Laura Philipp was happy just to be back in action at IRONMAN 70.3 Kraichgau on Sunday, but she ended up achieving so much more.
The German star was devastated when COVID forced her to pull out of the IRONMAN World Championship in St George earlier this month.
Three weeks after that disappointment, she made her return to action in more familiar soundings and claimed a fine victory on home soil.
Afterwards she admitted: “I’m definitely surprised. It was very tough but I’m proud of myself that I keep on pushing. I think it’s a great performance and definitely something I can build on.”
Philipp finally came home around three-and-a-half minutes ahead of fellow German Daniela Bleymehl after the pair had an epic duel on the bike. She was grateful for the competition in what turned out to be a tough test.
“I want to race and to have a strong performance you need strong competition. therefore It was great that Dani had a great ride and kept on pushing me. That means I had to work a lot harder than if I’d been on my own so thanks for pushing me Dani. It’s definitely more fun and it also feels a lot more deserved.”
And so to cake – Laura’s favourite meal – as it was the perfect way to reflect on the fact she also broke her own course record in the process of claiming victory.
“It’s definitely a cherry on top of a big cake that I will eat later on. It’s always great to own a course record, especially of your home race. So yeah, maybe on a day where I feel a little bit better I can break it again. I will come back.”
Daniela Bleymehl on Kraichgau
Bleymehl, winner of IRONMAN South Africa in April, almost didn’t line up here after finishing seventh in last weekend’s The Championship in Samorin. In the end though she was happy she made the decision to compete.
“I’m really happy, you asked me before the race if it’s nicer to be second in a good battle or first in a slow race. Today It was a really rollercoaster race, there were so many bad moments but also quite some good moments.
“I’m just really happy that I made the decision to start because I’d been doubting the whole week if I should do it because I just had another middle-distance race last Sunday.
“I wasn’t sure how things would go. Laura pushed me a lot today and I’m happy I came here.”
Julie Iemmolo on Kraichgau
French star Julie Iemmolo claimed the final spot on the podium, and was delighted to clinch a place at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in St George in October.
“I knew I would have my chance on the swim because I’m a former swimmer. It’s the easier part for me. I also knew these two girls were really strong on the bike. I tried to follow the pace for the beginning of the race because it would be a chance to make a gap on the other girls. That’s what I did.
“I’m really happy for my race because I qualified for the World Champs and that was my big goal for the season, to go another time to the World Championship in St George – I was there last year. It was not easy to qualify again so I’m really happy and also to be on the podium, it’s a pleasure.”
Originally posted on TRI247.com. Click here to Read More.