Spaniard Francisco Javier Gómez Noya and Britain’s Emma Pallant-Browne added a stunning victory to their 2023 season: both athletes were overwhelmingly the strongest at Ironman 70.3 Mossel Bay. In South Africa, Gómez Noya decided the race during the run, while Pallant-Browne led almost the entire day and gave no one a chance to claim victory as well.
During the swim, it was still South African Nicholas Quenet who led the field in the men’s race and was eventually allowed to head for T2 after a swim time of 25:27. He was then followed at 1:12 minute by Gómez Noya, while Cameron MacNair and Keegan Cooke came out of the water in third and fourth, then trailing by 2:30 minutes. Matt Trautman, who would eventually finish on the podium, was eighth after the swim, trailing by more than four minutes.
On the bike, Quenet initially looked particularly strong as he saw his lead over Gómez Noya grow to nearly four minutes and the other men also lost an extra minute or so, but in the second half Quenet suddenly lost a lot of time – it’s not clear at the time of writing whether he was struggling or dealing with mechanical failure – and with it his lead. Once back in T2, Trautman and Gómez Noya were in the lead together, more than two minutes ahead of MacNair and nearly five minutes ahead of Quenet.
During the run, it quickly became clear who would win Ironman 70.3 Mossel Bay; Gómez Noya immediately ran away from Trautman and only saw his lead increase over the next 21 kilometers. When Gómez Noya won in a time of 3:51:46, his lead over Trautman, who thus finished second, had increased to 2:35 minutes. Quenet still managed to drag out a nice third place, finishing 8:22 minutes after the winner.
Women’s race – no holding back for Pallant-Browne
In the women’s race Emma Pallant-Browne was supreme; it was South African Magda Nieuwoudt who came out of the water first with a swim time of 32:34, but Eloise Du Luart and Emma Pallant-Browne were only ten seconds off. This also immediately completed the women’s field, as there were only three women at the start.
On the bike and also during the run, Pallant-Browne built up an increasing lead. She won the race in a time of 4:21:24 and Magda Nieuwoudt was second at 6:37 minutes behind. Du Luart finished third but at more than 20 minutes behind.