The greatly anticipated return to the big island, this time in a new format with the women competing in the first race on the Thursday. The race did not disappoint and a new star was born, with a huge upset against the favourites.
Conditions were ideal with sunny skies and only light winds. The race started well for the Swiss Side athletes with Laura Philipp, Daniela Bleymehl and Daniela Ryf (DT Swiss – Aerodynamics by Swiss Side sponsored athlete), heading out on the bike together in a power train, 5 minutes behind the leader, with Sweden’s Lisa Norden following up closely.
Unfortunately, at km 50 things took an unfortunate turn, with both Laura and Lisa receiving 5 min penalties, for still unknown reasons. This unfortunately made their fight for the win impossible in such a strongly stacked field.
Despite the unfortunate setback for the Swiss Side team, Daniela Ryf was still in the game in the front group. In the second half of the bike leg, she pushed extremely hard to take over the lead and build a gap to the faster runners like Anne Haug who was in the pursuit group.
In the run, Daniela Ryf didn’t have a great day at the office, suffering visibly from the very beginning and was quickly overtaken by her pursuers. However, nobody had rookie Chelsea Sodaro on their radar, who started in her first ever Kona and second ever Ironman. She hit run in 4th position, with an unbelievably quick pace, who everyone thought would be a ‘rookie error’. In the meantime, Swiss Side athletes Laura Philipp and Lisa Norden were both running very strongly, picking off the athletes one by one to come through the field, closing on the podium.
However nothing could stop Chelsea Sodaro’s charge and to everyone’s surprise, the American was indeed able to hold the incredible pace all the way to the line, setting a new run course record to take the crown as the 2022 IRONMAN World Champion.
Laura and Lisa pushed all the way to the line, finishing 4th and 5th respectively with very strong performances. Daniele Ryf kept on battling despite not finding her running legs, finishing in a solid 8 th place. A very challenging day for Daniela Bleymehl, who suffered very much from the heat, and was unfortunately forced to abandon the race due to health concerns.
The Top 5 ranking at the 2022 IRONMAN World Championship Women’s Race:
P1. Chelsea Sodaro
P2. Lucy Charles-Barclay
P3. Anne Haug
P4. Laura Philipp
P5. Lisa Norden
It’s a great honour for Swiss Side to see the top three athletes riding DT SWISS wheels (Aerodynamics by Swiss Side), as well as two Swiss Side athletes in fourth and fifth position. Furthermore, the Swiss Side team is also proud to have supported Chelsea and DT Swiss with her aerodynamic optimisation in the wind tunnel, just a handful of months before.
Aerodynamics by Swiss Side wind tunnel test for DT Swiss sponsored Chelsea Sodaro
Congratulations to Chelsea and all the amazing women taking on the hardest race of the season!