Frederic Funk was untouchable today during Ironman 70.3 Zell am See. The German took off during the bike part and didn’t allow his competitors to get back to him. After 3:50:24 hours he claimed the victory, outrunning Italy’s Gregory Barnaby (+0:43) and Germany’s Jan Stratmann (+1:39).
After 22:07 minutes, it was Germany’s Hannes Butter – followed by two other athletes – who was first out of the water. A chase group with Stratmann and Funk followed in second place, 1:40 minute behind the leaders.
During the bike part, Funk, as expected, hit the gas. It didn’t take long before the fast swimmers were caught by some strong cyclists like Funk and Stratmann. Andi Dreitz and Sebastian Kienle also moved once they were in the saddle, but they weren’t able to catch up with the race leaders. On the climb Funk, Stratmann, Lukas Kocar and Gregory Barnaby found each other. Dreitz, Kienle, but also Germany’s Ruben Zeputnke – a former pro cyclist – settled in a chase group behind them (+2:00).
In the second part of the bike discipline, with T2 nearly in sight, Funk managed to break away from the rest of the lead group. With 90K done, Funk enjoyed a gap of two minutes to the group of Stratmann. He would need that lead on the run, we would find out later, because within a few kilometers Barnaby had shrunk the gap to Funk to only one minute. With Stratmann being only 1:56 minutes away from Funk 12K into the run, still a lot could happen in the second part of the half-marathon. Stratmann ran slightly faster than Funk, but it didn’t seem like it was going to be enough to catch him.
He may have gotten nervous a bit by his chasers, but Funk maintained his lead and ended up claiming the win in Zell am See. Barnaby settled in second and Stratmann rounded the podium.