All but a few of the biggest names in the sport were on hand for “ladies day” at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Nice, France, but that hardly made for any surprises in the pro women’s field as Daniela Ryf flew through the final half of the challenging bike course to net her fifth 70.3 world title.
Recapping the day in pictures:Lucy Charles-Barclay led out of the water, but just a minute back was a large chase group that contained 2016 Ironman 70.3 world champ Holly Lawrence (GBR) along with Canada’s own Paula Findlay.
On the bike the group caught Charles-Barclay not long after the start of the long climb that defines this course. Ryf would bide her time on the climb, but once she did decide to make her move she quickly moved clear of her competition and never looked back. Lawrence and Switzerland’s Imogen Simmonds were the closest off the bike, about 2:30 behind, but couldn’t challenge Ryf for the title.
Lawrence hung tough for second, with Simmonds joining the fast-moving pair on the podium.
Edmonton’s Paula Findlay finished 13th.
There were 1,778 women on the start line, the largest women’s field ever at an Ironman or Ironman 70.3 race.
The men’s race takes place on Sunday.