Antonio Benito Lopez and Barbara Riveros win first Ironman of 2023: 70.3 Pucon

Antonio Benito Lopez (Picture: Instagram)

It is only the second weekend of 2023 and the first Ironman of the year is already done: in Chile, the battle was on at Ironman 70.3 Pucon with among others Spaniard Antonio Benito Lopez and Chilean Barbara Riveros, who took the win and thus had a great start to the new year. 

While the women’s race was hardly exciting, it was different in the men’s race. Eight men came out of the water within a minute of each other, with Lopez landing seventh. A leading group of four then formed on the bike: Lopez was immediately well in front, but he was joined by Brazilian Reinaldo Colucci, Chilean Martin Ulloa and also Chilean Martin Baeza Munoz. As this foursome began the half marathon together, the first pursuers arrived at T2 just under two minutes behind. 

During the run, Lopez immediately went on an adventure on his own and in doing so, his competitors were unable to follow. Throughout the 21 kilometers, his lead steadily increased. Lopez won the race in a time of 3:55:16. Ulloa finished second in 3:59:21 and American Marc Dubrick, who started the half-marathon in fifth but caught up nicely, finished third in 4:00:00.

There were only five participants in the women’s race and for Riveros – who was in a good position during the swim already when she and compatriot Macarena Salazar gained an advantage of more than four minutes – the win was a home victory. While Salazar was able to keep up with Riveros during the swim, it was completely different on the bike: Riveros immediately created a gap and it was quickly expanded to a lead of several minutes. In fact, after the bike, her lead was already over ten minutes and so all the tension was totally gone by then. During the run, logically, that tension did not return. 

Riveros did win the race in 4:26:48. American Brittany Higgins finished second in 4:45:56. Salazar finished third in 4:56:56.