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Leon Chevalier dominates, Gurutze Frades defends title, Sebastian Kienle retires with fourth at Ironman Cozumel

After the swim was cancelled due to unsafe water conditions, athletes took on a bike/ run race

Photo by: Kevin Mackinnon

After the swim was cancelled due to rough water conditions, France’s Leon Chevalier followed up his fifth-place finish at the Ironman World Championship Nice (pictured above) with a clear victory over a competitive field at Ironman Cozumel. Spain’s Gurutze Frades successfully defended her title, once again running to the win.

Wire to wire win

Chevalier was first off in the time trial start for the bike/ run event and was first into T2 after 3:58:43 bike on the flat, fast Cozumel course. That put him over three minutes up on American Chris Leiferman and just over four minutes ahead of German star Sebastian Kienle, who was competing in his last pro race. Aussie cycling star Cameron Wurf, who raced in Florida a few weeks ago, would hit transition in fifth place, just over seven minutes behind Chevalier.

Chevalier would follow up the day’s fastest bike with the second-fastest run, using a 2:42:23 marathon split to get to the line in 6:42:31, almost 10 minutes ahead of Leiferman (6:52:01,). Poland’s Robert Wikowiecki (6:54:27) would use the day’s fastest marathon (2:39:47) to put himself in a position to outsprint Kienle (6:54:41) for the final spot on the podium, finishing 14 seconds ahead of the German.

Sebastian Kienle calls it a career and raffles off “Discontinued” bike for World Bicycle Relief

Astle leads off the bike

Great Britain’s Ruth Astle blasted through the bike in 4:35 to lead the women onto the run, but the Achilles tendon injury that has plagued her for much of the year flared up again and forced her to pull out of the race just 6 km into the marathon.

Ruth Astle’s Argon 18 E-119 Tri+ Disc

Behind Astle, Canadian Angela Naeth posted the fastest bike of the day, hitting T2 in 4:38:56, with Germany’s Svenja Thoes just a few seconds slower (4:39:08), Canadian Danielle Fauteux next in at 4:43:54, followed by Frades at 4:45:18.

Thoes quickly outpaced Naeth and was in front through the first half of the marathon, but Frades was only 38 seconds back at the halfway point of the run and would quickly take the lead. Last year, after trailing by 22 minutes off the bike, Frades caught a fading Lisa Norden to take the win – this year’s race wasn’t nearly as dramatic as she would fly through a 2:49:23 marathon split to take the win in 7:36:10, almost seven minutes up on Thoes (7:43:03). The Netherlands’ Marlene de Boer would round out the podium in 7:57:02, while Naeth would take fourth in 7:59:57.