Ironman 70.3 Aix-en-Provence turned out to be a particularly exciting race in both the men’s and women’s race: Dylan Magnien took the victory after passing Bart Aernouts in the closing stages, and Emma Pallant-Browne also eventually had a small margin to secure her victory.
In the men’s race, several athletes were together after the swim, but soon a small leading group of just two South Africans emerged: Matt Trautman and Bradley Weiss. They would stay together until T2, but were visited by Bart Aernouts in the closing stages on the bike: the Belgian single-handedly made up a deficit of over two minutes and joined the leaders just before the transition area.
During the run, it was again Aernouts who made his presence felt, as he took off on his own and ran away from the two South Africans. Meanwhile, Magnien began an impressive race to catch up and closed more than two minutes on Aernouts during the half marathon. It took only ten kilometers before Magnien had already passed Trautman and Weiss, and a few kilometers later he also caught up to Aernouts. The Belgian tried to catch up, but fell just short in the closing stages of the run.
Magnien won the race in 3:50:59. Aernouts was second in 3:51:28 and Weiss third in 3:53:22.
Women’s race – Jewett on the run, Pallant-Browne for the win
Also in the women’s race, the differences were not very big after the swim and there was a leading group of six ladies, including Pallant-Browne. On the bike, initially only Pallant-Browne, Emilie Morier and Tamara Jewett remained but in the closing stages Jewett also lost the connection. In fact; even Pallant-Browne could not keep up with Morier’s pace, leaving the Frenchwoman alone in T2. At that point, she had a lead of nearly 2 minutes over Pallant-Browne.
However, it did not take long for Pallant-Browne to establish order and catch up to Morier and immediately leave her behind as well. But while Pallant-Browne was in the lead, it was Jewett in particular who was running very fast; over ten seconds per kilometer faster and so it came to pass that her gap of a few minutes kept narrowing. Still, the run was just not long enough for Jewett, as in the end she did not run to victory.
Pallant-Browne won the race in 4:17:30, while Jewett finished second in 4:18:20. Morier finished third in 4:26:03.