Laura Siddall defends IRONMAN Australia title

IRONMAN Australia 2018, Laura Siddall, Photo: Delly Carr
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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:

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.

CLICK HERE FOR THE MEN’S RACE REPORT

IRONMAN Australia Port Macquarie, Sunday 6th May 2018
3.8km / 180km / 42.2km

PRO WOMEN

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

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