After an impressive swim by Jodie Swallow, once on dry land, the leading pack engulfed the British athlete and the bike race began. The pack was thick with nine women vying to get ahead at the start of the bike leg, and quickly, pre-race favourite Daniela Ryf made moves to head towards the front of the pack.
Anja Beranek was looking strong and maintained an impressive chase of Ryf with the two creating their own solid lead ahead of Vesterby, Swallow, Kessler, Kaye and Luxford.
During the gruelling climb to Hawi, the two leaders maintained their impressive breakneck speed and it threatened to get the better of some of the pros. Camilla Pederson was overheard saying “my body feels dead.” With Aussie Mirinda Carfrae a huge nine minutes behind Ryf, it was all but settled she wouldn’t be a top finisher. Mary Beth Ellis was leading another group 3 minutes behind the leaders, all eager to shorten the distance between them. Natascha Badmann, five time Kona world champion, was all smiles in the bike leg and crowd loved her as she surged by behind the leading packs in her red bull helmet.
The weather was a balmy 28 degrees C and soaked in 65% humidity, but it seemed Daniela Ryf didn’t feel the heat. Her lead out of T2 was huge, with 8:03 over Beranek, and 14:02 over Heather Jackson. At the 99.5 mile mark, Ryf had truly surged away, and was a huge five minutes ahead of Anja Beranek. Crowd favourite Rinny was 18:50 behind Ryf after sinking back into the pack.
By the time Ryf reached the transition, she was light years ahead of Beranek, a start contrast to the close 1st and 2nd positions of the men’s race.