70.3 Dubai: Anne Haug wins, Lewis and Lawrence complete podium

Anne Haug IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai

Germany’s Anne Haug runs to victory in Dubai

Career-best performance from Great Britain’s Sarah Lewis? Almost certainly…

[CLICK HERE FOR THE MEN’S REPORT FROM DUBAI]

For much of this morning’s women’s Pro race at IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai, I had sense of deja vu, as a Holly Lawrence was being hunted down on the run by Germany’s Anne Haug. That battle went right to the finish straight at IRONMAN 70.3 Bahrain in November, with the British IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion in 2016 just getting the better of the German by ten seconds. We didn’t quite end up with the same result today.

With winner for the past two seasons, Daniela Ryf, absent this year, Lawrence hit the front from the start, clocking a swift 23:54 for the 1.9km swim to lead Ellie Salthouse (AUS) and Haug by 1:52 as she reached the Jumeirah Beach shore. The British pair of Sarah Lewis and Kimberley Morrison, along with Agnieszka Jerzyk (POL) were just 20 seconds further back, with Nikki Bartlett 5:12 down already on the speedy Lawrence.

Last year, Morrison was the breakthrough star on the bike and during the opening quarter of the ride, she did move through the field into second, reducing her deficit on Holly by 40 seconds. Lawrence would return the favour slightly over the remainder of the ride, with a net impact over the 90km of almost nothing – 2:14:01 split for Lawrence, 2:14:14 for Morrision. While they did lose a little more time during the cycle leg, Haug, Salthouse and Lewis were still only around 3:30 in arrears at the end of the ride, and with Haug’s running pedigree in particular, that was very much within her capability to close down.

Lawrence appeared to be running quite strongly in the early stages – but she could do little versus the pace of Haug – and by the 10km mark, the German had moved into the lead. As she made the turn to head out on to the second (shorter) run lap, Lawrence was starting to look significantly more fatigued and any battle with Haug was clearly over. It was Sarah Lewis, running strong in third, who was her new danger. As they reached the 10-mile point, Haug was cruising and her win was not in question, but Lewis (the winner of IRONMAN 70.3 Dublin), was not fading and moved past Lawrence into second place. Holly was clearly struggling, looking behind frequently, but fortunately her now third place was not under threat.

Haug continued her march to a victory margin of 4:53 via a 1:14:11 run split (I’m going to guess that the run course was, perhaps, a little short…?), while Lewis clocked 1:18:42 to take second place. In my eyes that performance ranks higher than her efforts in Dublin last year and sets her up for a great season. A shattered Holly Lawrence left it all out there on the course, collapsing to the floor as she crossed the welcome sight of the finish line.

After wins at IRONMAN 70.3 Lanzarote, second at 70.3 Bahrain and now another win in Dubai, make no mistake, Anne Haug will be a serious podium contender by the time of the World Championship in South Africa.

IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai – Friday 2nd February 2018
1.9km / 90km / 21.1km

PRO WOMEN

1st – Anne Haug (GER) – 4:00:25
2nd – Sarah Lewis (GBR) – 4:05:19
3rd – Holly Lawrence (GBR) – 4:07:36
4th – Ellie Salthouse (AUS) – 4:11:11
5th – Agnieszka Jerzyk (POL) – 4:15:16
6th – Kimberley Morrison (GBR) – 4:16:20
7th – Nikki Bartlett (GBR) – 4:20:19
8th – Asa Lundstrom (SWE) – 4:23:18
9th – Minna Koistinen (FIN) – 4:24:28
10th – Annah Watkinson (RSA) – 4:31:53