Stefan Schmid was up front all day while Corinne Abraham saved her best for the run for the pairs wins at IRONMAN Cozumel.
Barrett Brandon (USA) was first to run up the dock at Chankanaab Park Beach. Ivan Rista (ITL), Patrick Nillson (CHE) and Tyler Butterfield (BER) were next, 35 to 42 seconds later.
A chase pack of eight men scurried into T1 three and half minutes later and had Trevor Wurtele (CAN) and Justin Daerr (USA) within the group, while a number of contenders—Chris McDonald (AUS) Matt Russell (USA) Michael Weiss (AUT)—were in another chase group over six minutes off the pace.
Schmid’s patience game pays off
Over the course of the three-lap bike course it was Patrik Nillson (SWE) and Stefan Schmid(DEU) along with Weiss, Wurtele, Brandon, Butterfield and Russell who were all well-placed for the first two laps. The race didn’t shake out until the final lap when Brandon, Butterfield and Wurtele fell over ten minutes back of the leader. Schmid and Nillson reached T2 within sight of each other, while Weiss and Russell faced deficits of +5:11 and +7:35 as they dismounted their bikes.
For the first lap and a half of the three-lap run, Nillson led Schmid by mere seconds. Rarely did Schmid slip back any further than 3 seconds throughout the first 21 km’s, however. Shortly after making it around the turnaround cone at 21 km’s, Schmid made his move and took charge of the race. He slowly pulled away from Nillson who was losing time at an alarming rate.
A hard charging Russell was now in second, less than two minutes from the leader, while Weiss slipped to a distant third. Russell’s march towards the front stalled out in the final km’s of the run allowing Schmid captured the 2015 IRONMAN Cozumel title in a winning time of 8:12 27.
Russell came up 1:44 short of the win, but the fastest runner of the day was rewarded with a second place finish, with Weiss finishing off the men’s podium.
Abraham hammers the run for the win
Celine Schaerer (SWE) was the women’s leader in the swim with Leanda Cave following her four seconds later. A chase pack of six women just over minute and half back followed the lead pair on the long run towards the transition and contained, Camilla Pederson (DNK), Dede Griesbauer (USA), and Emma-Kate Lidbury (GBR)
For much of the first 120 km’s, a group of six women rode within legal distance of each other. Emma-Kate Lidbury (GBR) Pedersen, Wurtele, Cave, Griesbauer and Carolin Lehrieder (DEU) pulled away from the women’s field with the exception of Corinne Abraham (GBR) who was hastily attempting to eliminate as much of the almost seven minutes she spotted the leaders coming out of the water as she could.
Lehrieder was the first to falter and lost over ten minutes the the leaders in the final lap, while Lidbury carried leads of one to three and half minutes on Cave, Wurtele, Abraham and Pederson at the conclusion of the hot and windy bike.
As the women hit the run course, the top five started to come together. Cave managed to make the pass on Lidbury for the lead at 10 km’s, however Abraham, Pedersen and Wurtele were all within 2:45 of the leader at 14 km’s. Cave’s hold of the lead was short lived as Abraham surged her way into to the front of the race at an unmatched pace.
Abraham’s race-best run on the day sealed the deal and she won in a finishing time of 9:06:40. Cave and Pedersen remained solid and finished second and third on the day, less than a minute separating the two but seven minutes back of the winner.
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Top 5 Pro Women