Runaway wins for Kahlefeldt, Vodikova in China
There’s celebration in the Sunshine Coast home of Brad Kahlefeldt and Radka Vodickova after the partners claimed the honours at the first IRONMAN 70.3 Hefei in China. Both winners used their running skills to fine effect to gain their wins that looked anything like comfortable for much of the day.
Warm overcast conditions, light winds and a mostly flat course led to slick times for the race staged in and around the new Wanda Cultural and Tourism City which opened last month.
It’s been a lean year for the super talented Australian Brad Kahlefeldt, with an illness that required hospitalization. But he bounced back with an outstanding run to claim the men’s honours.
The race owed much to the likeable New Zealander Graham O’Grady who led for much of the day. He was first out of the swim in 22:55, a minute clear of the pre-race big hitters – Kahlefeldt, Brad Williams, Stuart Hayes and Luke Bell.
Midway through the 90km bike O’Grady had extended his advantage to 1:43 on Williams with a further minute back to Jesper Svensson (SWE), Bell, Hayes and Kahlefeldt. His buffer at T2 over the big guns was nearly six minutes although the immediate challenges came on the run from Williams and fellow New Zealander Dougal Allan.
Kahlefeldt was always the fastest on the run and by 12kms he was just 1:46 behind O’Grady in fourth before he turned up the heat, within 3km jumping to the lead. From then he dominated while London Olympian Stuart Hayes followed to grab second with Williams holding off the fast finishing Bell for the final spot on the podium.
O’Grady would fade to seventh but that was no fair reflection on his contribution to an outstanding race.
It is Kahlefeldt’s first podium of the year but no doubt he will be a force with the other profile IRONMAN 70.3 events in Australia this year.
Radka Vodickova (Czech Republic) was out of the swim just behind American Heather Lendway, but she managed to hold on to the coat-tails of American Robin Pomeroy in the second half of the bike with Lendway and Great Britain’s Emma Pallant close behind.
Pallant made the move in the first half of the run, pushing to a small lead midrace before Vodickova made her move, and by the 16kms mark her lead was over a minute and the race was in her grasp. She went on to win in a slick 4:13.14 with Pallant adding her fifth podium of the year in second, and Pomeroy grabbing third.
Vodickova scored her second win of the year after victory at Putrajaya along with four other podiums and a top-10 at the world championship
Top 5 Pro Men
1 Brad Kahlefeldt AUS 0:23:51—2:12:53—1:15:03—3:55:32
2 Stuart Hayes GBR 0:23:52—2:12:57—1:16:15—3:56:46
3 Brad Williams USA 0:26:41—3:05:05—1:21:34—3:57:22
4 Luke Bell AUS 0:23:54—2:12:57—1:16:49—3:57:27
5 Jesper Svensson SWE 0:23:15—2:13:30—1:18:19—3:58:38
Top 5 Pro Women
1 Radka Vodickova CZE 0:24:59—2:22:16—1:22:59—4:13:50
2 Emma Pallant GBR 0:26:12—2:21:11—1:25:56—4:16:55
3 Robin Pomeroy USA 0:26:34—2:20:31—1:30:48—4:21:47
4 Parys Edwards GBR 0:30:55—2:24:34—1:24:28—4:24:05
5 Heather Lendway USA 0:24:44—2:22:32—1:47:19—4:38:33
Brittany Dutton sprinted to a podium place in the Hong Kong ASTC Sprint Triathlon Asian Cup. The National Talent Academy athlete was in the lead group out of the swim and remained in the bunch on the bike. Dutton just fell short on the run but hung on for third.
“Petty stoked to come away with 3rd today in the Hong Kong Asian Cup.”
“Thanks to my amazing family for helping get over here - I am so thankful to have your support day in day out. Next up for me is Noosa then a break.”