Wet weather and tricky descents added to the challenges today at IRONMAN 70.3 Zell am See in Austria – but when the top awards were handed out, it was still to the top-ranked athletes on the extensive start lists.
PRO Men – Funk powers clear on bike
Hannes Butters (GER), Magnus Manner (GER) and Sven Thalmann (SUI) forced a small break and a 1:35 advantage during the first discipline in Austria. With such a deep field of quality athletes behind them however, they would be doing exceptionally well to be featuring over the coming three hours.
2021 Zell am See champion, Jan Stratmann, and the in-form Frederic Funk were chasing, and would start the bike around a minute up on Sebastian Kienle, who ended the first discipline outside of the top 20.
It took him a while to make the break, but eventually the efforts and strength of Funk’s cycling power saw him move clear in the second half of the ride. His best-of-the-day 2:08:01 split gave him a two minute lead over a chasing trio of Stratmann, Lukas Kocar (CZE) and Gregory Barnaby (ITA).
The next group on the road – four minutes down on Funk – included Kienle, Mann, Manner, Andreas Dreitz (GER), Ruben Zepuntke (GER), Lukas Hollaus (AUT) and Marc Eggeling (GER).
While Barnaby was able to close the gap on the run, Funk held on well to add victory here to his bronze medal last weekend in Samorin. Defending champion Stratmann was more than content to follow up with another Zell am See podium.
** UPDATE ** Several hours after the race had finished, Gregory Barnaby was disqualified from second place having crossed the centre white line during a descent on the bike section.
PRO Women – Five-star show
New Zealand’s Rebecca Clarke, seventh last week at the World Triathlon Long Distance Champs, led the way through the opening 1.9km swim. No surprise there, as only uber-swimmer Lucy Charles-Barclay was ahead of her in Samorin.
Less than a minute behind, Grace Thek (AUS), Katherine Kruger (GER) and pre-race favourite, Emma Pallant-Browne, followed. The big chase pack were around two minutes behind Clarke starting the bike.
Pallant-Browne quickly bridged the gap to Clarke and moved into the lead, but was unable to drop the Kiwi. The wet road conditions and some technical downhills were calling on some different skills today, and another Brit, Laura Addie, was among those from the large chasing swim group to feature at the front of the race. Addie – a former IRONMAN World Championship age-group champion – was sixth last week at IRONMAN 70.3 Vichy.
The conditions clearly played their part, and when T2 came around, seven athletes were together – Clarke, Pallant-Browne, Addie, Thek, Els Visser (NED), Giorgia Priarone (ITA) and Lisa-Marie Dornauer (AUT). With the fast running of Emma among them, it would surely be a case of six athletes chasing second and third on the podium with 21km of running ahead. Pallant-Browne, of course, one of the best runners in the sport.
Emma hit the front in the run immediately and was never headed. She could finish in relative comfort after a 1:19:12 run, with Grace Thek and Giorgia Priarone similarly holding position for second and third throughout the half marathon.
Today’s performance represented a fifth victory of the season for Pallant-Browne, who will of course now turn her attentions to the final part of the season, and we suspect the PTO US Open and the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship.
IRONMAN 70.3 Zell am See Kaprun 2022 results
Sunday 28 August 2022 – 1.9km / 90km / 21.1km
- 1. Frederic Funk (GER) – 3:50:24
- 2. Jan Stratmann (GER) – 3:52:03
- 3. Lukas Hollaus (AUT) – 3:52:47
- 4. Nicolas Mann (GER) – 3:52:53
- 5. Sebastian Kienle (GER) – 3:53:09
NOTE/UPDATE – Originally crossing the line second in 3:51:08, Gregory Barnaby (ITA) was later disqualified for crossing the centre line on a descent during the cycle section. More HERE.
- 1. Emma Pallant-Browne (GBR) – 4:21:43
- 2. Grace Thek (AUS) – 4:23:07
- 3. Giorgia Priarone (ITA) – 4:25:01
- 4. Daniela Klesier (GER) – 4:25:52
- 5. Rebecca Clarke (NZL) – 4:27:27