Leon Chevalier wins Ironman Cozumel, Sebastian Kienle misses podium farewell race by 14 seconds

Sebastian Kienle (Picture: Instagram Kienle)

Probably the entire triathlon community had wished Sebastian Kienle a farewell with a win or minimal podium, but at Ironman Cozumel he fell only 14 seconds short of saying goodbye with a medal. The race win went to Leon Chevalier, who proved supreme.

While the swim of Ironman Cozumel was cancelled, leaving “only” 180 kilometers of cycling and 42.2 kilometers of running, that logically created a totally different race dynamic. Every 15 seconds the athletes took off and after nine kilometers it was no surprise to see Cameron Wurf record the fastest time so far.

Where it might have been reckoned that überbiker Wurf would dominate the bike leg under these changed conditions, that turned out not to be the case after all. Halfway through, it was another überbiker, Sebastian Kienle, who took the lead. The German, who had chosen Ironman Cozumel as his farewell race, was joined by Leon Chevalier at that point. This remained so until about 140 kilometers, but then Kienle had to recognize that Chevalier was stronger on the bike and the Frenchman took off solo.

In the closing stages of the bike leg, which Chevalier finished in a stunning 3:58:43, the Frenchman was able to build his lead to 3:14 minutes over eventual second-placed Chris Leiferman. Kienle followed at 4:17 minutes and started third in the marathon.

During the marathon, at least for the win of the race, things became unexciting. Chevalier ran an impressive pace, finishing his marathon in 2:42:23 and winning the race in a time of 6:42:31. American Leiferman was second in 6:52:01 and Pole Robert Wilkowiecki was third in 6:54:27. In doing so, he beat Kienle in the closing stages, who finished fourth and crossed the line just 14 seconds after Wilkowiecki.

Women’s race – Frades Gurutze takes the win

In the women’s race, Frades Gurutze took the win in a time of 7:36:10. Svenja Thoes finished second in 7:43:03 and Marlene de Boer finished third in 7:57:02.