Second IRONMAN title of 2018 for Great Britain’s Laura Siddall
(Photo Credit for header image: Delly Carr / IRONMAN)
After winning IRONMAN New Zealand in March, Laura Siddall added a third career IRONMAN title by defending her 2017 victory at IRONMAN Australia in Port Macquarie on Sunday.
Looking ahead to the race in my preview, I’d suggested that it looked set for another battle with Annabel Luxford (AUS), who has pushed Siddall into second place twice already this year at Challenge Wanaka and Challenge Melbourne.
When, as expected, Luxford lead the way through the opening 3.8km swim, exiting in 48:41 alongside Kelsey Withrow (USA), that looked set to be the case. Siddall was next into T1, but a full seven minutes back.
Withrow was unable to stay with the pace of the talented Luxford on the bike and while Siddall was giving chase, by the mid-point of the ride she had reduced her initial seven minute deficit by around 90 seconds. The second half would be crucial. Siddall did start to make big gains, and by 145km she took the lead – but for Luxford, her day would soon be over:
Perhaps I shouldn’t have started but goals are hard to abandon. A simple cold is never simple for asthmatics. Disappointed beyond words to finish #IMOZ bike leg in the back of an ambulance with a nebuliser. Unlike @chrisfroome, I can’t even push 100w when my asthma is bad ☹️
— Annabel Luxford (@AnnabelLuxford) May 6, 2018
With her biggest rival now out of the race, Siddall would reach T2 with a lead approaching 16 minutes over Els Visser (NED), 19 minutes over Melanie Burke (NZL) and 24 minutes on Withrow and Renee Kiley (AUS). With her strength on the run, that was surely a race winning lead, and so it proved, with the Brit finishing with a 3:10:22 marathon – the fastest of the day – for a huge winning margin of almost 24 minutes.
Just an incredible feeling! So special. To win last year was magic, to then return with the honour of wearing the #1 bib and to take back to back wins! Apparently now matching Chrissie Wellington winning here in 2008 and 2009. Just to be compared or in the same scentence as Chrissie is special to me! Also snagged the bike course record so pretty happy with that! . The whole week has once again been magic and amazing. So much support, catching up with friends, favourite cafes, kids races, government announcement, seaplane flights and more! So so very grateful for these opportunities I have and I am living! 📷 @koruptvision @austrimag . . . #dontdiewondering #inpursuitofexcellence #ironmanaustralia #imoz #back2back
IRONMAN Australia Port Macquarie, Sunday 6th May 2018
3.8km / 180km / 42.2km
1st – Laura Siddall (GBR) – 9:05:59
2nd – Melanie Burke (NZL) – 9:29:51
3rd – Kelsey Withrow (USA) – 9:45:00
4th – Els Visser (NED) – 9:56:32
5th – Renee Kiley (AUS) – 9:58:14