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Leanda Cave: Ironman 70.3 World Champion!
Posted by: John Levison
Posted on: Sunday 9th September 2012


Tags  Las Vegas  |  Leanda Cave  |  Vegas


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Leanda Cave completed the set of Ironman 70.3 World Championship medals in Vegas today to add another World Championship to her ITU Short and Long Distance wins. Bronze in 2007, Silver in 2010, Gold in 2012. A wonderful result for a season that started off so poorly, unable to even start in Abu Dhabi and Ironman Melbourne.

Swim

We can sum up the swim in two words: Jodie Swallow! No messing about, Swallow hit the front from the gun and exited the 1.9km swim in 25:26 almost 40 seconds clear of a threesome of Kelly Williamson (USA), Leanda Cave and Meredith Kessler (USA). Emma-Kate Lidbury was sixth at T1, one minute down on Swallow but right in contention from the start which was her pre-race objective.

Melissa Hauschildt (nee Rollison) and Angela Naeth just over three minutes back on Swallow and in close order with Mirinda Carfrae and Heather Jackson. Would the biking power of Naeth / Jackson or running power of Hauschildt / Carfrae be able to recover the situation for four of the favourites?

Bike

Swallow continued to lead early in the bike, but an hour in and it was another Brit, Leanda Cave who caught her and then soon moved into the lead alone. Bad news for one of the race favourites with news that Angela Naeth had a puncture, losing time, while Heather Jackson was making up time fast. With 13 miles of the bike remaining Cave lead Jackson by 45 seconds with Swallow a further 35 seconds back, two minutes and 30 seconds clear of Melissa Hauschildt - the lead four, unlike the men's race, all riding alone.

Leanda, twice an Ironman 70.3 World Champs medal winner reached T2 alone and had managed to extend her lead to over two minutes in the late stages, while Hauschildt had moved through to third a further two minutes back, 20 seconds clear on 2010 champion Jodie Swallow. Hauschildt can run - but now she would need to.

Run

Four miles gone and Leanda was running fantasically, and had extended the gap on Jackson to 2:45. Hauschildt, as expected, was closing but still 3:05 back with nine miles to go. At that rate, it would be a Cave / Hauschildt battle at the business end of proceedings.

However, it wasn't Hauschildt that was the danger today - it was Kelly Williamson. We noted her run strength in our preview piece, but I had some doubts that it would be enough to take the win. With two miles to go, that was looking like it might have been a big mistake! At 12 miles, Cave still had 1:41 lead - and it was enough! Another world championship in the bag.

"I don't know where that came from - last weekend I sucked! Kelly Williamson is a bad ass on the run. To be honest, I thought she was going to win!"

Pos Men
1st Leanda Cave (GBR) 4:28:05
2nd Kelly Williamson (USA) 4:29:24
3rd Heather Jackson (USA) 4:32:32
4th Melissa Hauschildt (AUS) 4:35:13
5th Joanna Lawn (NZL) 4:36:08
6th Heather Wurtele (CAN) 4:36:56
7th Magali Tisseyre (CAN) 4:37:03
8th Julia Gajer (GER) 4:37:15
9th Margaret Shapiro (USA) 4:37:40
10th Jeanne Collange (FRA) 4:39:59
11th Jodie Swallow (GBR) 4:41:24

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