It was a day of surprises at the Ford Ironman Florida, as Kirill Kothsegarov and Sofie Goos emerged from solid fields to claim victory.
With Bella Bayliss looking to register her sixth Ironman Florida victory, Goos was always going to have her work cut out. But it was Germany’s Nina Kraft who took the early initiative in the race, emerging from the water at the head of the field (56:01). Charlotte Kolters was 20-seconds further back, with Heather Gollnick coming out of the water alongside Bella Bayliss (57:30). Goos, meanwhile, was a further two-minutes down on Gollnick and Bayliss, and nearly four-minutes back from Kraft.
Charlotte Kolters quickly moved to the front of the pancake-flat bike course, and built up a solid lead during the first half of the ride. Swede Tove Wiklund made her move at the halfway point, taking the lead from Kolters with Goos 4:37 further back.
But Kolters was pushing hard. The Dane re-took the lead in the latter stages of the bike leg, and as she entered T2 (4:51:53) she had a two-minute cushion on Wiklund (4:50:04) and three minutes over Goos (4:52:24).
However, Kolters couldn’t hold on. The Danish athlete – who had been suffering from a cold before the race – succumbed to Goos at Mile 9. Her race would be over by Mile 13.
Goos, meanwhile, was on a mission. Building up a comfortable lead, the Belgian had a 3:56 cushion by Mile 18 on Bella Bayliss. And despite a gutsy run from the Scot, she was powerless to hold-off the fast finishing Tamara Kozulina.
Goos, meanwhile, had the race in the bag. A 3:11:29 marathon split was enough to hand the Belgian victory in 9:08:38. Kozulina registered the fastest marathon split of the race (3:06:52) to finish second (9:12:47) with Bella Bayliss third (9:13:52).
Luke McKenzie and Heath Thurston emerged from the water side-by-side in the men’s race (49:21), with Horst Reichel more than a minute back in third.
However, Thurston was no match for McKenzie on the bike, and the Australian quickly took control of the race. With McKenzie more than four minutes ahead, eventual winner Kirill Kotshegarov pushed hard on the bike, registering the fastest bike split of the day (4:28:03).
Coming into T2 two minutes down on the Australian, Kotshegarov quickly started to eat in to McKenzie’s lead. On the lightning-quick course, the Estonian took control of the race at Mile 9, and posted a 2:57:11 marathon to take the win in 8:24:29.
Maxim Kriat charged into second place (8:26:51) with a 2:53:56 marathon, a run-split bettered only by third-place finisher Massimo Cigana (2:52:01). Brit Nick Saunders was fourth across the line (8:31:44), while early leader Luke McKenzie faded to seventh (8:37:59)
3.8km swim, 180km bike, 42.2km run
1. Kirill Kotshegarov (EST) 8:24:29
2. Maxim Kriat (UKR) 8:26:51
3. Massimo Cigana (ITA) 8:28:04
4. Nick Saunders (GBR) 8:31:44
5. Christoph Bastie (FRA) 8:35:29
1. Sofie Goos (BEL) 9:08:38
2. Tamara Kozulina (UKR) 9:12:47
3. Bella Bayliss (GBR) 9:13:52
4. Joan Blafoss (DEN) 9:21:11
5. Heather Gollnick (USA) 9:22:13
FILED UNDER: News / Race Results TAGS: Bella Bayliss / Christophe-Bastie / Heather-Gollnick / Ironman-Florida / Joan-Blafoss / Kirill-Kothshegarov / Massimo-Cigana / Maxim Kriat / Nick-Saunders / Sofie-Goos / Tamara-Kozulina