What a difference a week makes for Canadian Sara Gross who gave a solid performance to take out Ironman Brasil on the weekend. Coming off a disappointing race at Ironman Texas just a week ago Gross found the race legs that were missing in Texas to run home with the win. In her sixth attempt at the race Gross finally got the crown, her first Ironman Title and joined the sub-9 club.

Lucie Zelenkova was first out of the water in a time of 52:04 which gave her over four minute lead as she headed into T1. Two of the pre race favourites Gross and Sofie Goos came out of the water in fourth and fifth positions, 4:37 and 5:38 down respectively.

Zelenkova, a strong biker was able to hold her lead and by the half way mark of the bikeleg was maintaining a 4:30 lead over Goos who had ridden well to come up to second place. Also riding with Goos was Brazilian Vanessa Gianinni who was sitting in third. A group of three, Ana Lidia Borba, Gross and Mariana Borges were riding together 7:25 off the front, while Ariane Monticeli was in seventh over eight minutes down.

Gross pushed hard in the second half of the bike and worked her way up to Goos and Gianinni. At the 130km marker the three chasers were still over four minutes down but working hard to catch Zelenkova.

Coming from nowhere was Boba who managed to come back from a seven minute deficit at the half way point to come into Transition in the front group led by Gianinni. Also in the group of was Gross, Goos, Borges and Zelenekova who were all separated by less than two minutes.

Jessie Donovan entered T2 in sixth and only 5:25 off the lead and like we see so often with Donovan, she knows how to come from behind to win, so it was definitely game on for the marathon.

Within the first 5km, Gross had taken the lead and had a 20 second advantage over Goos and 30 seconds over Gianinni. Borba had dropped to 1:50 down and Borges was 2:20 off the pace.

The battle between Gross and Goos continued for most of the run although Gross looked strong and controlled the marathon to gradually extend her lead. At the 20km mark, Gross had put a total on a minute into Goos who was still steadily holding her second place. And by the 26km point of the marathon, Gross had extended her lead to 2:20.

Gross came over the line in a time of 8:56:35 to not only take a Ironman crown but joined the exclusive Sub-9 Club. Goos came over the line 3:46 later to take out second and an ecstatic Ariane Monticeli rounded out the podium in front of her home crowd.


Rank Athlete Swim Bike Run
1 Sara Gross




2 Sofie Goos




3 Ariane Monticeli




4 Vanessa Gianinni




5 Lisa Roberts-Ribes





Photo: Robbie Little

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