Vanhoenacker and Wutti Celebrate in Austria

IRONMAN Austria delivers memorable victories for Marino Vanhoenacker, of Belgium, and hometown hero Eva Wutti.


Vanhoenacker takes control on the bike 

Starting the race in the crystal clear water of Lake Wörthersee, Andreas Giglmayr (AUT) was the fastest athlete on the swim course. Leading a four-man group, he exited the water in 46:29. Following just seven seconds behind were Ivan Rana (ESP), Miguel Angel Fidalgo (ESP) and Marino Vanhoenacker (BEL).

Hoping to send a message of domination early in the race, Vanhoenacker took the lead after a few kilometers on the bike. Pulling away from the field, he opened a gap of more than six minutes on his chasers. Michael Weiss (AUT) moved into second place during the first half of the bike, showing an impressive performance. Ivan Rana led the three-man chase group of Christian Birngruber (AUT) and Giglmayr.

Heading into the third leg of the race, Vanhoenacker arrived into T2 with a 15-minute lead, setting a new bike course record of 4:11:47. With the hope of new overall course and IRONMAN world records within reach, Vanhoenacker pushed hard on the first half of the run but had to slow down during the second half. Still gaining another three minutes on second place finisher Weiss, Vanhoenacker secured his seventh IRONMAN Austria title with a finish time of 7:48:45, making it the fourth fastest overall time in IRONMAN history. Weiss came in second place with a time of 8:06:59, beating last year’s winner Rana in third with a time of 8:08:25.

After his triumph Vanhoenacker reflected, "I am very happy to win here again. After I realized that I [was] ahead, I just enjoyed the last kilometers. The atmosphere and the support of the fans are unique features of this race and reasons why I come back."

Win for local hero Eva Wutti

Christina Jackson (USA) made a bold opening statement by dominating the swim with more than a four-minute lead out of the water.

Her time cushion proved not to be big enough when Eva Wutti (AUT) and Lisa Hütthaler (AUT) took the lead on the bike. Riding nearly shoulder-to-shoulder into T2, Wutti and Hütthaler headed onto the run course with an 11-minute lead ahead of third place Sarah Piampiano (USA).

Wutti broke away from Hütthaler with an impressive marathon time of 2:54:42, giving her a 17-minute advantage before winning her home race with an incredible time of 8:45:37. Hütthaler finished in 9:02:46 for second place, with Sarah Piampiano following close behind in 9:03:10 for third.

The three-time IRONMAN race winner, Wutti, recounted her victory saying, "I have no words to win at home. It was really a tough race and I had to give everything. I’m so proud of myself."

Top 5 Men
1 Vanhoenacker, Marino (BEL) 0:46:40 4:11:47 2:45:54 7:48:45
2 Weiss, Michael (AUT) 0:51:52 4:20:57 2:48:54 8:06:59
3 Rana, Ivan (ESP) 0:46:36 4:32:56 2:44:28 8:08:25
4 Plese, David (SLO) 0:50:24 4:35:52 2:46:26 8:17:54
5 Cigana, Massimo (ITA) 0:55:58 4:35:55 2:48:31 8:25:20

Top 5 Women
1 Wutti, Eva (AUT) 0:52:39 4:53:57 2:54:42 8:45:37
2 Huetthaler, Lisa (AUT) 0:52:45 4:53:41 3:11:43 9:02:46
3 Piampiano, Sarah (USA) 0:56:59 5:00:09 3:00:13 9:03:10
4 Gruber, Elisabeth (AUT) 1:00:00 5:02:16 3:01:52 9:10:10
5 Dogana, Martina (ITA) 0:53:53 5:11:02 3:08:42 9:18:50

Courtesy: Ironman.com