Australia’s Max Neumann has continued on his impressive streak – after a fourth-place finish at the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii in October, he bounced back with a monstrous win at Ironman Western Australia today, missing the course record set by two-time Olympic gold medalist Alistair Brownlee in 2019.
Neumann (7:45:21) ended up over five minutes ahead of countryman Steve McKenna, with Matt Burton rounding out the podium.
“I’m feeling better than I did at the end in Kona but it’s bittersweet to miss the record by one second, to finish the year with another win here in Australia is special and means a lot, I enjoy racing here against the best Aussies and am very lucky to be able to do this,” said Neumann.
Neumann knew he was close to the record and sprinted down the finishing chute as he tried to better the Brit’s time.
“It was about eight minutes left, we had about two kilometres to go, so I did some quick maths and I thought the last thing I want to do is bury myself and end up in the medical tent,” he said. “I knocked it down in the last k and sprinted up the finish line and missed it by one second, it is what it is. The swim was nice and choppy and the conditions were actually quite hard, the bike felt like we had a headwind the entire way with the crosswind there, but all us top three rode solo which I don’t think I’ve ever been in a race where that’s happed in my entire career, it was as fair as they come and it was just whoever had the better run legs and luckily today I still had some freshness in the legs and came home with the win.”
Crowley takes the “triple crown”
Australia’s Sarah Crowley made history by becoming the pro to win all three Ironman events in Australia in the same year. Crowley won in 8:46:10, almost five minutes ahead of Dutch athletes Els Visser and Lotte Wilms.
“I really just ran my own race today, I had a strategy in the swim, it was try and go with Lotte, if not be with Radka and just try and separate everyone as soon as possible,” said Crowley. “Then once I caught up to Lotte, I just did a huge pass and got that done. I think it made for a really fair race, which made Lotte’s race really good for her first go as well, then Els ran through. I think because I had that little buffer, I could relax into the run, eat and drink and get things sorted and execute a really good strong run and not feel like I had to destroy myself, though my legs are feeling pretty destroyed right now.”
Crowley won Ironman Australia in May and followed that up with the win at Ironman Cairns in June.
“It’s a legacy now, it’s something I’ve done in the sport,” she said. “I love Australia and it’s such a cool way to have a fabulous year after some pretty horrible ones with COVID and everything. I’ve never been to this race and it’s just so good, I’ll process it and probably have to think a bit more about my words but I’m very happy with it.”
“I’m ecstatic, I started out the season at a local race in Adelaide and I had no confidence,” she continued. “I’d had a couple of bad years and I had lost my confidence and had to build back in with local racing in Australia, and that’s why I stuck to it with these races this year and now I feel like I executed what I needed to get done and even today it was making sure that those first two wins weren’t flukes and I’m really proud of that.”
- Max Neumann – 7:45:21
- Steve McKenna – 7:50:49
- Matt Burton – 7:56:09
- Mitch Kibby – 8:01:53
- Fraser Walsh – 8:22:05
- Jack Sosinski – 8:23:19
- Levi Hauwert – 8:22:05
- Lachlan Kerin – 8:26:36
- Matt Lewis – 8:30:06
- Joel Wooldridge – 8:32:52
- Sarah Crowley – 8:46:10
- Els Visser – 8:50:49
- Lotte Wilms – 8:52:53
- Kylie Simpson – 8:56:29
- Radka Kahlefeldt – 9:01:58
- Meredith Hill – 9:09:35
- Fiona Moriarty – 9:19:32
- Shannon Sutton – 9:20:48
- Laura Brown – 9:27:14
- Moya Johansson – 9:30:40