ALEXANDER AND APPLETON CLAIM 1ST PLACE, VODICKOVA AND HOFFMAN 2ND AT IRONMAN 70.3S IN PHILIPPINES AND ARGENTINA: WEEKEND WRAP-UP
It was a weekend of non-stop cheering for athletes in the Human Interest Group stable: Both Craig “Crowie” Alexander and Sam “Appo” Appleton won their first IRONMAN 70.3’s of 2016, while Radka “Rads” Vodičková and Ben “The Hoff” Hoffman took close second places in their races. Crowie and Rads competed at IRONMAN 70.3 Subic Bay Philippines, and Appo and Hoffman chased each other throughout IRONMAN 70.3 Buenos Aries Argentina.
“Hats off to the athletes who delivered strong podium performances this weekend. Congrats to Crowie, Rads, Appo and Hoff,” said Michael Cardoza, director of The Human Interest Group.
“Crowie proved he has the ability to get it done at this distance, which I think shocks people every time he lands a top result against athletes half his age. Radka simply cannot be underestimated. She seems to take a podium spot wherever she races. The race in Argentina with Appo pushing past Ben in the final stage of the run showed that both are building to have a great season.”
“The past weekend shows that the 2016 triathlon season is going to be another competitive year. It’s also going to be of fun watching the lead up to the IRONMAN and 70.3 world championships.”
Alexander and Vodickova Take Podium at IRONMAN 70.3 Subic Bay Philippines
The first victory of 2016 for three-time IRONMAN world champion Alexander came from experienced, steady pacing through the competitive race. Craig finished fourth among the men in the swim (23:41, 1:14/100m), and stayed in the top five on the bike, ultimately having the fourth fastest split of 2:05:35. It was a progressively faster run, however, that pushed Alexander past his younger competitors to first place. Alexander’s run time was 1:17:04, giving him a final race time of 3:48:56, a solid two minutes ahead of the closest competitor.
“I just tried to be consistent across all disciplines. Whenever you win in a field that contains athletes like Reed, Van Berkel and Lange you are really made to work for it,” Alexander said to Ironman.com after the race.
As she did at IRONMAN 70.3 Geelong, Vodičková started the women’s pro race with the fastest swim of 24:16 (1:15/100m). On the bike, Vodičková jockeyed for the lead position with Caroline Steffen with the two virtually coming off the bike at the same time; Vodičková’s bike split was 2:18:54, the second fastest. Vodičková stayed at or close to the front during the final leg of the race and had a strong run of 1:28:59, also the second fastest run for the women. The combination of the fastest swim and second fastest bike and run propelled Vodičková to a second place spot of 4:14:51.
“Yes, I made it to the finish line! This was my first thought after crossing the line. Very happy with my second place today, don’t need to feel bad to be beaten only by Caroline (Steffen)! I had a great swim and bike. The run was just about surviving the heat. This race was an unbelievable experience,” a happy Vodickova said after the race.
Appleton Sprints to 1st Place with Hoffman Close 2nd at IRONMAN 70.3 Buenos Aires
Starting with the swim and ending with sprint run, Sam Appleton and Ben Hoffman took turns leading the front pack. Appleton had the second fastest swim at 23:29 (1:14/100m) while Hoffman left the swim only five seconds later. On the bike, the two joined eventual third place finisher Ben Collins to create a lead pack with Hoffman having the fastest time at 2:04:17 and Appleton ending his ride at 2:04:41. Appleton and Hoffman’s drive to win amped up further on the run. After Hoffman took a slight lead over Appleton, the Aussie called up a final shot of energy and sprinted ahead of Hoffman to cross the finish line 6 seconds ahead; Appleton’s run split was 1:15:13, Hoffman 1:16:52.
“This was sort of a late race decision for me. I needed to leave the US to get my Visa sorted so I thought it made sense to double up with a chance to race. I was confident in my fitness but this was a tough race. Hoff pushed the entire race, he is a tough bugger. Very happy to come away with the win,” Appo stated on his way back to the U.S. with his Visa in hand.
Hopefully we’ll be able to see another nail-biter this season between Appleton and Hoffman.
IRONMAN 70.3 Subic Bay Philippines – Men Pros
Craig Alexander (AUS) 03:48:46
Patrick Lange (DEU) 03:50:45
Tim Reed (AUS) 03:52:28
IRONMAN 70.3 Subic Bay Philippines – Women Pros
Caroline Steffen (CHE) 04:09:40
Radka Vodičková (CZE) 04:14:51
Dimity-Lee Duke (AUS) 04:23:52
IRONMAN 70.3 Buenos Aires – Men Pros
Sam Appleton (AUS) 03:45:33
Ben Hoffman (USA) 03:45:39
Ben Collins (USA) 03:47:13