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Holly Lawrence wins 70.3 World's
Posted by: John Levison
Posted on: Sunday 4th September 2016


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Holly Lawrence dominates in Mooloolaba to earn IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship title

Great Britain takes IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship title for the fourth time as Lawrence leaves pre-race favourites trailing

She's been in great form this year already with big wins at Escape from Alcatraz and Vineman 70.3, and now 2014 Welsh Commonwealth Games athlete Holly Lawrence has earned the biggest win of her career (and $45,000), at the 2016 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship.

After that Vineman win, I wrote: "Seemingly getting better each year and with each race, she has to be regarded right now as one of the very best athletes in the world over that format of racing", and that was proven correct with a stunning performance in Mooloolaba, leaving Daniela Ryf (SUI) and Melissa Hauschildt (AUS) - both two-time World Champions at this distance - in her wake.

I'd also written after another victory at Ironman 70.3 Mont Tremblant, "She may be based in the USA now, but remember the name, because Holly Lawrence is without doubt one of Great Britain's best 70.3 racers right now." We can now safely say she is the best right now.

It was (almost) a gun-to-tape victory. Lauren Brandon (USA) set the pace in the swim, with Lawrence out second, 30 seconds behind. She was however 45 seconds ahead of the main group, and using her former ITU experience she ran hard through the very long transition and then made a very swift change, such that she had all but eliminated the Brandon advantage by the mount line.

Her only tactics seemd to be 'go hard' and build a lead. For much of the race Brandon was able to hold on to the pace of Lawrence, but as the kilometres ticked by and the hills in the second half of the race arrived, Holly pulled clear alone and then the gaps really started to grow. Riding a 2:19:28 bike split, starting the run she was almost four minutes clear of Brandon with the loose chasing group, which included Ryf, Hauschildt, Heather Wurtele (CAN), Caroline Steffen (SUI), Alicia Kaye (USA), Annabel Luxford (AUS), Magai Tisseyre (CAN), Leanda Cave (GBR) and Ellie Salthouse (AUS) left with almost five minutes to make up if they wanted to take the title.

Running strong from the start, Lawrence's 1:21:48 split didn't leave much scope for those gaps to be recovered. Hauschildt was the best of the day (1:18:43) to take silver, with Heather Wurtele (CAN) taking the Bronze, 30 seconds ahead of the defending champion Daniela Ryf, who was beaten for the first time since Kona 2014.

I think we can say that Holly was happy...

Holly now joins the list of British success at this event with previous winners being Julie Dibens (2009), Jodie Swallow (2010) and Leanda Cave (2012).

IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships, Sunshine Coast, Mooloolaba - Sunday 4th September 2016
1.9km / 90km / 21.1km - PRO WOMEN

Pos Women
1st Holly Lawrence (GBR) 4:09:12
2nd Melissa Hauschildt (AUS) 4:11:09
3rd Heather Wurtele (CAN) 4:13:36
4th Daniela Ryf (SUI) 4:14:09
5th Caroline Steffen (SUI) 4:17:16
6th Annabel Luxford (AUS) 4:17:26
7th Laura Philipp (GER) 4:17:40
8th Alica Kaye (USA) 4:17:53
9th Radka Vodickova (CZE) 4:18:17
10th Magali Tisseyre (CAN) 4:18:19
12th Laura Siddall (GBR) 4:21:43
18th Leanda Cave (GBR) 4:26:53
25th Nikki Bartlett (GBR) 4:35:00
29th Caroline Livesey (GBR) 4:58:03

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