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IRONMAN 70.3 Weymouth titles to Cunnama and Verstuyft

No British winners at IRONMAN 70.3 Weymouth this year as James Cunnama (RSA) and Katrien Verstuyft (BEL) take the titles in Dorest

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Weymouth wins go to South Africa and Belgium

The UK M-Dot season concludes at IRONMAN 70.3 Weymouth

Make no mistake, with the IRONMAN World Championships coming up in four weeks time, James Cunnama (RSA) is a man in form. Fourth at the IRONMAN European Championships in Frankfurt, a huge performance at IRONMAN Hamburg and another at IRONMAN 70.3 Lanzarote, should have left the South African in no need of further confirmation that he is in the sort of form to possibly match his Kona fourth place of 2013. That didn’t stop him dominating IRONMAN 70.3 Weymouth today.

Third out of the swim (25:32) behind the pace-setting Manuel Kung (SUI) who swam 24:17, Cunnama had the British trio of Fraser Cartmell, Kit Walker and Elliot Smales for company, along with David Breuer (GER).

30km into the ride and Cunnama was clear in second place, now just 44 seconds down with a further two minutes back to a chase group of six. By 60km Cunnama had hit the front and by T2 his pace had built a huge lead of four minutes over Kung and 5:23 over Tom Lecomte (FRA).

After the fastest bike split, James added the fastest run (1:16:01) too, to cross the finish line first outside of Weymouth Pavilion by a whopping five and a half minutes. The international podium was completed by Lecomte in second and Belgium’s Kenneth Vandendriessche in third. A strong run from Fraser Cartmell earned him the top British finisher position in fourth. It’s been a busy ‘UK 70.3’ tour for Fraser, with 5th at Staffs, 6th at Dublin, 5th at Edinburgh and now 4th in Weymouth.

For the Pro women, the opening swim was predictably headed by Hannah Drewett (28:01), a week after racing at the 70.3 World Champs. In second – also having raced last weekend at IRONMAN Wales – was Kate Comber (28:55), with Katrien Verstuyft (BEL), Joanna Soltysiak (SWE), Natalie Seymour and Nikki Bartlett three minutes back at this early stage.

A technical issue with her electronic gears would soon put Nikki Bartlett out of her final preparation race before Kona, and by the midpoint of the bike Seymour (second last year), had caught Drewett on the ride, with a two and a half minute lead over Verstuyft, Soltysiak and Magdalana Nieuwoudt (RSA). Those positions changed little on the road to T2, leaving Drewett and Seymour starting the half marathon side-by-side.

Seymour quickly took the lead on the run, and at the halfway mark was 1:50 clear of Verstuyft with Soltysiak almost five minutes down on the Brit who was seeking her first IRONMAN 70.3 victory. By 15km the gap was less than a minute and with 4km to go, it was down to 30 seconds.. the writing was on the proverbial wall!

Verstuyft continued with her pace to run clock a 1:23:43 run split, to take the win by 1:23 over Seymour (1:27:01), with Soltysiak holding off the closing Emma Deary for the final podium place.

IRONMAN 70.3 Weymouth

IRONMAN 70.3 Weymouth – Sunday 17th September 2017
1.9lm / 90km / 21.1km

PRO MEN

1st – James Cunnama (GBR) – 4:02:32
2nd – Tom Lecomte (FRA) – 4:08:01
3rd – Kenneth Vandendriessche (BEL) – 4:10:13
4th – Fraser Cartmell (GBR) – 4:10:13
5th – Manuel Kung (SUI) – 4:13:00
6th – David Breuer (GER) – 4:16:41
7th – Kit Walker (GBR) – 4:21:05

IRONMAN 70.3 Weymouth

PRO WOMEN

1st – Kathrien Verstuyft (BEL) – 4:42:35
2nd – Natalie Seymour (GBR) – 4:43:57
3rd – Joanna Soltysiak (SWE) – 4:49:56
4th – Emma Deary (GBR) – 4:50:32
5th – Corinne Abraham (GBR) – 4:51:39
6th – Kate Comber (GBR) – 4:56:19
7th – Magdalana Nieuwoudt (RSA) – 4:59:31

IRONMAN 70.3 Weymouth

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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