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Daniela Ryf makes a bold statement with her eighth win at Ironman 70.3 Switzerland

The Swiss star

Photo by: Kevin Mackinnon

Remember when we were wondering if this is a “make or break” year for Daniela Ryf? Shortly after we asked that question, she dropped out of the PTO European Open in Ibiza. On the weekend, though, the five-time Ironman World Champion (not to mention five-time 70.3 world champ, too), pictured above on her way to the win in St. George last year, proved that she still is very much the woman to beat with a solid win over the number one in the PTO world ranking, Ashleigh Gentle at Ironman 70.3 Rapperswil.

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Ryf and Gentle were within seconds of each other coming out of the water, both trailing Switzerland’s Alanis Siffert by just over 45 seconds. Once on the bike, though, Ryf proved that she was returning to top form. Gentle managed to hang on for about 10 km before Ryf rocketed away, hitting T2 with a lead of 6:36 on the Aussie star. By then it was obvious the race was just between those two as another Swiss athlete, Nina Derron was third into transition, but was 13:30 down, with Germany’s Anne Reischmann just two seconds behind her.

On the run Gentle would claw back some time, but not nearly enough to really push Ryf, who crossed the finish line for her eighth win in Rapperswil in 4:04:33. Gentle was almost four minutes faster on the run (1:18:19), but was still over two minutes down as she finished in 4:06:56. Reischmann would run her way to the final spot on the podium, crossing the line in 4:17:48.

Back Healthy

“After a challenging 5 weeks it could not feel better to be back healthy, to push again and feel good,” Ryf posted on her Instagram account. She also noted that she “simply love(s)” her new set up on her Felt IA bike. Ryf also recently announced that she’s no longer with Asics and is now sponsored by Hoka.


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The impressive win over Gentle should certainly provide Ryf with some added confidence as she gears up for Challenge Roth, which she’ll need if she’s going to take another title there. Ryf will face Germany’s Anne Haug, the two-time defending champ, who has been in incredible form this year with big wins at Ironman 70.3 Lanzarote and the PTO European Open. Germany’s Laura Philipp will also be racing, who started her season off with dominant win at the Ironman African Championship in South Africa.

Like Gentle, both Philipp and Haug are renowned as outstanding runners, but both are excellent on the bike, too, so Ryf will need another dominant bike ride if she’s going to take the title in Roth. The ride in Rapperswil certainly indicated that she’s capable of doing just that.