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Potts and Clifford Tough it Out in Tennessee

The wins were no cake-walk for Andy Potts and Ashley Clifford at the inaugural Sunbelt Bakery IRONMAN 70.3 Chattanooga.


Potts' patience rewarded again

Andy Potts (USA) emerged from the Tennessee River first with Brian Fleischmann (USA), Jimmy Seear (NZL), Terenzo Bozzone (NZL) and Greg Bennett (AUS) clambering ashore within 12 seconds of the leader.

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Once on the bike, the front five, led by Fleischmann, pulled away from the field with a mere 24 seconds separating the quintet at 26 miles and accompanied by Leon Griffin (AUS) who was a minute and a half back riding solo. Griffin made up a minute and a half deficit in the closing half of the bike to lead the men. Potts, Bozzone, Bennett, Seear and Fleischmann come off the bike within 12 seconds of the leader.

Griffin, Potts and Bozzone forged their way in the early miles of the run with Griffin pushing the pace for the first half. Potts and Bozzone pulled away from Griffin early in the second of two loops. Potts would surge on a hill late in the run to take control of the race while Griffin powered by Bozzone.

Potts claimed the inaugural Sunbelt Bakery IRONMAN 70.3 Chattanooga in 3:49:43. Griffin’s gutsy performance with two of the best men at the half distance was rewarded with well-earned second place finish, while Bozzone mopped up the final podium placing, just a week after racing at the inaugural IRONMAN 70.3 Vietnam.

Clifford takes it on the run

Anna Cleaver's (USA) 24:01 swim helped her establish a lead of 26 seconds in the point-to-point swim. Ashely Clifford (USA) and Jackie Hering (USA) exited the river together in second and third while Nina Kraft (DEU) was 46 seconds off Cleavers' pace running into transition.

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On the bike, Hering, Clifford and Cleaver fed each other and powered away from the field. At the conclusion of the first half of the bike, the trio had a four-minute buffer to their closest rivals. Kelly Fillnow (USA) and Jessie Donavan (USA) managed to reel the lead trio back in in the closing half of the ride. Cleaver led the women into transition with Hering and Clifford seconds back. Fillnow and Donavan were next and had reduced their deficits to 2:39 and 3:16 as they dismounted their bikes.

On the run, Clifford maintained a slight lead over Hering while Cleaver could not match the pace set by the lead pair up front in the early miles. For much of the run, Clifford couldn’t totally shake Hering, but managed to build up over a minute buffer in the final mile on her pesky pursuer. Cleaver claimed the title in Tennessee by a winning margin of +1:08 on Hering, while Fillnow ran her way onto the podium.

Top 5 Pro Men
1 Potts, Andy USA 0:21:59 2:09:35 1:14:22 3:49:43
2 Griffin, Leon AUS 0:23:26 2:08:44 1:15:50 3:51:15
3 Bozzone, Terenzo NZL 0:22:05 2:09:48 1:17:18 3:52:38
4 Baird, Chris USA 0:25:17 2:10:54 1:14:25 3:54:22
5 Fleischmann, Brian USA 0:22:01 2:10:03 1:21:32 3:57:19

Top 5 Pro Women
1 Potts, Andy USA 0:21:59 2:09:35 1:14:22 3:49:43
2 Griffin, Leon AUS 0:23:26 2:08:44 1:15:50 3:51:15
3 Bozzone, Terenzo NZL 0:22:05 2:09:48 1:17:18 3:52:38
4 Baird, Chris USA 0:25:17 2:10:54 1:14:25 3:54:22
5 Fleischmann, Brian USA 0:22:01 2:10:03 1:21:32 3:57:19

Originally from: http://www.ironman.com/triathlon/news/articles/2015/05/ironman-70.3-chattanooga-recap.aspx#ixzz3aS6OG0cg

Courtesy Ironman A-P Article by Shawn Skene, Photos by Robbie Little/FinsherPix

 

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