Maurice Clavel (3:43:38) claimed 4th place in IM70.3 Dubai after being in contention for the podium all race long. His team mates Ronnie Schildknecht (3:47:08) and Will Clarke (3:53:39) finished 8th and 17th respectively. Alistair Brownlee (GBR; 3:35:30) won the race. Sven Riederer (SUI; 3:42:05) and Rudi Wild (SUI; 3:42:42) joined him on the podium.
Fight for the podium
Clavel had a perfect start to the day as he exited the water in 6th place as part of the big leading group. From that point onwards Brownlee put his stamp on the race and broke away. Maurice rode an attentively race as he settled in the chase group. The German led the chase group back into T2. In the early stages of the run, Maurice immediately set the pace with Riederer and the duo opened up a gap over the other 2 athletes of the chase group. For a long time Clavel matched the pace of Riederer, but at the 13k mark he had to let him go and settled in his own pace. From then onwards it was a real fight for Clavel to defend his spot on the podium. But in the final kilometres it was Rudi Wild who passed the BMC-Vifit Sport athlete to take over 3rd place. Clavel crossed the finish line in 4th place after a very convincing performance in front of the race all day long.
Solid race for Ronnie Schildknecht
Clavels teammate Ronnie Schildknecht came home in 8th place after posting the 2nd fastest bike split of the day with a time of 2:02:25. Will Clarke, suffering from illness a week ago, had a tough day in the office and finished 17th in Dubai. The fourth BMC-Vifit Sport athlete at the start line was Patrik Nilsson, but unfortunately he had to withdraw from the race after dealing with severe cramps during the swim.
Afterwards both Maurice Clavel as Ronnie Schildknecht were pleased with their results.
Clavel: “Of course I am satisfied with 4th place in such a strong field today. But it is definitely with mixed feelings as was in contention for the podium whole day long until 2k from the finish. But in the last kilometres I struggled so hard. The last 8k actually were a real battle. I tried to keep up the pace towards the end though. I pushed hard on the bike, trying to keep up the pace as there was a big group riding behind us. Maybe that is the reason I finish a minute shy of the podium, but I really tried my best today and that is my way of racing.”
Schildknecht: “Actually, I’m pretty pleased with the race, not so much with the 8th place though. The swim was solid and the bike was the highlight of the day. I felt really strong and therefore invested perhaps too much in the bike. This race was a step up towards the rest of the season. So of course, I was tired in the run. But overall I’m really happy with my race and my form, so it was a great build up for Ironman South Africa.”