Chelsea Sodaro who made her debut on the Big Island, claimed an impressive clear-cut victory at the IRONMAN World Championship. The BMC Pro athlete becomes the first American winner since Paula Newby-Fraser in 1996. Sodaro won the race by clocking an impressive 2:51:45 marathon which saw her surge past Lucy Charles-Barclay who finished in second and hold off Anna Haug, the winner in Hawaii three years ago, who completed the podium in 3rd.
1. Chelsea Sodaro (USA) – 8:33:46
2. Lucy Charles-Barclay (GBR) – 8:41:37
3. Anne Haug (GER) – 8:42:22
"I think that I thought I could win this race one day maybe, but I did not expect that to be today. I am super grateful for the people getting me here. Today was one of those magical days when everything comes together. It is pretty special to be here at the finish line with my daugther and be able to celebrate such an incredible victory".
INCREDIBLE ALL-ROUND PERFORMANCE FROM MAX NEUMANN REWARDED WITH 4TH PLACE FINISH AT IRONMAN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
After the phenomenal victory from Chelsea Sodaro at the Ironman World Championship in the women's race, it was the men's turn to defend the BMC Pro Tri colours on the Big Island. And rookie Max Neumann just did that. Breaking the previous course record with 8 minutes the BMC Aussie put together a tremendous performance and came just shy of a minute to get himself a podium spot.
Neumann raced in front of the race all day long, pushing the pace early on the bike and run to eventually come home in an superb time of 7:44:44. His teammates Kristian Hogenhaug (8:23:08) and Chris Leiferman (9:44:48) finished in 26th and 44th respectively. Gustav Iden (NOR; 7:40:24) claimed the win with Sam Laidlow (FRA; 7:42:24) and Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR; 7:43:23) coming home in 3rd.
After winning IM Cairns for a third time in a row this year, Neumann has his eyes set on a top performance at his debut at the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii. During the swim, a large group formed with Max being one of the 18 leading athletes. A fast transition saw Neumann jump on his bike in first. In the very first kilometres of the out-and-back section in town, Max pushed the pace and opened up a gap over the rest of the field. On top of Palani Road, he got accompanied by Sam Laidlow. Together, the pair extended their lead to a maximum of one minute at the 50k mark. Just before the turn around in Hawi, the leading pair grew to a leading quintet. Max, together with 4 other athletes, were in control of the race with an advantage of 2’30 over the rest over the field. Neumann played things smart by not pushing it too hard during the back end of the bike. He settled at the back of the group and let others push the pace. A tactic that played out very well at the beginning of the run. After leaving T2 in 4th place, 20 seconds back of Norwegians Iden and Blummenfelt, Neumann immediately closed down that gap, made the pass for 2nd place and started the chase towards leader Laidlow. After 8k, Max had to settle for 4th place and his own pace. Neumann continued to run a very strong pace and stayed in contention for the podium all the way to the finish line. The BMC athlete eventually posted the 3rd fastest run split of the day (2:40:14) and set a finish time of 7:44:44, at the end just 1’20 shy of the podium.
BMC Pro teammates Kristian Hogenhaug and Chris Leiferman both showed their true grit on a tough day to come home in 26th and 44th.