In a field of Olympians, multiple world champions, and in-form athletes, Sam Appleton smashed the course record and emerged triumphant at Ironman 70.3 Vineman. The youngest member of the Bahrain Endurance 13 team turned in a strong swim, new record bike split, and race-best run split to beat two-time Ironman world champion Craig Alexander and 2013 US Ironman 70.3 Pro champion Kevin Collington to the top step on the podium.
Appleton took advantage of the cool weather and fast point-to-point course, and was spurred onwards by the quality of his chasers to take the victory in 3 hours, 43 minutes, and 6 seconds. He said, â€œThrilled to grab the win at Vineman. Great event and course! I’ll be back! Well done to Crowie and Kevin in second and third. You guys had me running scared!â€
Fellow Bahrain Endurance 13 athlete Luke Bell shared the same sentiments. The former Vineman winner said,
As expected with a field so strong, the pace was on from the start. Sam Appleton continued his amazing run of form to take the win and break both the bike and course record. Bell battled stomach issues to end up the last male pro finisher. You cannot always hope for perfect conditions. Sometimes you need to suck it up and get it done.
Bell has Ironman Canada on July 26 in his sights, while Appleton is heading to the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Austria at the end of August.