For the third time in three years, Team Wurtele’s Heather (CAN) claimed a podium spot at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships, while Sam Appleton (AUS), Tim Don (GBR), Craig “Crowie” Alexander (AUS), and Radka Vodičková (CZE) finished among the top ten pro athletes racing this past weekend in Mooloolaba. On the off-road triathlon circuit, XTERRA phenom Mauricio Mendez (MEX) achieved his third victory in the 2016 XTERRA European tour by winning XTERRA Denmark.
“Congratulations to Heather for putting together another incredible race day, and we’re thrilled that she stood on the 70.3 World Championship stage for the third time,” said Michael Cardoza, Human Interest Group Director. “Every year, the women’s pro field gets stronger and more intense, so Heather claiming a podium spot since 2014 is just a testament to her status as one of the best all-around long-distance athletes racing today.”
“And on the other hand, it’s great to see Mauricio dominate the XTERRA European Tour on his very first attempt with three wins over five races. Denmark was another impressive performance by Mau, and I know the new competition and different terrains gave him invaluable experiences for his long-term career. Congrats to Heather and Mau for some fine racing this weekend, and we hope they get some well-deserved rest before the next world championship training blocks begin.”
Heather Wurtele – 3rd place IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships
This year’s performance continues Wurtlete’s podium streak at the 70.3 World Championships after taking second place in 2015 and third in 2014. As she has consistently demonstrated at multiple victories this year, Wurtele accelerated through the bike and run legs to secure a top spot on race results list.
After the swim, Wurtele cycled to join the formidable chase group behind the leader and eventual champion Holly Lawrence; Wurtele posted the third fastest bike split among the women (2:22:26). Off the bike and onto the run, Wurtele fended off competition from the reigning IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion Daniela Ryf to take the third fastest run split (1:21:38). Wurtele crossed the finished line with a final time of 4:13:36.
The current IRONMAN 70.3 North American pro champion now enters the final preparation phase for the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona on October 8th.
“Pretty happy with three podium finishes the past three years at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships! All the ladies pushed hard today! Very impressive racing,” Wurtele told her fans after the world championship event.
Also with a solid performance, including the third-fastest swim for the pro women, Radka Vodičková, ran to the ninth spot. Sam Appleton finished fifth after starting with the second fastest swim (22:40) among men. Tim Don moved steadily up through the pack to cross the finish line in seventh place, while Craig Alexander rounded out the top ten with a strong performance by the oldest pro male racing.
Mauricio Mendez –1st place XTERRA Denmark
Mendez left the rough, choppy water in first place with (23:50) and then fell back a few spots on the bike. Despite being about three minutes behind the lead pack when he started the run, Mendez eventually caught up and passed the three lead men with the fastest run of the day (46:29). Mendez crossed the finish line at 2:56:13.
As part of his five-race, six-week tour in Europe this summer, Mendez adds XTERRA Denmark to his win column with XTERRA Italy and XTERRA Sweden. The twenty-year-old also took 2nd place at XTERRA Poland and 5th at the XTERRA European Championships. He next competes at the XTERRA World Championships on October 23rd held on Maui.
“It was a really extreme adventure today. This was my first time in these kinds of conditions and it was hard to deal with. I tried to stay calm and enjoy the experience, and when I started three-minutes down on the run I told myself to just enjoy it because it’s the last race of the trip. Then, when I saw the three guys at the 8K mark I pushed hard and it worked,” Mendez told XTERRA after the final race of his European tour.
IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships – Mooloolaba, Australia
Holly Lawrence (GBR) 4:09:11
Melissa Hauschildt (AUS) 4:11:08
Heather Wurtele (CAN) 4:13:36
(9) Radka Vodičková (CZE) 4:18:18
Tim Reed (AUS) 3:44:14
Sebastian Kienle (DEU) 3:44:16
Ruedi Wild (CHE) 3:44:40
(5) Sam Appleton (AUS) 3:46:02
(7) Tim Don (GBR) 3:46:32
(10) Craig Alexander (AUS) 3:47:28
XTERRA Denmark – Mons Klint, Denmark (1.5km swim, 30km MTB, 10km trail run)
Mauricio Mendez (MEX) 2:56:13
Sam Osborne (NZL) 2:57:09
Roger Serrano (ESP) 2:57:50