NEW ORLEANS—With wind gusts in excess of 56km/h, it was anything but smooth sailing in the ‘Big Easy’ for nearly 2,000 pro and age-group triathletes along Southshore Harbor at the 2016 Ochsner Ironman 70.3 New Orleans on Sunday, April 17.
With reigning back-to-back elite men’s champion Andy Potts (USA) deciding not to race, fellow American Andrew Starykowicz was able to shine and capture his first win in two years with a dominant performance in less than ideal weather conditions.
Starykowicz, who exited the 1.9-kilometre swim in third 29 seconds behind leader Matt Chrabot (USA) and three seconds behind Fernando Toldi (BRA), the wind was also a welcome element to the day’s racing.
“I train outside all winter in Chicago and you have whipping winds like this almost every day, so I love riding my bike sideways and it’s a lot of fun and instead of thinking how much it sucks I’m thinking how much I love it,” said the 34-year-old Starykowicz post race.
“There were times I was pushing 70km/h and the wind was at your back and there were a few sections where I was literally watching leaves tumbling on the ground as fast as I was going—it was awesome.
“I love the wind and I love riding in stuff like this and it was cool for me today.”
Defending two-time champion Sarah Piampiano overcomes seven-minute deficit in the swim to cross the line for her third Ironman 70.3 New Orleans title in five years on Sunday, April 17, 2016. Photo: R. Alden McEwen III
Image credit: Eurosport
For defending two-time elite women’s champion Sarah Piampiano (USA), it was just another day at the office as she was able overcome a seven-minute gap follwoing the swim and close within a minute on the turnaround of the bike course before surging past fellow Purple Patch teammate Sarah Cameto (USA) to run away for the win.
“It’s interesting because I don’t feel like this course would necessarily favor me, as I tend to like hillier courses,” Piampiano told Triathlete.com following the race. “But I just always seem to ride and run really well on this course and when you find something that works you have to just keep coming back.”
The win marks the 35-year-old former investment banker’s third New Orleans title after first winning the race in 2012 (with a cancelled swim) and overcoming two mechanicals last year.
2016 Ironman 70.3 New Orleans New Orleans, La. – April 17, 2016 1.9km swim, 90km bike, 21.1km run
1. Andrew Starykowicz (USA) 3:46:52
2. Taylor Reid (CAN) 3:52:19
3. Matt Chrabot (USA) 3:53:07
4. Ivan Tutukin (RUS) 3:56:05
5 Raul Tejada (GUA) 3:56:55
1. Sarah Piampiano (USA) 4:19:57
2. Sarah Cameto (USA) 4:26:48
3. Laura Bennett (USA) 4:29:51
4. Caitlin Snow (USA) 4:30:21
5. Amanda Stevens (USA) 4:33:23