Leonard Arnold and Julie Derron win Ironman 70.3 Switzerland

Julie Derron (Archive picture: World Triathlon)

Leonard Arnold and Julie Derron won Ironman 70.3 Switzerland today. In a race that went every which way, they ultimately proved to be by far the strongest during the run and thus won the race by a landslide.

After the swim, Arnold was 43 seconds behind the fastest men and outside the top ten, but on the bike a group of seven leaders emerged, including Nick Emde, Magnus Männer, Sven Thalmann, Ruben Zepuntke, Youri Keulen, Arne Leiss and also Arnold. Halfway through, however, Zepuntke, who is known for his rock-solid cycling, really started to accelerate, leaving everyone, including Arnold, behind.

During the second half of the bike leg the differences became seriously large and Zepuntke returned to T2 with a lead of almost two minutes over Arnold. Behind Arnold, Emde, Keulen, Thalmann and Leiss followed back in third, fourth, fifth and sixth, but their gap had already grown to three minutes at that point.

During the run, Arnold was so strong that he managed to run up to Zepuntke fairly quickly and took over the lead in the race. After eight kilometers it was therefore clear that Arnold would win the race and he did so in a time of 3:26:53. Zepuntke finished second in 3:31:44 and Swiss Fabian Meeusen, who had run nicely to the front, finished third in 3:32:08.

In the women’s race, the win went to Julie Derron, who also won by minutes. Immediately during the swim, the Swiss athlete was in a good position and came out of the water in a leading group with five other women. During the bike there were several changes in positions, but it was mainly Alanis Siffert and Lena Meissner who rode in front. Siffert did so most impressively, coming off the bike with a lead of nearly four minutes over Meissner. Derron started the run in third, but was then just under six minutes behind.

It was spectacular to see how quickly Derron was able to catch up. At the halfway point there was just under half a minute left and not much later she took over the lead in the race. In the end, she won Ironman 70.3 Switzerland in 3:52:30. Siffert was second in 3:56:40 and Lena Meissner third in 4:03:16