The year of the comeback continues in Australia
(Photo credit: Delly Carr | Bahrain Endurance 13)
Five months ago, New Zealand’s Terenzo Bozzone was hit by a truck while cycling, an impact which for several weeks looked like it may well end his distinguished career. Yesterday (Sunday) – a week after winning IRONMAN 70.3 Western Sydney, he won his third consecutive title at IRONMAN Western Australia, Busselton, edging out Kona bike course record holder Cameron Wurf en-route to another Sub-8 hour clocking.
Following the return of ‘man with the halo‘, Tim Don and the remarkable Kona sixth place finish of Matt Russell, the ability and resolve of triathletes to return to the top level after the toughest of times continues to impress.
Bozzone and Wurf were soon alone at the front of the race, with Cameron having a great swim to exit the water little more than a minute behind the Kiwi who lead the way solo. By 20km mark od the bike they were together at the front of the race, 75 seconds ahead of former Busselton winner, Luke McKenzie.
As a former Pro cyclist, Wurf’s ace card is the bike of course, and he pulled clear into the lead and had gained a 1:26 buffer by the halfway mark on the ride, and was able to gradually extend that over the next 90km, to reach T2 3:44 ahead of Bozzone. Wurf had produced a 4:07:14 bike leg versus the 4:12:12 of Terenzo. The duo Matt Burton and Luke McKenzie were next to dismount, just over 12 minutes down on the leader.
Wurf is a much improved runner over the 2018 season and, in conjunction with Bozzone’s own restricted training since his return to competition, lost nothing of his lead over the first 12km. Finally, the cracks started to show – but only slightly – but it took a long time to chip away the deficit for Terenzo and at the 30km marker, they were running stride-for stride and the Aussie was holding firm on home soil. Only in the last 10km was Bozzone finally able to break the stubborn Wurf, eventually finishing with a 2:51:13 marathon versus the 2:56:30 of the Aussie. The winning margin was just 1:40.
Talking to Bahrain 13 Endurance media, Bozzone said:
“I felt like the legs were about to fall off. I dug deep and gave it one last crack and thankfully he let me run away with it.
“I do enjoy coming to Busso, and to win three titles and put my mark on the race is very special to me.
“I am struggling to find the words to express how emotional this race was for me. What a day Busso and a huge thanks to all the spectators, volunteers, athletes and friends out there, for their continued encouragement out on the course today.”
A rest now for Bozzone? No chance – he’ll be racing IRONMAN 70.3 Bahrain on Saturday. Last year he finished second in Bahrain and then a week later won in Busselton. How will he fair in the reverse order this year? He’s made a career of back-to-back racing success, so probably, rather well.
Steffen dominates Pro women
Despite being away from full distance IRONMAN racing for three years, Caroline Steffen proved that break was a positive one with a huge win.
First out of the swim with former ITU star Barbara Riveros (making her iron-distance debut), ‘Xena’ then showed the biking power that has been such a big part of her career and by the 90km mark was almost 10 minutes clear. Registering a 4:44:52 bike split, her lead at T2 was a massive 13:51 over Riveros, with nobody else within 20 minutes.
As if to rubber-stamp her total control, a 3:06:14 marathon extended her lead even further over Riveros (3:10:56), to a whopping 18:23 at the finish. Domination – and yes, she will be taking the Kona slot for 2019, which will be her first race in Hawaii for four years.
IRONMAN 70.3 Western Australia, Busselton – Sunday 2nd December 2018
3.8km / 180km / 42.2km
1st – Terenzo Bozzone (NZL) – 7:56:01
2nd – Cameron Wurf (AUS) – 7:57:41
3rd – Matt Burton (AUS) – 8:07:09
4th – Luke McKenzie (AUS) – 8:09:44
5th – Patrick Dirksmeier (GER) – 8:13:29
1st – Caroline Steffen (SUI) – 8:49:46
2nd – Barbara Riveros (CHI) – 9:08:09
3rd – Dimity-Lee Duke (AUS) – 9:15:37
4th – Emily Loughnan (AUS) – 9:20:54
5th – Beth McKenzie (USA) – 9:23:28