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America’s youngest Olympic triathlete Taylor Knibb takes second in 70.3 debut in Boulder, Jewett runs to fifth

American Sam Long and Britain's Emma Pallant-Browne take the wins at Ironman 70.3 Boulder

Riding the same bike she used in Tokyo where she helped the United States take silver in the mixed team relay (photo above), American Taylor Knibb took second at Ironman 70.3 Boulder, an impressive debut over the distance. Great Britain’s Emma Pallant-Browne would take the overall win, with Canada’s Tamara Jewett using the day’s fastest run to take fifth. The men’s race saw American Sam Long dominate the bike and run legs to take the win.

Knibb leads the swim and bike

It was hardly a surprise that the woman who became the youngest American (23) to make an Olympic triathlon team thanks to her win at WTCS Yokohama in May lead the women out of the water with Brazilian super-swimmer Pamella Oliveira right on her heels. South Africa’s Jeanni Metzler was just under a minute down after the swim, with American Meredith Kessler and Pallant-Browne 1:39 and 1:43 behind as they hit T1. Jewett was 12th after the swim, 3:32 behind the leader.

On a draft-legal road bike with the same aero bars she used in Tokyo (and no disc wheel, either), Knibb showed just how powerfull she is on the bike, staying out in front into T2 with a lead of 1:09 on Metzler and 1:15 on Pallant. The American also showed just how fast athletes competing in World Triathlon events transition, hitting the run course with an extra 13 seconds on Metzler and 19 seconds on Pallant-Browne.

Out on the run course, though, Pallant-Browne was unstoppable as she ran her way to the lead by the half-way point of the half marathon and continued her charge to the finish line, running 1:17:40 to take the win in 3:59:54. Knibb was also caught by Metzler, and with 3 km to go the two were running side by side. Knibb found an extra gear, though, and was able to pull clear to take second in 4:02:20, with Metzler crossing the line 12 seconds later in 4:02:32.

Canadian-born Skye Moench (she races for the US) would take fourth in 4:09:43, with Jewett using her prodigious run talent to post a 1:16:51 split to move to fifth in 4:10:41.

Sam Long has enjoyed an impressive season in 2021 including a big win at Ironman Coeur d’Alene in June. Photo: Getty Images for Ironman

Long blasts the bike and run

Australia’s Sam Appleton led the men out of the water, with a 50-second lead over a group of nine that were about a minute behind as they hit T1. Long was just under four minutes back in 26th as he ran into T2.

By halfway through the bike Long had moved past all but one of the 25 men who had been ahead of him into transition, trailing Appleton by about two minutes. By the end of the bike he’d made up that gap, too, and led the Aussie out onto the run course by six seconds. That gap grew quickly, though, as Appleton blasted through a 1:12:01 half-marathon to easily take the win in 3:37:35. Appleton would stay in second (3:41:00) with American Collin Chartier maintaining his third-place into T2 and rounding out the podium (3:43:05). South African Bradley Weiss would take fourth (3:44:14) with Justin Metzler taking fifth (3:45:40).

Canada had a number of pro men in the field: Stephen Kilsahw would finish 13th in 3:57:13, Garrick Loewen would take 18th in 3:59:55, Mathieu Gauthier taking 20th in 4:01:39 and Loren Nelson took 27th in 4:27:36.