Having dealt with various injury’s throughout the season, some might have thought that it would be unlikely that Kienle would be able to repeat a World Championship performance. But today Sebastian Kienle executed a near-perfect strategy (which was pretty much the same strategy as last year) to claim his second successive Ironman 70.3 World Championship.
On a damp, overcast morning Josh Amberger was the first to emerge from the water in 23:19. Needless to say, in a field of this quality he was the one of many, with Andy Potts (23:22), Jan Frodeno (23:28), Tim O’Donnell (23:30) all hot on his heels. In fact, 15 men emerged from the swim within 40 seconds of Amberger, and that would be the field that led out onto the bike. Craig Alexander (24:31), Terenzo Bozzone (24:33) and Sebastian Kienle all lost time in those early stages (25:38).
Kienle, though, wasn’t hanging around. Two minutes down after 10 miles, he slowly but surely reeled in the main group on his SCOTT Plasma Premium. Former world champion Craig Alexander started to drop back early on, and was very quickly out of contention for the win.
It was in fact on the bike where Sebastian would turn things around. Quietly making his way through the chase pack, he quickly set about chasing down Amberger. Through the 37 mile mark Kienle had taken the lead, and by 45 miles he had a minute advantage over Amberger (1:30 on the next chase group). It was a brilliant display of biking dominance from the German machine who registered a 2:10:10 bike to take him into T2 2:48 up on second placed Andy Potts.
But Kienle was in complete and utter control. Behind him the lead men were jostling for position – with Terenzo Bozzone ultimately taking up the chase. Yet try as he might, there was nothing Bozzone – or anyone else for that matter – could do about Kienle. A 1:14:50 run was enough to carry Kienle across the line in 3:54:02 – and seal his second consecutive 70.3 World Championship- only the third man in history to do so.
“I can’t believe it,” Kienle said after the race. “If you had told me in June, July or August that I’d make top 20 I would have been happiest man in the world.”
A very big congratulations from the SCOTT family goes out to Sebastian for all of his hard work and for once again being the 70.3 World Champ.
All Photo Credits: Silke Insel / Spomedis