Sebastian Kienle breaks the course record at Ironman Cozumel 2017. (TalbotCox)

Having an IRONMAN World Champion toeing the start line always generates a buzz for an event. With the 2014 IRONMAN world champion Sebastian Kienle (DEU) brought his renowned biking prowess that garners all sorts of attention to the table and a intriguing pending dual with Michael Weiss (AUT). The pair lived up to their advance billing arriving at T2 with Kienle leading Weiss off the bike by a +5:38.

For the first half of the run, Kienle was well on pace to establish a record for the fastest IRONMAN finishing time ever, and at one time opened up a gap of 10 minutes on Weiss. Over the back half of the marathon, Kienle took his foot off the gas, but still managed to establish a new course record of 7:48:11. Weiss had a brilliant race (7:53:27) but his feat was overshadowed by Kienle’s stellar performance.

Lisa Roberts wins Ironman Cozumel 2017. (Ironman.com)

In the women’s race, Rachel McBride (CAN) looked like she would be unbeatable on the Mexican Island as she dismounted the bike with a seven minute buffer between her and Anja Beranek (DEU). Much of the remainder of the field were well over 20 minutes back of the lead pair at the conclusion of the three-loop 180 km bike.

McBride initially put in time on Baranek and maintained a solid hold of the lead for the first half of the run. The wheels fell off of McBride’s race between 21 and 28 km’s, however, where she went from leading by over five minutes to slide to fourth, and and then faced a eight minute deficit.

Beranek briefly assumed the lead but was overtaken by Lisa Roberts (USA) who was on her way to smacking out a 2:59:20 race-best run. Roberts, who started the run in what looked like an insurmountable deficit of over 25 minutes and in sixth place, launched herself to the front of the race and onto the win on the strength of her outstanding marathon.

Top 5 Pro Men

1 Kienle, Sabastian DEU 7:48:11
2 Weiss, Michael AUT 7:53:27
3 Rana, Ivan ESP 7:58:39
4 Schmid, Stefan DEU 7:59:44
5 Desault, Trevor FRA 8:07:10

Top 5 Pro Women

1 Roberts, Lisa USA 8:54:00
2 Jahn, Kirsty CAN 8:58:27
3 Tajsich, Sonja DEU 9:00:53
4 Beranek, Anja DEU 9:03:41
5 Huse, Sue CAN 9:13:18

Source: Ironman.com