Cunnama, Verstuyft win Ironman 70.3 Weymouth
James Cunnama added another great performance to his 2017 victory list while IRONMAN 70.3 Weymouth women’s champion Katrien Verstuyft was a real surprise.
With this win, James Cunnama climbs higher into a top favorite position for October’s IRONMAN World Championship. Five weeks after winning the inaugural IRONMAN Hamburg and only one week after taking the victory at the tough IRONMAN 70.3 Lanzarote, he didn’t give any gifts to his opponents at the IRONMAN 70.3 Weymouth. Swiss Manuel Kueng led the men’s field out of the water and for about half of the tough bike stretch, before Cunnama easily stormed to the front. The 34-year-old South African consistently paced himself over the first 60 kilometers in Weymouth and then went on to hammer the course. Cunnama came off the bike with a 4-minute lead and nailed the fastest run split of the pro race, too. Frenchman Tom Lecomte and Belgium’s Kenneth Vandendriessche battled for hard for runner-up position, but again it was on Cunnama to take all the glory.
On the women’s side, Brit Hannah Drewett established a 1-minute lead over Kate Comber out of the water and into transition, as well as opening up a gap of 3 minutes on some other race favorites. Her lead started shrinking on the bike, however. With 30 kilometers to go, Drewett’s fellow countrywoman Natalie Seymour was in first place while Katrien Verstuyft was riding a bit behind. It looked like the Belgian didn’t push too hard on the tough ride. Once on the run, she paced herself well and downsized the gap step by step. With about 4 kilometers to go in the run, she passed Seymour for the lead and ran straight to her first IRONMAN 70.3 victory.
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