Dubai, UAE–Reigning Ironman 70.3 World Champion and Kona runner-up Daniel Ryf (SUI, above) raced to an impressive opening season win as she took top honors in the coveted Challenge Dubai (1.9km swim / 90km bike /21.1km run)last weekend. With high winds and choppy waters all in play, Daniela opened with a solid swim followed by what would become a course-best bike split aboard her Felt IA. Her two-wheeled 2:18:54 vaulted her into the lead at about the halfway point where, after moving to the front, she continued to build on her lead battling ferocious headwinds. Following her best-in-field bike leg she finished with what turned out to be a race-best run of 1:17:24 to seal the win in 4:05:01. The win also marked the first Challenge event that is part of their 2015 triple crown which, if one person wins all three, will award that winner a whopping $1M!
1. Daniela Ryf (SUI) 4:05:01
2. Heather Wurtele (CAN) 4:09:21
3. Helle Frederiksen (DEN) 4:11:43
4. Jodie Swallow (GBR) 4:13:35
5. Annabel Luxford (AUS) 4:15:55
In the men’s event, all the same elements were in play and one additional–a little bit of course controversy. Depending on who you ask, either a handful of pro’s cut the (bike) course or were mislead. A full 10hrs after it was all said and done, the organizers decided to assess a 4min penalty to the five involved in the infraction. At the time, Felt athlete Tim Reed (AUS, above) had crossed the line in fourth having done the full course. The three ahead of him were all part of the course-cutting five. After the recalculation Tim moved into second place overall with more than a few believing he should have been the official winner. Regardless, Tim’s performance was exceptional as he delivered big in all three disciplines including a 2:08:24 bike split en route to a superb high-profile opening event to 2015. Officially, the top-5 men were:
1. Terenzo Bozzone (NZL) 3:45:45
2. Tim Reed (AUS) 3:46:35
3. Michael Raelert (GER) 3:46:49
4. Bart Aernouts (BEL) 3:47:13
5. Martin Jensen (DEN) 3:47:19
Chico, CA–Team TWENTY16 p/b Sho-Air (above) started this year’s Chico Stage Race with a young, but highly talented group including Allie Dragoo (USA), Alison Jackson (CAN), Jennifer Tetrick (USA) and junior Maddy Boutet (USA). The three-day, four-stage race included a circuit race, a road race, a TT and a criterium and outside of the road race, the team won it all.
Dragoo, a former BMX rider who is considered a genuine emerging talent, got to captain her first race and in doing so took the TT stage win, grabbed 2nd in Stage 2 and won the overall GC. Jackson, a former triathlete, won Stages 1 and 4 and took the race’s Sprint Jersey. Tetrick, also a former triathlete, took 2nd in the TT stage and was instrumental in looking after her teammates throughout. And, 17yr-old Maddy Boutet won the Best Young Rider competition after taking 6th in the TT and 8th in the GC–all on junior gears. It was quite a weekend for this largely developmental quartet and it is safe to say that the future is bright for them all.
Last but certainly not least, Daniel Holloway, aboard his AR, tallied his second win of the year taking the Chico Stage Race Stage 1 circuit race win in front of a deep pro/elite men’s field.