions

Andy Potts (USA) outsprinted Oscar Galindez in the last few hundred yards to earn his first World Championship title and in the women’s race Miranda Carfrae (AUS) outran her competition en route to her big win.

A very large men’s field entered the cool Gulf waters for the 1.2 mile swim. Most of the top ten finishers from 2006 were present, but it was newcomer and short course specialist Andy Potts who put his stamp on the race early on with a very fast swim. He was first out of the water and was followed into T2 by Terenzo Bozzone (NZL), Fraser Cartmell (GBR) and Stephan Bignet (FRA).

Early on during the bike segment, several strong cyclists came to the front and it appeared that bike weenies everywhere might be rewarded with a David Thompson (USA) and Bjorn Andersson (SWE) bike battle. But Terenzo Bozzone (NZL), Oscar Galindez (BRA), Chris Lieto (USA) and TJ Tollakson (USA) also wanted to play and stayed somewhat close on the bike. Andersson then took charge and after a heavily discussed drafting call, Thompson started to fade out of the picture. As he entered T2 after a very impressive 1:59 bike split for the 56 mile ride, Andersson had about a one minute lead on Bozzone, Galindez and Lieto and looked very good.

Leaving T2, Lieto and Galindez seemed to run faster than anybody around them, but by mile four Lieto was out of the picture and Galindez alone in the lead. He was followed by Bozzone, Andrew Johns (GBR), Brian Lavelle (USA), Richie Cunningham (GBR) and Andy Potts. By the halfway point of the run, Potts had moved himself into second place and shortly after mile ten he had caught race leader Galindez. Potts and Galindez then ran side by side until about 200 yards to go. Potts then proved to have the better sprint and gaped Galindez by 4 seconds with what turned out to be an incredible 1:11 run split. Andrew Johns (GBR) took the last podium spot about 30 seconds behind.

In the women’s race Julie Dibens (GBR) took charge early on in the swim and held the lead throughout the 1.2 mile swim. She was first out of the water but Leanda Cave (GBR), Becky Lavelle (USA) and Pip Taylor (AUS) were not very far behind.

Once on the bike, it was quite obvious that Dibens meant business. Her lead over Cave and Lavelle grew to 4 minutes by mile 30 and she added even more time by the time she hit T2. Next off the bike were Cave and Lavelle, and a few minutes further behind the trio of Sybille Matter (SWI), Catriona Morrison (GBR) and Mirinda Carfrae (AUS).

Carfrae left T2 almost 7 minutes behind Dibens, but started to slowly gain time on her. By mile 9 Carfrae had caught the struggling Dibens and quickly gaped her. She then crossed the finish line first in the world record time of 4:07:25. Pre-race favorite Samantha McGlone (CAN) and Leanda Cave were next to catch Dibens and they crossed the line in second and third. Dibens held on for fourth place.

Top 10 pro men

1. Andy Potts (USA) 3:42:33
2. Oscar Galindez (BRA) 3:42:37
3. Andrew Johns (GBR) 3:43:11
4. Craig Alexander (AUS) 3:44:10
5. Richie Cunningham (GBR) 3:45:05
6. Stephan Bignet (FRA) 3:46:03
7. Fraser Cartmell (GBR) 3:49:03
8. TJ Tollakson (USA) 3:49:39
9. Terenzo Bozzone (NZL) 3:50:10
10. Santiago Ascenco (BRA)3:51:45

Top 10 pro women

1. Mirinda Carfrae (AUS) 4:07:25
2. Samantha McGlone (CAN) 4:11:29
3. Leanda Cave (GBR) 4:12:29
4. Julie Dibens (GBR) 4:12:53
5. Catriona Morrison (GBR) 4:14:40
6. Sybille Matter (SWI) 4:16:35
7. Becky Lavelle (USA) 4:16:59
8. Kate Major (AUS) 4:18:20
9. Monika Lehmann (SWI) 4:18:31
10. Michelle Lee (GBR) 4:19:08