Alexander, who won the his first world championship in 2006 when he won the inaugural Ironman World Championship 70.3, dominated the run portion of today’s race, but it was an impressive bike ride that set him up for his win. After super-swimmer Potts (the 2008 70.3 world champ) led out of the water, it was Alexander who pushed the pace on the bike to bring the lead group together.
When the two-time Ironman world champion got a flat tire out on the bike course, the Shimano support crew quickly came out with a replacement front wheel. Turns out the wheel they gave to Alexander had been on Potts’ bike this morning, but they switched it out when they found a problem with the valve. After fixing the valve, the crew put the bike in the support van. After scrambling to get another wheel on Alexander’s bike, the crew had a laugh when they realized which one ended up on the eventual champion’s bike.
Once Alexander got back on his bike he immediately got back into the group of men’s leaders that included a virtual who’s who of 70.3 racing. Chris Lieto, Raynard Tissink, Paul Ambrose, Paul Matthews, Joe Gambles, Alexander, Luke Bell, Tim Berkel, Michael Weiss, Fraser Cartmell and Jeff Symonds were all at or near the front, leaving the likes of Potts to chase behind in the second group.
Over the second half of the bike Lieto made what has become a signature move for him now – a strong push to get clear of the rest of the field. He would pull clear of the field, with only Raynard Tissink able to stay between him and the rest of the leaders. Tissink, though, would be sidelined just short of T2 thanks to a drafting penalty, which put him four minutes in arrears of the main group as he started the run.
Men’s splits at the end of the bike:
1 2:45:29 48 Chris Lieto Danville CA USA
2 2:49:07 3:39 85 Craig Alexander Boulder CO USA
3 2:49:24 3:56 43 Paul Matthews Casuarina NS AUS
4 2:49:35 4:07 41 Joe Gambles Boulder CO USA
5 2:49:51 4:23 45 Paul Ambrose Sydney NS AUS
6 2:50:31 5:03 49 Luke Bell Cardiff CA USA
7 2:51:14 5:45 70 Michael Weiss Colorado Spring CO USA
8 2:51:29 6:00 55 Tim Berkel Port Macqaurie NS AUS
9 2:51:31 6:03 81 Fraser Cartmell Stirling GBR
10 2:51:32 6:03 53 Jeff Symonds Penticton BC CAN
Off the bike it looked like Lieto might have just enough of a lead to take the win today – which would have been the case if anyone other than Craig Alexander had been in the field. Alexander screamed through the run course, putting together a 71:50 run split on this tough, hilly course and easily taking his second world title and sending notice to all of his competitors that he’s going to be a fearsome competitor in Kona in a month.
Lieto would hang on for second, ahead of Canadian Jeff Symonds who had the race of his life to finish third.
1 3:54:48 85 Craig Alexander Boulder CO USA
2 3:58:03 3:15 48 Chris Lieto Danville CA USA
3 3:58:42 3:54 53 Jeff Symonds Penticton BC CAN
4 3:59:11 4:23 70 Michael Weiss Colorado Spring CO USA
5 4:00:00 5:12 41 Joe Gambles Boulder CO USA
6 4:00:26 5:38 43 Paul Matthews Casuarina NS AUS
7 4:00:53 6:05 58 Raynard Tissink Port Elizabeth ZAF
8 4:02:01 7:13 55 Tim Berkel Port Macqaurie NS AUS
9 4:04:03 9:15 49 Luke Bell Cardiff CA USA
10 4:05:09 10:21 46 Alessandro Degasperi Panchi ITA
Former steeplechase runner Melissa Rollison initially took up cycling to keep fit while she was getting over her various running injuries. Then she decided she would start doing some swimming. As so many of us know, that inevitably led to triathlon.
Here’s what’s frightening – today’s world champion didn’t do her first Ironman 70.3-distance race until one year ago. To say that she’s exploded onto the world scene is, well, let’s just say a major-league understatement.
This year alone Rollison has won three Ironman 70.3 events, which helped her qualify for today’s race. Here in Vegas the feeling was that Rollison would likely run six or so minutes faster than anyone else. So, when she came off the bike 3:30 behind Julie Dibens, the race was pretty much decided.
Before that, though, we did enjoy some interesting racing. Dibens led through the initial parts of the swim today, but it was Leanda Cave who led out of the water, enjoying a five-second cushion over the 2009 Ironman 70.3 world champ. Dibens quickly went to the front, though, and dominated the entire bike ride.
Behind her, though, Rollison was having a stellar ride and would eventually move to second. Coming up through the field was the incredible Swiss Ironman champion, Karin Thuerig, a former time trial world champion and Olympic TT medalist, who managed to overcome a seven-minute deficit after the swim to come off the bike in third.
Women’s splits at the end of the bike:
1 2:56:23 23 Julie Dibens Boulder CO USA
2 2:58:52 2:30 6 Melissa Rollison Indooroopilly QL AUS
3 3:00:16 3:53 4 Karin Thuerig Retschwil CHE
4 3:03:04 6:42 26 Linsey Corbin Missoula MT USA
5 3:03:59 7:37 27 Heather Wurtele Kelowna BC CAN
6 3:04:09 7:46 14 Christie Sym Collaroy NS AUS
7 3:04:38 8:16 2 Leanda Cave Tucson AZ USA
8 3:04:40 8:17 8 Joanna Lawn Parnell Aucklan AU NZL
9 3:04:42 8:20 18 Tenille Hoogland Courtenay BC CAN
10 3:05:04 8:42 7 Heather Jackson Carlsbad CA USA
Rollison didn’t realize she was as close as she ended up being at the end of the ride and flew through T2, neglecting to put on any socks because she thought she’d need every second. Nothing could have been further from the truth – she had made up more than a minute of her deficit by the end of the first mile and was in the lead by mile three.
Dibens would eventually drop out of the race, which left Thuerig in second, a position she would hold on to until the finish line. Rollison’s 1:21:14 run split was more than enough to get her to the line well ahead of her competition (despite the frightening blisters she sustained thanks to the sans-socks approach) and net her a world championship title.
Thuerig got another world championship medal with her second-place finish, followed by Linsey Corbin, who provided the US with a spot on the podium.
Women’s final results:
1 4:20:55 6 Melissa Rollison Indooroopilly QL AUS
2 4:26:52 5:57 4 Karin Thuerig Retschwil CHE
3 4:29:25 8:31 26 Linsey Corbin Missoula MT USA
4 4:30:21 9:26 7 Heather Jackson Carlsbad CA USA
5 4:33:08 12:13 8 Joanna Lawn Parnell Aucklan AU NZL
6 4:33:57 13:03 2 Leanda Cave Tucson AZ USA
7 4:35:36 14:41 27 Heather Wurtele Kelowna BC CAN
8 4:36:14 15:20 15 Emma-Kate Lidbury Oxford GBR
9 4:36:52 15:57 14 Christie Sym Collaroy NS AUS
10 4:37:03 16:09 9 Michelle Wu Canberra AC AUS
Originally from: http://ironman.com/events/ironman70.3/worldchampionship70.3/marines-ironman-world-championship-70.3-sees-convincing-wins-by-two-australians?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ironman%2Ftopstories+%28Ironman.com+Top+Stories%29#ixzz1XiQ9PDza