Daniela Ryf and Jan Frodeno win IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai
MAN IRONMAN World Champion Jan Frodeno celebrated his first victory of the
season by winning the IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai (Warren Little/Getty Images for
The stage was set but mother nature refused to play her part. Gusting winds and strong currents forced organisers of the inaugural IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai to change the swim format on race day morning: pro athletes faced a two-loop 1,2 km swim while age-groupers had to complete one loop of 600 meters.
But not even questionable weather conditions were able to challenge Daniela Ryf and Jan Frodeno: The two IRONMAN world champions seemed unimpressed and determined to pick up where they had last year.
While Frodeno took the lead from the very beginning, Ryf and countrywoman Caroline Steffen stayed close to each other deep into the 90,1 bike course with Ryf exiting T2 2:48 minutes lead. Steffen looked like she was ready to close the gap by gaining a few seconds on Ryf on the first of three run laps. Ryf however kept her cool and powered away to her first podium of the season. Frodeno finished almost seven minutes ahead of Australian Josh Amberger and nine minutes ahead of Bart Aernouts of Belgium.
"I really just wanted to see how my legs felt on the bike and they were surprisingly good. I have to give huge credit to Caroline, we fought a tough battle out there. I was suffering on the bike but I figured I could suffer some more." – Daniela Ryf
"We faced some tough conditions today but it is a great and fast course. This was a perfect start for my season and I am looking forward to racing again soon." – Jan Frodeno
"I must say that these were some of the most difficult conditions I have raced in. Funny enouyh I really enjoyed it. Not just because of the race but also because it was my frist time in Dubai." – Josh Amberger