Sarah Piampiano and Kyle Buckingham claws back impressive wins at inaugural Ironman Vineman 2016
The inaugural 2016 IRONMAN Vineman got off to a fantastic start on a day with optimal weather for racing as Sarah Piampiano and Kyle Buckingham showed their mettle to claw back impressive wins at California, USA.
Piampiano surges ahead
Pre-race favourite Sarah Piamipiano was not jittered by trio – Jess Smith, Kate Bevilaqua, and Monica Juhart coming out of the water with a whopping 11 minute gap on her. Immediately, she set on a blistering bike ride and at the 50 miles (80km) mark, and Piampiano was at the front and working her way ahead. By the ride’s end she would clock a 4:57 time and net a gap of nearly 20 minutes on Smith, her closest chaser.
Rumour from the course was that Piampiano was struggling with cramps, but they apparently didn’t slow her down. She continued to demolish her chasers and finished with a time of 9:19:05, 44 minutes ahead of second place Ashley Paulson and near an hour on Smith. There is no doubt Piampiano is in good form as we look to Kona in a few months.
Kyle Buckingham takes the men’s race
On the men’s side, the swim split up pretty quickly and three distinct groups formed that would stay close together for most of the day. Barrett Brandon and Rafael Goncalves led with a 2-minute gap on a chase group containing Kyle Buckingham and Richie Cunningham.
On the bike, Kyle Buckingham pressed on to overtake the breakaway and rode to the lead, never looking back. McDonald and Shearon pushed the pace at times closing the gap to Buckingham, but in the end, Buckingham came off the bike with a 5-minute lead on Cunningham and McDonald.
Onto the run, it was more of the same with Buckingham putting time into his chasers and at one point having over 10 minutes on second place, McDonald. Nearing the end of the run leg McDonald managed to claw back a few minutes, but Buckingham still managed to cross the line with 7 minutes in hand and a finish time of 8:27:58. McDonald finished a steady day with a strong run for second, while Shearon rounded out the podium in third.
Top 5 Pro Men
Top 5 Pro Women
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