There was some fast and furious racing in the “Florence of the North” this morning as IRONMAN 70.3 Dresden got underway, with a host of professional and age group athletes all vying for qualification slots to the 2023 VinFast IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships.
[UPDATE – since our report was first published, first across the line for the Pro Women, Kaidi Kivioja (EST), was disqualified for overtaking on the right during the bike section. See details below, that makes Caroline Pohle (GER) the revised winner]
Loeschke leads a German sweep of top five
In the men’s field, it was Franz Loeschke who came out on top, ahead of four of his fellow countrymen, with German athletes sweeping the top five positions in the capital of Saxony.
Out of the water, it was Brit Joshua Lewis who led a large front group of nine in the shortened swim, with podium contenders such as Frenchman Antony Costes and Thomas Davis alongside him. Heading into T1, none of the eventual podium finishers were within 30 seconds of the front, with Loeschke the closest, 35 seconds back.
By halfway on the bike, however, Loeschke had made up the deficit to Costes, with a group of Germans that included Fabian Reuter and Jonas Hoffman following quickly on his wheel. After overtaking the Frenchman, Loeschke and compatriot Jesse Hinrichs put in a decisive move over the last 30 kilometres, with the duo putting almost 90 seconds into the rest of the field over the closing stages before Hinrichs put in a surge to enter transition 20 seconds up on Loeschke.
Unfortunately for Hinrichs, his dig to put himself in pole position at T2 was in vain, as Loeschke executed a lightening fast transition of just 44 seconds to lead out on to the run. Whilst Hoffman managed to close the gap throughout the half marathon, his deficit to Loeschke was too much to overturn, as Loeschke took the win just over a minute ahead of his fellow countryman. Leonard Arnold had the quickest run of the day in Dresden, with his 1:06 half enough to put himself in third, but it was a well executed race by Loeschke that made him the best of the Germans today.
The IRONMAN Sweden third place finisher, who is heading to Kona in a few weeks time, is one of many athletes struggling to meet the financial implications of racing on the big island. The German, who set up a crowdfunding page in February, has so far raised almost €10,000 in donations. Hopefully, his win today will go someway towards making his Kona dream a little easier on the wallet.
Kivioja consistent across the board (but DQ’d…)
Kaidi Kivioja prevented a home win for Caroline Pohle as the Estonian executed her swim, bike and run to perfection to take the top step on the podium in Dresden. In third place was Brit Nikki Bartlett, who proved that Germany is a happy hunting ground for the PTO world ranked #32 after she also finished on the podium at IRONMAN Germany this year.
In the shortened swim, it was Caroline Pohle who led through the water, with the German putting over 20 seconds into her closest rival over 750m. Behind her, Swiss Estelle Perriard was also swimming solo in second, with the rest of the field including Kivioja and Bartlett struggling with the pace at the front.
Perriard capitalised on a slow transition from Pohle to lead out onto the bike, but was soon caught, with the Swiss athlete bleeding five minutes to the leaders after 25km on the bike. By halfway, it was Kivioja out on the front, followed closely by Pohle and Bartlett, as the Estonian Olympian looked to win the premier race of her season at the first time of asking.
It was Brit Bartlett who lead into T2, with Pohle and Kivioja hot on her heels in transition, where the German managed to gain 25 seconds on her fellow podium contenders with a lightening fast transition. Behind the leading trio the field was strung out, with over 15 minutes gap back to early leader Perriard, who now sat in eighth place.
On to the run, Pohle was caught at 4km by Kivioja, and with Bartlett now out of the running for the overall win, it was between the Estonian and the German to see who would take top honours. It was a thrilling race, as the pair ran side-by-side for another 12km, until finally Kivioja managed to break Pohle, who put up a commendable fight to stay in contention.
Over the final 3km, Kivioja kept her foot on the gas, as she finished 42 seconds ahead of Pohle, with the German taking home a brilliant second 2:30 ahead of Bartlett in third.
As shown below, Estonia’s Kaidi Kivioja was disqualified after post-race
IRONMAN 70.3 Dresden 2022 results
Sunday 18 September 2022 – 1.9km / 90km / 21.1km
- 1. Franz Loeschke (GER) – 3:43:37
- 2. Jonas Hoffman (GER) – 3:44:56
- 3. Leonard Arnold (GER) – 3:45:13
- 4. Fabian Reuter (GER) – 3:46:30
- 5. Jesse Hinrichs (GER) – 3:46:58
DQ. Kaidi Kivioja (EST) – 4:08:58
- 1. Caroline Pohle (GER) – 4:09:41
- 2. Nikki Bartlett (GBR) – 4:12:06
- 3. Daniela Kleiser (GER) – 4:14:18
- 4. Laura Jansen (GER) – 4:24:01
- 5. Eloise Du Luart (FRA) -4:25:08