Australians Joe Gambles and Melissa Hauschildt win Ironman 70.3 Boulder
Australian Joe Gambles has won the Boulder 70.3 for the third time in a row after running away from the field. By the 10km mark on the run Gambles already held a commanding lead.
In the women’s race it was Australian Melissa Hauschildt who dominated the race once she caught the faster swimmers on the bike.
Young Australian James Seear stamped his mark on the race early on after putting well over a minute on his rivals out of the water and holding a slim lead out of T2. Riding on his own at the front of the race took its toll and by the 10km mark on the run Seear had slipped back to 5th and was almost 5min down on Gambles.
Triathlon great Greg Bennett was second overall with one of the 4th fastest run of the day at 1:16:17. Both Michael Lovato and Adam Bohach both ran in the 1:15s.
The front chase pack in the race included Gambles, Bennett, Kiwis Callum Millward and Bryan Rhodes and another Aussie and 2012 Ironman Australia champ Paul Ambrose. Millward had a slight jump on the other three out of T1 but the four front runners stayed together on the bike and
For Millward this race was a great result and shows the focus he has been putting on reaching the top of the sport. Millward’s strong swim / bike combo is setting him up for good finishes. After existing the swim with the lead pack it was then up to him to stay with the guys. “We had a good group on the bike, Gambles and Bennett sat at the back for the first 45km then Gambles put in a big effort and we lost Rhodsey.Â We rode the first 45km relatively conservatively but I was worried Ben Hoffman and a few of the stronger boys might catch us but we held them as well as James Seear.”
When the attack from Gambles came, the group managed to pull Seear back quickly. The tough, very hot, hilly and exposed run was always going to be a test for the field. “Both Gambles and Bennett had good leg speed and pulled away from me. I was happy with my race and have a few specific areas to fine tune before Las Vegas in 5 weeks. This is the race I want to have a good showing at.”
For James Seear it was a ‘Catch me if you can’ race strategy’. “It was a solid field so was always going to be hard to pull off. I felt good in the swim but it was hard to go hard when it’s wetsuit legal and the water is so hot. I felt comfortable and controlled.”
On the bike and Seear did not let up. “I stayed in my planned zone from my coach and I kept growing the lead for the first 50km. Then the gap started to come down so I pushed a bit harder coming home and that hurt my run. I tried to hold on but I spent my bickies on the bike. I’m learning the distance and enjoying the challenge.”
Seear is now building for Chicago, Hyvee and Muskoko. Then a small easy period followed by the Toyota Cup. After that it will be back to Australia for the summer.
Joe Gambles had already established the lead on the run well before the halfway point and from then on the race was never in much doubt. Someone as experienced and as fast as Joe Gambles will be hard to beat at that stage of the race.
In the women’s race Australian Melissa Hauschildt had taken the lead by the 41km mark on the bike and from then on dominated the race. She finished around 13mins ahead of second placed Leanda Cave with Amanda Stevens just behind Leanda.