Van Vlerken rides in Kona. Photo by Jay Prasuhn/EnduraPix.com
It was a tough day of racing on the Island of Cozumel. With temperature and humidity soaring, you knew the race would be settled by who could handle the heat—of the weather conditions and the field.
The men’s race saw Andy Potts rack up his second Ironman title of the year. He led the field out of the water and set out to establish the pace for the men’s race throughout the bike.
Potts had a steady companion throughout the ride in the form of Hungary’s Balazs Csokes, who is better known as a regular on the Ironman 70.3 circuit. The leading pair showed the way for the entire ride with the exception of the final few kilometers, when they were joined by the Argentinian dual of Eduardo Sturla and Oscar Galindez, along with American Michael Lovato.
Heading onto the run, Galindez lead a group of five men who were all within 45 seconds each other. Potts was trailing the pack, but made quick work of the quartet when he surged to the lead in the opening kilometers of the run.
Potts’s lead was remained solid for the first two of the three laps of the marathon. With humidity cooking up the temperature, a number of contenders fell out of contention, while Potts finally broke the field during the closing lap.
By the end of the race, Lovata and Sturla were the only contenders to maintain contact with Potts, but in the end, both came up short, unable to match Potts’s outstanding 2:52:36 marathon time.
Speaking of his second Ironman win this season, Potts said, “My appreciation for winning an Ironman is even greater because winning an Ironman is so difficult.”
One gets the impression that Potts was equally motivated to erase some of the bitter taste he may have had from his disappointing race in Kona this year. “I wanted to come to Cozumel and finish the day, my way, and I did,” explained Potts.
A content sounding Potts added, “I was really on the “who cares” race plan today, just go hard, my way … who cares, and I did.”
In the women’s race, Yvonne van Vlerken won Ford Ironman Cozumel, though it wasn’t as easy as her first win outing here in Mexico.
The Dutch athlete had her characteristically slow swim to start her day. Van Vlerken’s found herself in a tough position because of some of the other women’s contenders in the field. Amanda Stevens and Dede Griesbauer can put together blistering swim and bike splits together, while the outstanding cyclist, Tyler Stewart can tear up a bike course. to contend with.
Coming off the bike, Tyler Stewart led the way onto the marathon, with van Vlerken, Griesbauer and Stevens running together just under five minutes in arrears.
By the end of the first lap, van Vlerken had clawed her way into a contention, eliminating all but 45 seconds of her deficit to Stewart. Once she assumed the lead, van Vlerken steadily distanced herself from the field and captured her second Ford Ironman Cozumel title.
The win took its toll on van Vlerken, as she was immediately ushered to the medical tent for an extended period.
Ford Ironman Cozumel
November 28, 2010
Top 10 Pro Men
1. Andy Potts (USA) 8:16:14
2. Michael Lovato (USA) 8:22:17
3. Eduardo Sturla (ARG) 8:24:48
4. Axel Zeebroek (BEL) 8:28:52
5. Andriy Yastrebov (UKR) 8:32:46
6. Patrick Evoe (USA) 8:35:43
7. Petr Vabrousek (CZE) 8:40:09
8. Jozsef Major (HUN) 8:42:45
9. Maximilian Longree (GER) 8:45:52
10. Rutger Beke (BEL) 8:46:28
Top 10 Pro Women
1. Yvonne Van Vlerken (NED) 9:07:25
2. Tyler Stewart (USA) 9:23:44
3. Amanda Stevens (USA) 9:26:35
4. Sofie Goos (BEL) 9:45:01
5. Nicole Woysch (GER) 9:50:00
6. Kimberly Schwabenbauer (USA) 10:03:59 *AG W30-34
7. Fiona Whitby (CAN) 10:05:05
8. Charisa Wernick (USA) 10:07:30
9. Maria Omar Soledad (ARG) 10:08:50
10. Carmenza Morales (COL) 10:09:43