Haley Chura pips Kim Morrison for narrow win in Argentina
The Lionel Sanders express continues with another bike-run masterclass
Great Britain’s Kimberley Morrison had a ‘first’ in her short Pro career on Sunday – starting IRONMAN 70.3 Buenos Aires as the defending champion of an IRONMAN 70.3 event.
Her win last year was a close run thing, crossing the line just nice seconds ahead of Dede Griesbauer. This year it was another narrow margin, but this time Haley Chura (USA) managed to chase down Kimberley on the run and take a narrow 47 seconds winning margin.
The pair were a class apart in the women’s race, with Chura setting the pace in the water (25:37), leaving Morrison just under three minutes back. Once on the bike – THIS BIKE! – she really hit the gas. Always her strength, her early season form on two wheels suggest that she has now become one of the fastest riders on the circuit. Her 2:16:38 bike split was over nine minutes quicker than Chura, leaving her with a T2 buffer of over six minutes with a half marathon to run.
Halfway through the run, Chura had cut that lead to under four minutes and that buffer continued to reduce over the second part of the run, Chura finally taking the lead and closing out the win. Chura clocked 1:22:29 versus the 1:29:39 of the British athlete.
While there would be no title defence for Morrison, added to her performance at IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai, it has still been a very positive start to 2017 for the former Age-Group European Champion.
That Champagne moment today in Buenos Aires 🇦🇷 pic.twitter.com/VfpWH9bvZN
— Kimberley MORRISON (@TriathlonKim) March 13, 2017
In short, this was the “Lionel Sanders template” report! What is that you say? Well… exit the swim around three minutes back. Turn up the power on the bike to catch and past most, if not all. Then run strongly too, giving little chance for anybody to come back at you. Job done on that front, with fastest bike (1:59:27) and run (1:13:10) splits. Beginning of March an already two IRONMAN 70.3 titles for the year on the C.V. Having already confirmed he’ll be skipping Kona that year, will we be seeing Sanders trying to chase down Alistair Brownlee at the 70.3 World Championships later this year? Let’s hope so.
Igor Amorelli (BRA) was the one athlete who managed to stay with the Canadian as he cut through the field on the bike, leaving the pair with a three minute lead at T2. Amorelli closed with a solid 1:17:21 run, but was pushed down to third place on the podium by Rodolphe Von Berg (USA)
IRONMAN 70.3 Buenos Aires, Argentina – Sunday 12th March 2017
1.9km / 90km / 21.1km
1st – Haley Chura (USA) – 4:17:42
2nd – Kimberley Morrison (GBR) – 4:18:29
3rd – Ariane Monticelli (BRA) – 4:25:13
1st – Lionel Sanders (CAN) – 3:42:47
2nd – Rodolphe Von Berg (USA) – 3:46:15
3rd – Igor Amorelli (BRA) – 3:56:52