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Adam Bowden wins IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai

With an impressive all-round performance, Great Britain's Adam Bowden started 2019 in fine style to take victory today at IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai

Chief Correspondent
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Bowden takes race one of the NBH Triple Crown series in Dubai

It was supposed to be a head-to-head between Alistair Brownlee and twice IRONMAN 70.3 Bahrain winner, Kristian Blummenfelt. With news confirmed this week that Brownlee would not be defending his title in the UAE, surely the men’s race at IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai would be a battle for Silver, behind the Norwegian powerhouse? Well, that is why races are not decided on paper – and sport is all the better for that.

With his first IRONMAN 70.3 victory, Great Britain’s Adam Bowden is the new champion of Dubai, a fine start to his second season of Middle distance racing after an impressive debut year in 2018. He did it in style too, leading the swim, strong on the bike and then dominating the run.


The Race

Bowden lead the way into T1 after the opening 1.9km swim at the Jumeirah Public Beach, the top nine athletes separated by just 23 seconds, with Blummenfelt just 13 seconds back from Bowden. That looked like the perfect start for Kristian – who had won his previous two 70.3 starts in Bahrain – but his race day would not last long, suffering from major cramps shortly after starting the bike.

The early pace on the bike was set by Sébastien Fraysse (FRA), the French Long Distance champion, building a lead at the 45km turn point of almost one minute over a group of four, including Bowden, Patrick Nilsson (SWE), Johann Ackermann (GER) and Eric Watson (BAH).

Ackermann – who raced last weekend at IRONMAN 70.3 South Africa – is always strong on the bike, and he lead the chase and was able to close in and pass the French athlete. He did that, reached T2 in first place, but was  able to gain just a few seconds, leaving the top five athletes separated by less than 20 seconds at the bike dismount line. The race would be decided on the run – and with Bowden right in the mix, this was good news for the speedy Brit.

Adam powered out of T2 and he quickly caught and passed the German, took the lead and started to pull away. 43 seconds clear at 4km, 1:11 ahead at 7km and more than a minute and a half ahead at 13km, he was showing no weakness. Nilsson was clear in second, running significantly faster than everyone else… but it was no match for the long-time ITU World Series athlete, Bowden, who has really proven his worth over the IRONMAN 70.3 distance.

Bowden closed out perhaps his biggest win to date with a 1:10:35 run split, 1:12:44 for Nilsson and nobody else close.

IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai – Friday 1st February 2019
1.9km / 90km / 21.1km


1st – Adam Bowden (GBR) – 3:40:11
2nd – Patrick Nilsson (SWE) – 3:42:50
3rd – Sébastien Fraysse (FRA) – 3:47:05
4th – Johann Ackermann (GER) – 3:47:32
5th – Felipe Azevedo (POR) – 3:48:47


John Levison
Written by
John Levison
TRI247's Chief Correspondent, John has been involved in triathlon for well over 30 years, 15 of those writing on these pages, whilst he can also be found commentating for events across the UK.
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