After an exciting battle on the run, it was Dutch Youri Keulen who claimed the victory at today’s Ironman 70.3 Switzerland. He outran Germany’s Nicolas Mann (+1:06) and Italy’s Mattia Ceccarelli (+4:11), who settled for second and third respectively.
Both Keulen and Mann were already well in front after the swim part. It was Swiss’ Florin Salvisberg who pulled off the strongest swim discipline, though. The Swiss athlete was first out of the water, 30 seconds ahead of a pack of eight athletes, with the likes of Keulen and Mann.
On the bike, Keulen, Mann and Italy’s Mattia Ceccarelli soon caught up with Salvisberg. That saw a front pack of four athletes take shape. The gap towards the rest of the field soon widened to a couple of minutes. That meant the battle for the podium positions was on between the four leading men.
During the final 10K, Salvisberg had to let go of the other three guys. Keulen, Mann and Ceccarelli were 30 seconds ahead of Salvisberg once they racked their bikes in T2.
Keulen and Mann showed they hadn’t yet burned all their matches. The two took on a side-by-side battle with each other. Behind them, Ceccarelli had to make space for Salvisberg, who ran back to the front and claimed the third position.
Halfway through the half-marathon, Keulen and Mann were more than two minutes ahead of Salvisberg. With about 4K to go, Keulen was able to leave Mann behind. Clocking a half-marathon time of 1:12:11 hours, Keulen got to take home the gold. Mann followed about one minute later in second place, and Ceccarelli ended up in third.