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Gossage clawed her way back from a 9:14 deficit after the swim to take the lead with a women’s-best split over the rugged bike course with 5,387 feet of climbing. The 37-year-old cancer physician then sealed the deal with a women’s second-fastest run to finish in 9:39:48 with a 2:08 margin of victory over Diana Riesler of Germany and 19:21 over 3rd-place Nikki Bartlett of Great Britain.
The victory was Gossage’s 3rd straight and 4th overall at Ironman UK, and her 6th career Ironman win.
Viennot began his day in 5th place, 1:31 behind the leader after the swim, and then surged to the front with a race-best 4:52:17 bike split - slow at any other venue but eloquent testimony to the rigors of this bike course - that gave him an 8:21 lead at T2. Viennot closed with a 3rd-fastest 2:53:44 marathon that brought him to the finish in 8:41:07 with a 5:56 margin of victory over Will Clarke of Great Britain and 7:09 over defending champion and 3rd place finisher Kirill Kotsegarov of Estonia.
The win was Viennot’s 2nd Ironman victory – both at Ironman UK – to go with his two ITU Long Distance World Championships.
Hannah Drewett of Great Britain led the women with a 52:01 swim that gave her a 6:52 lead on the next-best effort of Diana Riesler of Germany, 9:14 on Gossage, and 9:16 on Nikki Bartlett of Great Britain.
Drewett held her lead until Riesler passed her about 45 kilometers into the bike leg. By 52km, Riesler led Drewett by 2:06, Gossage by 3:15, Bartlett by 3:58, and Brooke Brown of Canada by 8:23.
After 100km, Riesler led Gossage by 1:51 and Bartlett by 2:27, while Brown (+10:13) and Drewett (+12:03) faded out of the picture. By 127km, Gossage closed to within 58 seconds, while Bartlett remained 2:49 off the pace. By 152 of 180 kilometers of the bike leg, Gossage had Riesler in her sights just 9 seconds arrears, with Bartlett 2:41 behind.
After a women’s-best 5:23:07 bike split, Gossage led Riesler (5:25:46 bike split) by 2:54 and Bartlett (5:27:34 bike split) by 5:27 at T2.
After 20 kilometers of the run, Gossage expanded her lead to 3:51 on Riesler and 8:04 on Bartlett, but then lost momentum as Riesler rebounded and cut Gossage’s lead to 2:47 at 33km while Bartlett ran out of steam and faded to a 14:30 deficit.
After a women’s 2nd-best 3:09:15 marathon, Gossage finished in 9:39:48 with a 2:08 margin on Riesler (3:08:30 run) and 19:21 on 3rd-place Bartlett (3:23:09 run). Brooke Brown of Canada took 4th, 41:28 behind the winner, and 35-39 age grouper Sophie Bubb of Great Britain took 5th, 1:04:55 behind Gossage.
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Harry Wiltshire of Great Britain led the men’s swim in 47:52 which gave him a 2 seconds lead on Romain Guillaume of France, 4 seconds on Will Clarke of Great Britain, 1:05 on Viennot, 4:11 on Pedro Gomes of Portugal, 4:39 on Fraser Cartmell of Great Britain, and 7:58 on defending champion Kirill Kotsegarov of Estonia.
Guillaume took the early lead, 14 seconds over Viennot by 52km, followed by Clarke (+3:12), Wiltshire (+3:13) and Kotsegarov, in 7th at 10:43 arrears. By 100km, Viennot took charge and held a 5:45 lead on Wiltshire, 6:00 on Clarke, 8:58 on charging Bryan McCrystal of Ireland, and 12:22 on a fading Kotsegarov. By 127km, Viennot’s lead grew to 6:48 on Wiltshire, 6:50 on Clarke, 9:59 on McCrystal, and 12:27 on Kotsegarov.
After a 2nd-best 4:52:17 bike split, Viennot finished with an 8:21 lead on Clarke, 11:12 on McCrystal, 11:55 on Kotsegarov, and 14 minutes on 30-34 age grouper Brian William Fogarty of Great Britain (race-best 4:50:43 bike split).
Wilshire, who ran into trouble late on the bike leg, trailed by 25:17 at T2.
Halfway through the run, Viennot held firmly to the lead, while Kotsegarov carved through all the chasers to trail Viennot by 9:42 with Clarke 1:13 behind the Estonian in 3rd place.
After a 3rd-fastest 2:53:44 marathon, Viennot finished in 8:41:07 with a 5:56 margin of victory over Clarke (race-best 2:46:26 run) and 7:09 on Kotsegarov (2nd-best 2:48:49 run).