Oakley's Michael Raelert And Julie Dibens Dominate At Avia Wildflower
Oakley’s Michael Raelert of Germany and Julie Dibens of Great Britain, both 70.3 World Champions, dominated at the 28th running of the Avia Wildflower long course triathlon Saturday.
Raelert, 30, who dominated the 2009 Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Clearwater Florida with a record 1:09 closing half marathon, set the second-fastest winning time at Wildflower’s 1.2-mile swim in 61-degree waters, a punishing hilly 56-mile bike and 13.1-mile run over rugged dirt trails. Raelert ‘s winning time of 3:55:57 gave him a 6-minute, one-second margin of victory over runner-up Joe Gambles of Australia and was 2 minutes 14 second back of Terenzo Bozzone’s course record win in 2006.
“There were a lot of great guys in the field and I was quite happy to beat them,” said Raelert of competitors who included former long course World Champion, Ironman Hawaii second place finisher and two-time Wildflower runner-up Eneko Llanos of Spain and former ITU long course medalist and two-time $200,000 winner of the Hy-Vee Triathlon Rasmus Henning of Denmark. Llanos finished third in 4:03:34.
Oakley’s Julie Dibens of Great Britain, led start to finish in 4:27:53, which gave her a 7:09 margin of victory over runner-up Desiree Ficker of Austin, Texas and broke the course record set by Samantha McGlone in 2006 by 3 minutes, 9 seconds.
Dibens started her day with a 25:26 swim that gave her a 1:46 lead over defending champion Virginia Berasategui of Spain then really poured it on the field. Dibens’ race-best 2:30:57 bike gave her an 8:41 lead over Berasategui, 10:32 over off road specialist and three-time XTERRA World Champion Melanie McQuaid of Canada and 10:59 over Ficker, whose career high point was a second place finish at Ironman Hawaii in 2006.
While Ficker, who finished 10th at the 2009 New York City Marathon, ran the women’s-best 1:24:47 half marathon run and passed Berasategui and McQuaid, that only whittled Dibens’ lead by 3:41.
“It was awesome — one of the best and hardest races at the half Ironman distance in the world,” said Dibens. “There are a lot of hills out there and the field was one of the best of the year, so I never felt I could let up at all. It’s definitely a special race and quite possibly my favorite race to do.”
Dibens’ win comes on a career hot streak that started with her win at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship last November, where she became the first woman to break the 4-hour barrier at the half Ironman distance. The streak continued with a $50,000 win at the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon in March.
The Avia Wildflower Triathlon Festival, known popularly as the Woodstock of Triathlon, attracts 30,000 spectators annually and is produced by Tri-California.
28th Avia Wildflower long course
Lake San Antonio, California
May 1, 2010
Swim 1.2 miles/ Bike 56 miles/ Run 13.1 miles
1. Michael Raelert (Germany) 3:55:57
2. Joe Gambles (Australia) 4:01:58
3. Eneko Llanos (Spain) 4:03:34
4. Philip Graves (Great Britain) 4:03:54
5. Rasmus Henning (Denmark) 4:05:42
6. Martin Jensen (Denmark) 4:06:43
7. Joe Umphenour (Colorado Springs CO) 4:09:22
8. Maik Twelsiek (Germany) 4:09:57
9. Kevin Everett (Boise ID) 4:10:50
10. Conrad Stoltz (Republic of South Africa) 4:13:14
1. Julie Dibens (Great Britain) 4:27:53
2. Desiree Ficker (Austin TX) 4:35:02
3. Virginia Berasategui (Spain) 4:39:46
4. Magali Tisseyre (Victoria BC, Canada) 4:40:04
5. Melanie McQuaid (Victoria BC Canada) 4:43:28
6. Haley Cooper (Spokane WA) 4:47:24
7. Linsey Corbin (Missoula MT) 4:48:32
8. Julia Grant (Ashburton USA) 4:49:32
9. Amy Marsh (Austin TX) 4:50:06
10. Lesley Paterson (Scotland) 4:50:31