Taylor Knibb pulverizes competitors and wins Ironman 70.3 Oceanside by striking supremacy

Taylor Knibb dominated Ironman 70.3 Oceanside (Picture: Instagram Knibb / trekraceshop)

She was the favorite beforehand, but that Taylor Knibb would win Ironman 70.3 Oceanside with such ease was still remarkable. The American athlete came out of the water at the front of the race already, took off on the bike, built her lead there to over ten minutes and really only had to run to the finish line to secure victory in the first Ironman Pro Series race of this season.

Despite Taylor Knibb being the big favorite beforehand, it was not the American athlete who led the field in the water: that was Fenella Langridge, and it was that same British athlete who came out of the water in first position as well. She did so after 25:53, with well Knibb directly at her feet, and Kate Curran also followed with a direct connection.

Behind these three women, there was a gap of about a minute before Paula Findlay, Grace Thek and Grace Alexander climbed out of the water: so for them the mission was clear, which was to ride to the front as fast as possible and connect with the fastest women. That would be more difficult for Emma Pallant-Browne and Tamara Jewett, among others, who only got out of the water after more than four minutes. That Pallant-Browne was at the start was admirable, though, because earlier this week she had a hard crash while cycling and her body was pretty battered as a result.

Knibb dominates on the bike

Notable was the slow transition of Knibb, who spent more than a minute in T1 and thus lost connection with the other two leaders. That did not mean that the American’s chances were gone, though. In fact, Knibb only needed a few kilometers on the bike to get back to the front, take over the lead in the race and quickly and convincingly increase her lead as well. This went incredibly fast, so that at the halfway point Knibb already had a lead of more than three minutes over Langridge, who was thus in second, and five minutes over the third woman: Findlay. In the process, Knibb also began to catch up with male pro athletes who had fallen behind and started minutes earlier than the women’s field.

Once back in T2, it was already clear that things would have to get crazy for Knibb to not take the win. With a lead of 10:40 minutes over Findlay, 10:46 minutes over Langridge – who had been overtaken by Findlay – and 12:27 minutes over Pallant-Browne, only the battle for second and third seemed to be exciting.

Knibbs ‘easy’ run to victory, Pallant-Browne moves up to second

It was really no longer a surprise that Knibb managed to increase her lead, especially in the first few kilometers of the run. Meanwhile, Findlay quickly ran away from Langridge, but really it was especially interesting to see what Pallant-Browne did. The British athlete flew down the course and quickly got close to the two women in front of her. In fact, she went right over them as well and thus ran to second place. The battle for the podium was thus settled.

Knibb won the race in 4:09:55, Pallant-Browne finished second in 4:20:49 and Findlay finished third in 4:21:48.

*Directly after finishing, Pallant-Browne was disqualified for excessive speeding in a controlled zone. As a result, Findlay ended up finishing second and Grace Thek, who originally crossed the finish line in fourth in a time of 4:23:16, finished third. A day later, however, the disqualification was reversed and so the original top three (Knibb, Pallant-Browne, Findlay) remained in place.