Joe Skipper produced a fine performance to claim victory at IRONMAN Lake Placid on Sunday while Alice Alberts grabbed a first ever pro podium and a first ever pro win.
The British star took control of the men’s race on the bike and was then too strong for home favourites Ben Hoffman and Matt Hanson as he held on in style on the run by completing his day with a 2:45:17 marathon.
Alberts meanwhile – in only her second year as a professional – was extremely impressive as she produced a wonderfully mature effort to come home comfortably in front.
Pro Men – Skipper holds all the aces
There were no surprises early as Aussie Josh Amberger blasted out to an early lead on the swim, reaching T1 with a lead of just under two minutes. 2022 winner Cody Beals was exactly two minutes away in fourth and Hoffman 2:10 back in sixth. Hanson and Skipper were ninth and 10th, around four minutes behind Amberger
Amberger’s lead was quickly whittled away by the chasers on the bike leg as the day properly started to take shape. By the time the field approached the halfway stage of the bike, it was Skipper who had come from four minutes back to take over at the front. He led a group of four which also included Amberger, Beals and Hoffman.
Skipper and Amberger began to pull away from the rest of the field as the bike leg moved into the second half, and in relatively quick time they built a buffer of just under two minutes to Hoffman.
It was the British star who made a decisive move on the final stages of the bike leg as he moved clear of Amberger, reaching T2 with an advantage of 1:22 over the Aussie. Hoffman – who had suffered a mechanical along the way – was 2:43 away in third as they set off on the marathon.
As the run developed it was Hoffman who appeared to be the major danger to Skipper, cutting the gap down to 1:19 at halfway in the marathon. This is where Joe started to take it up a notch though.
The British star, who had already claimed his Nice spot before this race, began to reassert and pull away again as we entered the closing stages. Meanwhile the charging Hanson in third was staking a strong claim to the final podium spot.
Skipper showed no sign of flagging at all as he stormed in a time of 8:03:46 – just over two minutes ahead of Hoffman. Hanson claimed third with the best run split of the day – a blistering 2:41:15.
Pro Women – A first for Alberts
Rach McBride came out of the water first, pretty much alongside eventual winner Alberts as the pair headed a front pack of four.
Onto the bike though and McBride was quickly displaced as first Japan’s Ai Ueda and then Alberts put the hammer down. By the halfway stage of the leg, Roberts held an advantage of around three minutes over recent IRONMAN Coeur d’Alene winner Jodie Robertson and Ueda, with McBride almost five minutes back in fourth.
Roberts continued to lead the way as the bike leg entered its closing stages, and she held a 40-second advantage over Angela Naeth heading into T2. Robertson had fallen back to 4:19 away in third after suffering a mechanical.
Any thoughts that Alberts would soon feel the pressure heading into the run were quickly dispelled as she began to extend her lead in impressive fashion. By the time they had covered eight miles she was almost six minutes clear of Naeth, with Annett almost seven minutes back in third.
Alberts, who had only taken up the sport in 2021, was showing no signs of stopping and she continued to maintain an impressive advantage of around six minutes over her rivals.
Behind Alberts, it was Canadian Erin Snelgrove who had made excellent progress into second, with compatriot Annett in third. That left Naeth out of the podium places for now.
Into the final miles and Alberts had paced it perfectly as she strode out to claim her first professional podium and first professional victory. Snelgrove claimed second with a rapid 3:02:31 marathon and Annett took third.
IRONMAN Lake Placid Results 2023
Sunday July 23, 2023
- 1. Joe Skipper (GBR) – 8:03:46
- 2. Ben Hoffman (USA) – 8:06:06
- 3. Matt Hanson (USA) – 8:09:51
- 4. Josh Amberger (AUS) – 8:14:58
- 5. Michael Weiss (AUT) – 8:17:35
- 1. Alice Alberts (USA) – 9:16:01
- 2. Erin Snelgrove (CAN) – 9:21:49
- 3. Jen Annett (CAN) – 9:27:35
- 4. Angela Naeth (CAN) – 9:32:23
- 5. Ai Ueda (JPN) – 9:33:49