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Cunnama, Steffen take 70.3 Vietnam
Posted by: John Levison
Posted on: Monday 11th May 2015


Tags  Caroline Steffen  |  James Cunnama  |  Liz Blatchford  |  Tim Reed  |  Vietnam


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A day after being formally announced as two of the 13 members of the Bahrain Endurance 13 super-team, James Cunnama (RSA) and Caroline Steffen took the titles in scorching conditions at Ironman 70.3 Vietnam on Sunday.

Early on the men's race it was an (almost) all Australian affair as Sam Betten, Josh Amberger and Clayton Fettell were joined by Kiwi Terenzo Bozzone, setting a fast pace in the water to build a 90 second margin over Tim Reed (AUS) and Cunnama. Reed was able to bridge up to that foursome on the bike, while reknowned runner Cunnama maintained his pace to reach T2 and still in contention for a podium position.

In the heat, Cunnama ran 1:17:57 which was close on four minutes quicker than the next best of France's Cyril Viennot, who would move himself up to fourth on the run. Cunnama would cross the line with a significant margin of victory over some quality athletes.

"The conditions were brutal. At times it was hard to think about racing, just where the next aid station was... with this course and the conditions I knew it would come down to the run and the person who could run best in the heat would do well. I am absolutely delighted with the win."

Steffen and Blatchford were the class acts of the women's field, and would spend much of the day in close order. Blatchford had a small lead in the swim, there was little between them on the bike and so it would all come down to the run.

In the initial stages it looked like Blatchford would prevail - my the midway point of the run she had a 30 second lead, but in the late stages of the run Steffen was able to dig deep at the mercury rose and pass the Uplace-BMC Pro Triathlon Team athlete.

Steffen said, "I was reall suffering in the first 10kms. I did not feel great and my body temperature was up. I knew I had to race smart and not push too hard or I would blow up."

IRONMAN 70.3 Vietnam - Sunday 10th May 2015
1.9km / 90km / 21.1km

Pos Men Women
1st James Cunnama (RSA) 3:51:29 Caroline Steffen (SUI) 4:21:40
2nd Tim Reed (AUS) 3:55:44 Liz Blatchford (AUS) 4:23:48
3rd Terenzo Bozzone (NZL) 3:57:07 Dmitiy-Lee Duke (AUS) 4:31:10
4th Cyril Viennot (FRA) 3:57:39 Stef Puszka (AUS) 4:39:08
5th Josh Amberger (AUS) 4:00:24 Ange Castle (AUS) 4:44:47

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