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IRONMAN 70.3 Indian Wells 2023: Red letter day for Norway as they dominate at La Quinta

It was a day to remember for Norway as Solveig Løvseth and Casper Stornes were the stars of the show in California.

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There have been huge triathlon days for Norway before, but very few have not featured Kristian Blummenfelt or Gustav Iden until now.

But the ‘next wave’ of potential stars put a real marker down at IRONMAN 70.3 Indian Wells on Sunday as Solveig Løvseth and Casper Stornes claimed the wins.

We’d flagged up the potential before and Løvseth powered clear of her rivals on the bike and was never threatened thereafter – not even by one of the sport’s fastest runners in Tamara Jewett – while Stornes was in the mix throughout along with compatriots Vetle Thorn and Sebastian Wernersen and comfortably held off Marc Dubrick (USA) and defending champion Sam Long (USA) on the run.

It felt like a hugely significant race as many – including Løvseth – were stepping up to middle distance for the first time and, with echoes of Blummenfelt and Iden, seriously shook up the established order.

And just to underline that, their coach Mikal Iden had a great day out in the age-cat race too as he was the overall winner there.

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Pro Men – Stornes shows the way

Short-course talent was to the fore in the swim.

All three Norwegians were in the big front group but so too were the likes of Dubrick and Matt Sharpe (CAN) as well as last year’s 70.3 Worlds runner up Ben Kanute (USA) who tends to excel whatever the distance.

Onto the bike and when things settled down it was Wernersen, Stornes and Justin Riele (USA) who now led the way, with a five-man chase pack at around 45 seconds back and featuring Long, Jackson Laundry (CAN), Thorn, Dubrick and Braxton Bokos (USA) as it started to splinter behind.

Setting out on the run and Long had bridged up to the front trio as he looked to repeat last year’s win but it was Stornes who would prove to be the strongest – and by some margin.

He crossed the line in 3:38:59 for a second 70.3 win (after Nice in 2021), with Dubrick and Long joining him on the podium but over a minute behind. Thorn was fourth, Laundry fifth, Trevor Foley (USA) sixth, Wernersen seventh and Kanute eighth.

Casper Stornes wins 703 Indian Wells 2023 photo credit IRONMAN
[Photo credit: IRONMAN]

Pro Women – Løvseth puts down a marker

It was simply all about Solveig Løvseth on her 70.3 debut.

She was 2:31 down after the swim as American Emily Tato led the way from Great Britain’s Jodie Stimpson and at that point the rest were all more than two minutes off the lead.

But it didn’t take long for things to change dramatically on the bike as Løvseth underlined her cycling power by charging into the lead within the first 10 miles.

And she continued to put the hammer down, opening up a gap of nearly two minutes on Stimpson and Tato after 23 miles, with Jewett at +2:31.

The times continued to go out, at 34 miles her advantage was 3:42 over what was now a six-woman group as Americans Jackie Hering, Gabrielle Lumkes and Lesley Smith joined the chasers.

Jewett’s run prowess clearly has to be massively respected but a deficit of over six minutes at T2 looked a huge ask – and so it proved.

Løvseth has made huge strides at WTCS level this season but this was next level and she never looked like being threatened as she ticked off a 1:20 half marathon.

The gap came down but she took the tape in 4:08:24, with Jewett second at +1:55 and Hering rounding out the podium in third.

Solveig Lovseth wins 703 Indian Wells 2023 Photo credit IRONMAN
[Photo credit: IRONMAN]

IRONMAN 70.3 Indian Wells 2022 Results

Sunday 3 December 2023 – 1.9km / 90km / 21.1km

PRO Men

  • 1. Casper Stornes (NOR) – 3:38:59
  • 2. Marc Dubrick (USA) – 3:40:15
  • 3. Sam Long (USA) – 3:40:27
  • 4. Vetle Thorn (NOR) – 3:40:51
  • 5. Jackson Laundry (CAN) – 3:42:44

PRO Women

  • 1. Solveig Løvseth (NOR) – 4:08:24
  • 2. Tamara Jewett (CAN) – 4:10:19
  • 3. Jackie Hering (USA) – 4:14:09
  • 4. Lesley Smith (USA) – 4:18:23
  • 5. Gabrielle Lumkes (USA) – 4:22:05
Jonathan Turner
Written by
Jonathan Turner
Jonathan Turner is News Director for both TRI247 and RUN247, and is accustomed to big-name interviews, breaking news stories and providing unrivalled coverage for endurance sports.  
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