Triathlon partners for life, Brad Kahlefeldt and Radka Vodickova both claimed the honour of winning the inaugural IRONMAN 70.3 Hefei in China.
Celebrating the first Ironman brand’s race in China, both winners used their running skills to fine effect to gain their wins that looked anything like comfortable for much of the day.
“Sticksy” regains his winning ways
Australian Brad Kahlefeldt, is back to winning ways and claiming his first podium this year after battling an illness that required hospitalization.
New Zealander Graham O’Grady who led for much of the day in the swim and on the bike, first out of the swim in 22:55, a minute clear of the pre-race big hitters – Kahlefeldt, Brad Williams, Stuart Hayes and Luke Bell.
Midway through the 90km bike O’Grady had extended his advantage to 1:43 on Williams with a further minute back to Jesper Svensson (SWE), Bell, Hayes and Kahlefeldt. His buffer at T2 over the big guns was nearly six minutes although the immediate challenges came on the run from Williams and fellow New Zealander Dougal Allan.
Kahlefeldt was always the fastest on the run and by 12kms he was just 1:46 behind O’Grady in fourth before he turned up the heat, within 3km jumping to the lead. From then he dominated while London Olympian Stuart Hayes followed to grab second with Williams holding off the fast finishing Bell for the final spot on the podium.
Vodickova continues outstanding season
Radka Vodickova (Czech Republic) was out of the swim just behind American Heather Lendway, but she managed to hold on to the coat-tails of American Robin Pomeroy in the second half of the bike with Lendway and Great Britain’s Emma Pallant close behind.
Pallant made the move in the first half of the run, pushing to a small lead midrace before Vodickova made her move, and by the 16kms mark her lead was over a minute and the race was in her grasp. She went on to win in a slick 4:13.14 with Pallant adding her fifth podium of the year in second, and Pomeroy grabbing third.
Vodickova scored her second win of the year after victory at Putrajaya along with four other podiums and a top-10 at the world championship.
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