Olympic Champion, Britain’s Alistair Brownlee celebrated an impressive comeback after battling injury. German, Haug beat Lewis and Lawrence to the top position on the podium.
Every journey begins with a first step. Alistair Brownlee of Great Britain and Anne Haug of Germany made a huge first step towards the « Nasser Bin Hamad Triple Crown » by winning the 2018 IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai, the first of three races counting towards the overall grand prize of one million US dollars. They will need to win two more – the 2018 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship and the 2018 IRONMAN 70.3 Middle East Championship in Bahrain – to claim triathlon’s biggest prize purse.
Former short-distance specialist Haug delivered what may have been the most impressive performance of the day, finishing the 21,1 km half marathon in just one hour and 14 minutes and leaving behind the likes of 2016 IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion Holly Lawrence and Sarah Lewis. Lawrence once again proved to be the field’s strongest swimmer but couldn’t extend her lead on the bike. Haug patiently sat, watched and waited until she made a move with Lawrence struggling to keep her pace on the run. It was Haug’s second win in only three IRONMAN 70.3 races, after winning the 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 Lanzarote and placing second at the 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 Middle East Championship in Bahrain.
Brownlee is back
You can come back or you can come back in style. Alistair Brownlee of Great Britain decided to come back to triathlon after a nagging injury required surgery and did so in style: The double Olympic Champion, who will turn 30 this April, dominated the men’s race at the 2018 IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai and left little doubt on what will become another chapter in one of history’s most impressive triathlon careers. The day’s fastest bike split of 1:58:51 was probably the most visible nuance of a performance that was nothing short of impressive. « I felt amazing on the last few kilometers and was able to soak it all in. I am so happy to back to racing and while I had some rough patches in between, it’s an amazing feeling to be here and win here, » said Brownlee who took the top step on the podium in front of the Swiss duo of Sven Riederer and Ruedi Wild.
His Higness Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa in 4:09:27, good for fourth in his age group and 43rd overall. In total more than 2000 athletes participated in the third edition of IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai.