Germany’s Laura Philipp ended the sequence of Daniela Ryf victories at IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai by claiming victory in the 2022 event on Saturday.
Together with Ryf through the opening two disciplines, the German sealed the deal in typically impressive style on the run.
While all indications pre-race were that this would likely be a race within a race, the expected Daniela Ryf / Laura Philipp head-to-head would have to wait until the bike. Not that they were behind in the swim – far from it – but it was Lotte Lucas (UAE) who just led out of the water in 26:26, with Philipp and Ryf locked together, just a couple of strides behind as they returned to Jumeirah Beach.
On history at least, that represented a narrow advantage for Philipp at this early stage, who has made such rapid progress since learning to swim at 24. Starting the 90km bike level with the Ryf was a strong start to her day.
Carolin Lehreider (GER), Kirralee Siedel (AUS) and Lucy Byram (GBR) headed the chasers, around 45 seconds back.
Bike – normal service resumed
Following the script, Ryf and Philipp were indeed in a different class on two wheels. Both recording 2:04 bike splits after 90km of riding, they had built a huge lead of more than eight minutes over Lucas, with the German duo of Daniela Bleymehl and Carolin Lehreider within a minute of her.
Baring a miracle, first and second would be a run battle between Philipp and Ryf, but that final podium slot was still up for grabs.
Run – Laura’s long run to victory
During her three race wins in 2021, Philipp had totally dominated her opposition on the run. At the IRONMAN European Championship in Finland for example, we described her marathon performance as, “a different league, and honestly, she had more in the tank.”
I had expected her to need this to chase down Ryf here, but starting the 21km in level terms makes that weapon even more powerful.
She was more than 90 seconds up on Daniela just 4km into the run and that trend continued to the finish, the hep sports team athlete showing that her current third place in the PTO Rankings is not an accident. She deserves to be on the elite short list of potential winners at the forthcoming IRONMAN World Championship in St George.
A 1:19:31 run split was the result, and the German athlete topped the Swiss legend by almost four minutes at the finish.
IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai Results 2022
Saturday March 5, 2022
1. Laura Philipp (GER) – 3:53:032. Daniela Ryf (SUI) – 3:56:553. Lottie Lucas (UAE) – 4:07:034. Leanne Fanoy (UAE) – 4:07:565. Kirralee Seidel (AUS) – 4:10:29
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