Kelly Williamson used her killer run leg to take out the USA 70.3 Championship at Glaveston, Texas today. The Texan won on home soil and in front of a huge supported base and also he sponsors who also sponsor the race. Williamson lead the race from early in the bike leg but fell back slightly. She had her work cut out when she hit the run leg but very quickly made her way to the front. Her 1:18 run was very fast and none of the other women came close to it. Williamson raced in the Panama 70.3 recently and it was a very different story on the bike. At Panama she posted a slow bike time but ran a 1:16. This time she made no mistake and whilst she did get passed by a couple of women on the bike once Williamson hit the run course there was never going to be any doubt of the outcome.
Williamson cramped up on the bike and was unsure about what would happen. This is something that we are hearing from most of the pros. It seems that the style of the bike course means you are in one position for between 2 and 2.5 hours.
Yvonne Van Vlerken rode from quite a way back with Christie Sym up to the 45km mark riding through the field. This is where Sym had a little pit stop in the sin bin for drafting.
The racing was much closer and more competitive right throughout the women’s field today, even on the bike everyone was strung out in a line and making sure they all stayed in touch. Not the normal women’s race.
Similar in the run. There were no big gaps through the field. The three lap run had lots of out and back sections so everyone could see the competition regularly.
The lone Australian in the field was Christie Sym. Sym copped a drafting penalty on the bike. The penalty was dubious and at that stage Sym had ridden in to a very competitive position. Van Vlerken, who was riding behind Sym at the time, was in also of the opinion that the penalty was unwarranted.
New Zealand’s Anna Cleaver lead the field on to the bike in her first race since injury late last year. Most of the field would have had no idea who Anna was and would have not known she is a champion swimmer. Cleaver felt her old hip injury on the bike and made the wise decision to pull out and save herself for another day. Cleaver was on a bike that she is not used to and hasn’t had fitted. The hip issue which put her out of action for a chunk of last year could be felt so going on was not an option. She is now off to the chiropractor and a bike fitter.