The IRONMAN 70.3 circuit added two new winners to its history on Sunday, as Alessandro Fabian (ITA) and Lucy Byram (GBR) claimed victories at IRONMAN 70.3 Venice-Jesolo.
While Byram took control right out of T1 and was never headed, WTCS regular and Olympian, Fabian, had to chase until the final miles to reach the front of the race.
Pro Men – Fabian finally gets there
Germany’s Hannes Butters headed the way through the opening 1.9km swim in the Adriatic Sea. He clocked a 21:56 swim, but with 15 athletes within a minute, we wouldn’t get a clear picture of the race until much later in the day. Butters actually won the race last year, when it was an age-group only event.
Great Britain’s Tom Bishop was a part of those early leaders, coming out of the swim in 11th (22:41), along with Andrew Horsfall-Turner, who has likely never been 12th in a swim in his life, such is his typical speed in the water.
Fast-forward to the midpoint of the bike, and there was still a group of nine athletes together, who were now a full four minutes up on their chasers. The podium would surely come from this pack. Bishop was still there, but Horsfall-Turner was now among the chasers.
Perhaps inspired by watching Sam Laidlow’s cycling performance overnight in Hawaii, Mathis Margirier (FRA) powered towards T2 with the only sub two-hour time bike split of the day. That left him 1:23 up on Gregory Barnaby (ITA), with Antony Costes (FRA) and Alessandro Fabian (ITA) now two minutes back.
That second half of the ride had blown the field apart, and Franz Loeschke (GER) was next, more than five minutes behind the leader, before Bishop led in the chasers, who had lost six and a half minutes.
Despite his bike efforts, Margirier maintained his lead on the run until well into the final 5km, where only Fabian was able to make the pass and take the Venice-Jesolo title. Italy topped the podium, but it was a France two-three with Margirier just holding off Costes, who completed the podium trio. All three were separated by less than a minute at the finish.
[UPDATE – After the race we found out that Antony Costes was given a DQ for not stopping at the penalty box, which means that Gregory Barnaby moves up to third place]
Pro Women – First 70.3 title for Byram
There was a British one-two through the first discipline, as Rosie Weston (25:13) headed Challenge Wales winner, Lucy Byram, by 13 seconds as they went into T1. Lilli Gelmini (ITA) was close too, but after than fourth was already almost two minutes back.
Byram took control inside the first kilometre after a swift transition, and from there was never headed. Almost six minutes ahead of Jade Nicole Roberts (RSA) at 50km, she reached T2 with the fastest bike split (and a lead of more than five minutes) ahead of Roberts, with the main chase pack more than six minutes down now.
With the quality work done to set up her race, even the efforts of Diede Diederiks (NED) on the run were not enough to challenge the Brit. The Dutch athlete ran significantly faster (1:21:45 vs. 1:25:49), but still came up almost two and a half minutes short of the champion.
That result represents the first IRONMAN 70.3 title for Byram, to add to her Challenge Family win in Wales. A fourth podium of the season in total, it’s been a solid 2022 for the Brit.
IRONMAN 70.3 Venice-Jesolo Results 2022
Sunday 9 October 2022 – 1.9km / 90km / 21.1km
- 1. Alessandro Fabian (ITA) – 3:41:06
- 2. Mathis Margirier (FRA) – 3:41:40
- DQ post-race – Antony Costes (FRA) – 3:41:54 (Not stopping at penalty box)
- 3. Gregory Barnaby (ITA) – 3:43:43
- 4. Ognjen Stojanovic (SRB) – 3:44:40
- 5. Adriano Engelhardt (SUI) – 3:45:13
- 7. Tom Bishop (GBR) – 3:46:59
- 10. Will Draper (IOM) – 3:47:24
- 20. Andre Horsfall-Turner (GBR) – 3:53:05
- 1. Lucy Byram (GBR) – 4:09:48
- 2. Diede Diederiks (NED) – 4:12:17
- 3. Giorgia Priarone (ITA) – 4:14:24
- 4. Svenja Thoes (GER) – 4:15:25
- 5. Jade Nicole Roberts (RSA) – 4:15:48