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Germany shines | Mexican champ loses, Czech triathlete defends women’s Alveo Ironman title

Germany’s Markus Rolli cruised his way to the finish line while Czech Radka Kahlefeldt defended her title at the close of the second Alveo Ironman 70.3 held at the Azuela Cove in Lanang.

Rolli and Kahlefeldt. Photo by Bing Gonzales

Rolli became this year’s Male Pro Division champion by clocking 3 hours 49 minutes and 29 seconds at the 1.9K swim, 90K bike, and 21K run course leaving past Australians Craig Alexander (3:52:21) and Tim Van Berkel (3:53:05) at second and third places, respectively.

Markus Rolli (center) of Germany rules the men’s category as he poses here with second placer Craig Alexander of Australia and third-place finisher Timothy Peter Van Berkel (right) of Australia during the Alveo Ironman 70.3 on Sunday. Photo by Bing Gonzales

The 2017 Ironman 70.3 Thailand winner took over in the bike lap by clocking two hours and 50 seconds which had himself ahead on a four-minute edge next to Alexander.

It was a lead he would never relinquish.

He then kept his tactical pace in the run stage before reaching the finish line timed at 1:22:19.

“I really poured it on the bike stage and by the time I reached the run, somebody told me that I was really ahead. It was really a great experience,” Rolli said.

The German triathlete also won the Foremost Ironman 70.3 in Phuket, Thailand on Nov. 27, 2017 on the strength of his bike game. During that race, Rolli was actually in sixth place after the swim stage but managed to take back the lead in the bicycle stage with a blistering pace.

The triathlete has a reputation for taking it easy in the first part of the bike race then pushing hard after the first five kilometers. It was the strategy he used when he won the Foremost Ironman race in Thailand.

He was considered a dark horse for the Alveo Ironman event.
Defending champion and pre-race bet Mauricio Mendez was out of contention after experiencing mechanical problems with his bike on his route to Tagum City.

The country’s noted triathlete August Benedicto finished sixth place timed at four hours, 19 minutes and 58 seconds. He took the swim stage in 31:30, bike leg in 2:18:05 and run stage in 1:27:52.

Kahlefeldt lived up to her billing when she clocked four hours, 16 minutes and 52 seconds to win her second straight Female Pro Division title in the event organized and conducted by Sunrise Events Incorporated.

She left past closest rivals Caroline Steffen of Switzerland (4:19:28) and Kirralee Seidel of Australia (4:28:37).

Kahlefeldt and Steffen were on toe-to-toe in the swim and bike stages but the former outlasted the latter in the run event to retain the crown.

Steffen failed to match Kahlefeldt’s strides midway in the run part and finished in 4:19:28.

Kahlefeldt timed 26:55 in the swim next to Steffen’s 26:58. She had 2:21:48 in the bike lap before having a one-minute lead in the run clocked at 52:39 against Steffens’ time at 54:16.

Generally peaceful

The 2019 Alveo Ironman 70.3 sports event yesterday was peaceful.
Chief Supt. Marcelo Morales, the director of Police Regional Office XI, yesterday said in a message that they did not record any major incident in the city.

“Some medical attention was given by the emergency medical response teams to some participants,” Morales said.

“The PNP-AFP-LGU barangay volunteers were deployed to ensure the safety of the athletes, participants, and spectators, ” he added.
Sr. Supt. Alexander Tagum, city police director, said that based on their monitoring from unit commanders, there was “no untoward incident reported.”

Last Friday, a sendoff ceremony of all unit contingents was held at the PRO XI grandstand in Camp Sgt. Quintin M. Merecido.

Chief Supt. Marcelo C. Morales said that their office has implemented a stricter security plan for the event to ensure the safety of the participants and the spectators.

“Aside from the DCPO, there are additional troops deployed from the regional headquarters and Regional Mobile Force Battalion to intensify police presence through increased foot patrol and mobile patrol operations,” Morales said.

Police assistance desks were also established in places of convergence.

A total of 7,228 uniformed personnel from PRO XI, AFP, coast guard, Bureau of Fire Prevention, auxiliary police and Central 911 were deployed to ensure the safety and security of the participants.
“It is an honor for us to be chosen as the host again for this event,” Morales said. (With reports from Rhoda Grace B. Saron)

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