Hannah Wells won it on the bike and Kyle Smith edged Max Neumann by 20 seconds as Kiwis took the pro titles at Ironman 70.3 Taupo.
Rebecca Clarke of New Zealand led the pro women’s swim wave with a 25:42 split that gave her
a 2 seconds lead on Felicity Sheedy-Ryan of Australia, 1:09 over Grace Thek of Australia and 1:15 over Wells.
At 25 km of the bike leg, Wells and Clarke led the Pro Women by 1 minute over Sheedy-Ryan. Nearing the end of the 90 km bike leg, Wells and Clarke lengthen ed their lead to 3 minutes over Sheedy-Ryan.
Arriving at T2, Wells finished her women’s-best bike split in 2:24:58 with a small lead on Clarke with Sheedy-Ryan and Grace Thek of Australia trailing by nearly 5 minutes.
After 3.2k of the run leg, Wells surged ahead by nearly 2 minutes over Clarke with Sheedy-Ryan
and Thek 5 minutes back in 3rd and 4th. At 7k of the run. Wells opened her lead to nearly 4 minutes on Clarke while Grace Thek moved forward, about to pass Sheedy-Ryan.
After 11 k of the run, Wells led Sheedy-Ryan by 4:15 and Thek and Clarke by over 5 minutes in 3rd and 4th. After 17.5 km of the run, Wells settled into a 3:26 lead on Sheedy-Ryan.
After a women’s 3rd-best 1:24:36 run split, Wells finished in 4:21:26 with a 3:26 margin of victory over Sheedy-Ryan (1:22:38 run) and 5:16 over 3rd place Grace Thek (1:23:56 run split) and 12:16 over a fading 4rth place finisher Rebecca Clarke of New Zealand.
Wells expressed exhilaration in a Facebook post after the race. “Absolutely over the moon to take the win at @ironmanoceania Taupo 70.3. It sure didn’t come easy though. Had a rough start with cramp in my legs during the swim. Thank goodness that settled on the bike, and I was able to battle my way to the front of the race. On to the run I could feel my legs wanting to cramp again but thankfully it never got me too bad and I was able to hold on for the win.”
Kyle Smith of New Zealand led the pro men’s swim with a 23:26 split that gave him a 3 seconds lead on Max Neumann of Australia, 7 seconds over Hayden Wilde of New Zealand and roughly 2 minutes on Jakub Langhammer of the Czech Republic and Jack Moody of New Zealand.
Halfway through the 90 kilometer bike leg, Neumann and Smith had a 2:30 lead on Hayden Wilde. Near the end of the bike leg, Smith and Neumann fashioned a 3:40 lead on Wilde.
After a race-best 2:07:34 bike split, Kiwi Smith led Aussie Neumann by 25 seconds with Wilde trailing by 5 minutes in 3rd place.
After 7.4k of the run, Smith maintained a 25 seconds lead on led Neumann by 25 seconds. At the 14k mark, Smith led Neumann by 38 seconds with Wilde 3:38 arrears in 3rd place.
After a 4th-fastest 1:13:55 half marathon, Smith finished in 3:49:24 with a 20 seconds margin of victory over Neumann, who closed hard with a 3rd-best 1:13:49 run split. Wilde ran a second–best 1:12:09 run split to take 3rd place, 3:16 behind the winner, while Jack Moody of New Zealand ran a race-best 1:12:04 split to take 4th place, 4:17 behind Wilde.
Ironman Oceania Taupo 70.3
Taupo, New Zealand
December 6, 2019
S 1.2 mi. / B 56 mi. / R 13.1 mi.
1. Hannah Wells (NZL) 4:21:26 S 26:57 T1 4:13 B 2:24:58 T2 1:04 R 1:24:36
2. Felicity Sheedy-Ryan (AUS) 4:24:52 S 25:44 T2 4:04 B 2:31:26 T2 1:02 R 1:22:38
3. Grace Thek (AUS) 4:26:42 S 26:51 T2 4:27 B 2:30:28 T2 1:02 R 1:23:56
4. Rebecca Clarke (NZL) 4:33:42 S 25:42 T1 4:11 B 2:26:31 T2 1:11 R 1:36:09
5. Holly Khan (AUS) 4:34:26 S 29:11 T1 4:06 B 2:28:06 R 1:31:46
6. Julia Grant (NZL) 4:37:56 S 29:15 T1 4:19 B 2:33:12 T2 1:24 R 1:29:49
1. Kyle Smith (NZL) 3:49:24 S 23:26 T1 3:30 B 2:07:34 T2 1:02 R 1:13:55
2. Max Neumann (AUS) 3:49:44 S 23:29 T1 3:3`1 B 2:07:47 T2 1:10 R 1:13:49
3. Hayden Wilde (NZL) 3:52:40 S 23:33 T2 3:43 B 2:12:25 T2 00:51 R 1:12:09
4. Jack Moody (NZL) 3:56:57 S 25:40 T1 3:51 B 2:14:19 T2 1:06 R 1:12:04
5. Jakub Langhammer (CZE) 3:59:18 S 25:21 T1 3:46 B 2:13:20 T2 1:05 R 1:15:48