Collington, Wassner stamps US sweep at Ironman Taiwan
Kevin Collington and Laurel Wassner, both of the USA, win the pro elite titles at Ironman Taiwan amidst a hot 34 degrees and 85% humidity day at Penghu county.
At the end of the 3.8km swim, Collington came out in the water first at 48:30 Balazs Csoke (Hun) swam with the American and had a swim of 48:33. The chase group was 3 minutes behind which included Guy Crawford (NZL), Marino Vanhoenacker (BEL) and Simon Cochrane (NZL).
Early in the bike, Collington had turned his 3 second lead in to 1:39 over Kovacic. At the turn, Gollington has extended the lead by 5 minutes. KOvacic was still at 2nd and Vanhoenacker hunting at third.
In the last 15km of the bike leg, Kovacic has cut into the lead with a deficit of just over 2 minutes. More importantly for Collington, the lead over Vanhoenacker was at that point 7:07.
Fifteen km into the run, Vanhoenacker was able to cut the American’s lead to just 4:39. Everybody else were just dropping off the lead as the heat of Penghu county is taking its toll. With less than 10km left, Collington lead grew to more than 11 minutes over the Belgian pro.
Collington coasted the rest of the way and complete his wire-to-wire victory, combining a race-best 50:41 swim, a 2nd-fastest 4:34:30 bike split and a race-best 3:07:27 marathon to finish in 8:34:38. Collington won with a 12:01 margin of victory over Marino Vanhoenacker of Belgium and 35:07 over 3rd place finisher Simon Cochrane of New Zealand.
Laurel Wassner came out first in 54:26, a 4 second lead over Charlotte Morel of France. Kathryn Haesner and Kate Bevilaqua (AUS) were more than 3 minutes back.
Early in the bike leg. Wassner and Morel were pushing the pace, and widening their lead. By km 52, their lead over third placer Bevilaqua was 11 minutes. By km 84, Wassner made the breakaway move and was 1:39 clear off Morel. By km 134, the lead became 5:40.
Early on the run, Wassner’s lead was 10:30 over Morel. And with a similar story with the men’s race, by the halfway point, the lead has ballooned to 25 minutes.
Wassner would win and led wire-to-wire with all three women’s-best disciplines – 54:26 swim, 5:00:40 bike split and 3:49:13 marathon to finish in 9:50:21. Kate Bevilaqua was able to pass Morel for 2nd place.
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