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Ryf dominates in Dubai

Denmark's Daniel Bakkegard runs away with the men's title

Photo by: Activ Images for Ironman

After the pandemic-forced layoff, Switzerland’s four-time Ironman world champion (and five-time Ironman 70.3 world champ) Daniela Ryf returned to racing in style today with a convincing five-minute-plus victory over countrywoman Imogen Simmonds. Ryf was just eight-seconds out of the lead coming out of the water, then spent much of the bike ride chasing Simmonds before pulling in front with 20 km to go. Once out on the run there was no touching the race favourite – her 1:16:50 run split was more than enough to pull her clear.

“I was so happy to be able to race again. It’s been a long time, so to jump in that water and get going with the other girls was a good feeling. It felt like I’m back to doing what I’m supposed to do, in my natural surroundings,” Ryf said after the race.

The men’s race saw Denmark’s Daniel Bakkegard lead out of the water, only to find himself back in 11th place off the bike. Once on the run, though, Bakkegard blasted to the front thanks to a 1:10:01 run split that saw him finish over a minute ahead of the rest of the men. There were lots of fireworks for the final two spots on the podium, though, as Portugal’s Filipe Azevedo, Sweden’s Rasmus Svenningsson and Switzerland’s Andrea Salvisberg sprinted to the line. Just one second separated the three as Azevedo took second with Svenningsson rounding out the podium.

Daniel Bakkegard wins Ironman 70.3 Dubai. Photo: Activ Images for Ironman

Top five professional men’s results:

SWIM        BIKE          RUN            FINISH
1. Daniel Bakkegard            DNK    00:23:21    01:55:45    01:10:01      03:33:02
2. Filipe Azevedo                 POR    00:24:13    01:54:40    01:10:58      03:34:03
3. Rasmus Svenningsson   SWE    00:24:55    01:54:03    01:09:20      03:34:04
4. Andrea Salvisberg           SUI    00:23:21    01:55:38    01:11:06      03:34:05
5. Antony Costes                 FRA    00:24:12     01:54:37    01:11:51      03:34:36

Top five professional women’s results:

SWIM         BIKE          RUN            FINISH
1. Daniela Ryf                     SUI    00:26:39    02:08:36    01:16:50       03:56:54
2. Imogen Simmonds          SUI    00:26:31    02:08:54    01:22:10       04:02:02
3. Sara Svensk                   SWE    00:29:18    02:09:32    01:21:22       04:05:17
4. Elena Danilova               RUS    00:26:34     02:16:39    01:19:40       04:07:37
5. Cecilia Perez                  MEX    00:26:32     02:16:38    01:20:19       04:08:27