Austria’s Michael Weiss and Great Britain’s Rachel Joyce won today’s Ironman Cozumel race thanks to strong all-around performances.
This was Weiss’ first time competing after he served a two-year ban (that started in November of 2011) for a doping incident that occurred in 2005 when he was racing as a professional mountain biker. The victory for Joyce comes seven weeks after earning the runner-up spot at the Ironman World Championship.
All athletes competed on a shortened (1.93 miles) swim course due to strong winds and variant conditions throughout the days leading up to the race. In addition to the shortened distance athletes also enjoyed some aid with the current, which led to significantly faster swim times.
Several pro men, led by Todd Skipworth (AUS), came into T1 around the 34-minute mark. It was Tyler Butterfield (BER) who took advantage of his ITU experience to propel himself from sixth out of the water to first out of the first transition. Weiss exited the water in 17th position and with nearly three minutes to make up on the leaders.
At 40K into the bike it was Spain’s Eneko Llanos leading the efforts of a strong group made up of 10 men. Though the group was putting in a solid effort, Weiss eventually caught and passed them. He worked to build a lead and started the run with a nearly 10-minute gap over Butterfield, Llanos and Nils Frommhold (GER).
Weiss backed his strong bike performance with a strong 2:51:23 marathon to claim the victory in 7:55:23. Butterfield was impressive on the run and finished second at 8:02:42. Llanos rounded out the podium in 8:05:21.
One of the sport’s fastest swimmers, Dr. Amanda Stevens (USA), was first out of the tropical waters at 36:50, with Celine Scharer (SUI) following 20 seconds later and Joyce exiting more than three minutes back.
Stevens used her front position out of the swim to dominate the early miles of the bike. Though she looked to be extending her advantage, she slowed on the back half of the course and Joyce made up significant time. By the time they reached T2, Stevens’ advantage stood at 38 seconds over Joyce.
Joyce followed her solid swim and bike with an impressive run, posting a 3:07:10 marathon on her way to an 8:52:28 victory. American Jesse Donavan spent the day making up for a slower swim and ultimately finished second. Stevens slowed on the run, but was able to hold onto third position.
Cozumel, Mexico – Dec. 1, 2013
1.94-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run
1. Michael Weiss (AUT) 7:55:23
2. Tyler Butterfield (BER) 8:02:42
3. Eneko Llanos (ESP) 8:05:21
4. Marek Jaskolka (POL) 8:13:29
5. Nils Frommhold (GER) 8:20:16
1. Rachel Joyce (GBR) 8:52:28
2. Jessie Donavan (USA) 9:01:12
3. Amanda Stevens (USA) 9:06:40
4. Celine Scharer (SUI) 9:12:40
5. Bree Wee (USA) 9:16:26
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