Chelsea Sodaro took the victory in her first race for the team in IM70.3 Santa Rosa. The BMC-Vifit athlete crossed the finish line in a time of 4:10:57. Chelsea was accompanied on the podium by former World Champion Mirinda Carfrae in second (AUS; 4:14:34) an Paula Findlay (CAN; 4:15:17) in third.
After suffering from injury in the beginning of the season, Chelsea started her first race for the team in IM70.3 Santa Rosa. She exited the water in 5th place, but a fast transition made her jump on her bike in 3rd place with a deficit of 46 seconds over the lead.
In the first half of the bike, Sodaro managed to close that gap to only 16”, but in the back half of the bike she made sure to save enough energy for the upcoming run.
Back in T2, the American athlete was well in control of 2nd place as she started the run 1’30 back of leader Findlay and 3’30 in front of Carfrae in 3rd. In less than 7k, Chelsea was able to cut down her deficit to the front the race. She took over first place and immediately start building an advantage. From that point onwards, Sodaro kept her pace high to ensure her victory. With the fastest running split of the day (1:16:13) Chelsea cruised to the finish line to take home her very first win of the season in her first race for the team.
Afterwards Sadaro looked back at her fantastic performance: “I was really grateful to be back racing today. I came out of the water in a good position and felt strong on the initial hills on the bike. It was supposed to be hot, so I took good care of my hydration and nutrition on the bike and was excited to run. I felt really smooth on the run and mostly executed the race I wanted. Today was fun as it was basically in my backyard, so my husband and my coach were out on the course. Really proud and looking forward to the rest of the season.”
Pablo Gonzalez adds another podium to his season tally
Pablo Dapena Gonzalez clinched 3rd place in Challenge Prague. After 3:59:04 the Spaniard rounded out the podium. Florian Angert (GER; 3:54:49) took the victory as Pieter Heemeryck came home in 2nd (BEL; 3:57:36).
Only a few days after an unfortunate bike crash in training, Pablo Dapena toed the line in Challenge Prague. A very strong swim helped Pablo exit the water in first place. On the bike, the BMC-Vifit athlete settled in the big chase group. At the 60k mark, Pablo was riding in 8th place battling for 4th position with 4 other athletes. Once back in T2, the Spanish athlete started his charge through the field. Pablo passed the halfway point of the run battling for 3rd place. In the second half of the run, Dapena kept his pace as high as possible and managed to build up a small lead over 4th place. Pablo maintained that small lead until the finish. He crossed the line in 3rd place, 30” in front of Funk in 4th.
After the race, Pablo Dapena admitted he suffered a lot during the race. “The race was tough. I wasn’t sure how my ankle would do in the swim. In the final meters I started to feel pain in my left hip, because I was trying not to kick too hard to protect my ankle. The bike course was hilly and uncomfortable. Keeping the aero position for more than 3’ straight was impossible with the wounds on my elbows. Therefore, I was dropped by Heemeryck, Davis and Steger. I was thinking about withdrawing from the race, but decided to give it a go on the first lap and then make a final decision. In that first lap, I started making up places, so I gave my all to the finish. Eventually, I came home in 3rd which felt like a victory for me.”
Unfortunate news for Emma Pallant. After a strong performance, Emma started the run in 3rd place. Sadly, Emma had to withdraw from the race after suffering from hamstring issues. "There's no running or hiding from problems. I rolled the dice starting in Challenge Prague after being knocked off the bike by a taxi last week. Unfortunately it rolled low, now time to get this sorted and recover".