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Daniela Ryf makes history as first woman to win three Ironman 70.3 World Championships

The Swiss star created a huge lead on the bike to win by seven minutes this morning.

The “Angry Bird” Daniela Ryf made history this morning in the pro women’s race at the 2017 Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Chattanooga, T.N. The Swiss star earned her third 70.3 world champ title, taking the win by a seven minute lead after leading early into the bike on the difficult course. Ryf clocked 4:11:59 with the following splits: 26:26 swim, 2:20:21 bike and 1:22:06 half marathon.

“It wasn’t an easy year,” said an elated Ryf after the race. “To come back like this, it means alot.”

Great Britain’s Emma Pallant had a stunning performance with second place, followed by Germany’s Laura Philipp.

The biggest surprise of the day came from defending champion Holly Lawrence, who pulled out during the bike leg. The 2016 champion said she didn’t “have the fight in (her)” from the start, after clocking a career-worst swim and coming out of the water too far down to make up the deficit to the front.

U.S.A. Olympian Sarah True, in her first season of 70.3 racing, narrowly missed the podium and took fourth, indicating to the world she is a woman to watch in this next phase of her career.

Canadian Heather Wurtele finished as the top Canadian of the day, in seventh with a time of 4:25:39. Kirsty Jahn was 11th, Stephanie Roy 16th, Jen Annett 21st and Sue Huse 25th.

We will have a full gallery from the pro women’s race up on the website later today.