Marten Van Riel and Ellie Salthouse were unstoppable in Brazil last weekend, as the pair took the tape at the IRONMAN 70.3 Latin American Championship in Fortaleza.
Racing for the first time over the middle distance this season, Van Riel was in control from the start of the race, leading out of the water by over a minute, with Salthouse equally dominant in the women’s race.
Behind Van Riel, Spaniard Antonio Benito Lopez finished second ahead of Brazilian Andre Lopes, whilst in the women’s race Raquel Rocha of Portugal managed to claim the runner-up spot, as American Rachel Olson rounded out the podium.
Pro Women – Salthouse sees out season in style
Picking up her fourth middle distance win of the season in Fortaleza, Salthouse was a class apart from the rest of the field, winning by over 12 minutes having dominated across the board.
After finishing the swim with +0:05 over Olsen and +0:07 over Brazilian Maryannie Ortega, the PTO World #26 immediately put her foot down on the bike, opening up a lead of close to three minutes by the halfway mark.
Rocha, who had moved into second by the midway mark, was able to hold Salthouse to just +2:57 coming into transition. Unable to claw back time on the Aussie, the eventual runner-up did build a good buffer over the rest of the field with a strong ride.
On to the run, Salthouse was comfortably the fastest on course, with the 30 year old the only athlete who broke 1:30 for the half-marathon on a hot and humid day, clocking 1:25:22 off the bike unchallenged.
Ellie Salthouse – emphatic win [Photo credit: Challenge Family]
Whilst Olsen ran well, she couldn’t make up her deficit from the bike to Rocha, who finished in second +12:33 behind Salthouse. In third, Olsen, who ran the third fastest split of the day, finished +16:32 behind the winner.
Pro Men – Van Riel ticks off Taupō qualification
Despite the finishing times suggesting the men’s race was a lot closer than the women’s event, winner Van Riel dominated from start to finish, as the Olympian finished an injury hit season on a high.
Out of the water, Van Riel was +0:50 ahead of the field, with Benito Lopez his closest competitor heading out on the bike. Behind the Spaniard, a trio of Brazilians including Lopes were more than a minute behind.
On to the bike, Van Riel extended his lead, as Benito Lopez lost time and was swallowed up by the chase pack. Led by Santiago Ascenco, there was a quartet of athletes battling it out for two spots on the podium coming off the bike, +6:08 down on Van Riel.
Comfortably taking the win, Van Riel ran a 1:16:44 half marathon on his way to victory, as Benito Lopez blew the rest of the chasers away on the run, halving Van Riel’s lead but still coming up more than three minutes short with a 1:13:42 split
(Photo Credit: James Mitchell / IRONMAN)
Winning the battle of the Brazilians for third place, Boulder-based Lopes had a solid run to beat Ascenco to the last spot on the podium, giving the home crowd something to cheer about.
IRONMAN 70.3 Fortaleza 2023 Results
Sunday November 19, 2023 – 1.9km / 90km / 21.1km
1. Ellie Salthouse (AUS) – 4:16:34
2. Raquel Rocha (POR) – 4:29:07
3. Rachel Olsen (USA) – 4:33:07
4. Romina Palacio (ARG) – 4:36:33
5. Mariana Borges de Andrade (BRA) – 4:38:53
1. Marten Van Riel (BEL) – 3:43:58
2. Antonio Benito Lopez (ESP) – 3:47:17
3. Andre Lopes (BRA) – 3:50:32
4. Santiago Ascenco (BRA) – 3:52:11
5. Joao Ferreira (POR) – 3:54:55
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