Las Vegas 70.3 is the World Championship race for the 70.3 distance. Thousands of qualified athletes came out to contest the race.
Las Vegas 70.3 is the World Championship race for the 70.3 distance. Thousands of qualified athletes came out to contest the race.

With just under a month until triathlon's biggest contest in Kona, Hawaii, a stacked field of pros assembled in the Nevada desert to contest the Half-Ironman World Championships. The race designated as the championship race has been 70.3 Las Vegas for the last few years, a departure from its previous location in Clearwater, Florida. Last year, Craig Alexander pulled off a feat no one had ever done by winning the 70.3 World Title, and four weeks later claiming the full Ironman World Title in Kona. This year, his chance at the double crown is already shattered. Sebastian Kienle, known for his ultra-aggressive bike position (and bike speed) used his skills to his advantage, building up a big lead heading into T2 that no one would erase. On the women's side, Leanda Cave finished a long, protracted battle with Kelly Williamson, who was charging down on Cave throughout the run. Of course, there was a whole bunch of beautiful gear out there on race day, and we were there to cover it all. Enjoy this supersized gallery of images from the 2012 Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Las Vegas, Nevada.

  • Las Vegas 70.3 is the World Championship race for the 70.3 distance. Thousands of qualified athletes came out to contest the race.
  • The swim in Lake Las Vegas was well-attended, and easily-viewed from the bridge above.
  • Spectators come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and hair styles.
  • The men's pro bike rack, beginning with defending champion Craig Alexander's 2013 Shiv.
  • Michael Raelert led out of the water for a couple miles.
  • Sebastian Kienle would take the overall win.
  • Kienle has perhaps the most aggressive bike position in the pro field, and used it to his advantage in Vegas. He built up an impressive lead on the bike that proved insurmountable.
  • Faris Al-Sultan continues to use the very weird bike position that served him well in the past, but hasn't been doing him any favors recently.
  • Kienle looks absolutely beautiful aboard his Scott Plasma 3. I think there's only one thing that could improve this picture, and it has to do with the front brake.
  • Here's Jesse Thomas aboard the Shiv we profiled yesterday. He saved the shades for the run course, going bare-eyed for the bike ride.
  • Thomas, riding hard.
  • Trevor Wurtele rides one of the ultra-stealth Blue Triad SL bikes. For 2013, assuming he's still with Blue, he'll likely have an Omega up front, since they will come stock with Triad SL frames.
  • Leanda Cave eventually won the women's title, holding off a fast-closing Kelly Williamson, who herself has won several key races this year.
  • Melissa Hauschildt (formerly Rollison) wasn't able to defend, but she definitely had all the right tools at her disposal: S-Works Shiv, MacLaren helmet, and Zipp Firecrest hoops.
  • Mirinda Carfrae started out strong, but eventually abandoned the race.
  • Shortly after the pros came through, age groupers came thick and fast, charging hard into the desert.
  • Kienle was unstoppable today.
  • Tim O'Donnell put together a solid race, and started working with Craig Alexander on the run to track down Kienle. Ultimately, Tim finished just under two minutes down on the winner.
  • Alexander wasn't able to defend his World Championship title. But at least this year, he had no pressure due to sponsorship changes. He's been on Specialized all year, having great success on the new Shiv, and now wears aero helmets at virtually every race. He's got the new MacLaren S-Works lid, with a custom flame paint job to boot.
  • Crowie's Shiv is the standard S-Works colorway, plus Shimano Di2 components and PRO wheels.
  • Greg Bennett rode aboard the BMC TM01 we profiled a month ago, but wasn't able to crack the top 5 today.
  • Joe Gambles is always in the mix, but didn't put together a win today. His Kask Bambino helmet looks to finally be getting a public release, but I have to say it looks really weird without the visor. And the white paint job is a little too Spaceballs for me.
  • Crowie's setup is virtually identical to what he rode in Kona last year, except for the helmet, paint job and wheel depths.
  • There are still plenty of P4's among the pros, and they're still very worthy rigs. This one belongs to Balazs Csoke.
  • Michael Raelert, charging out of T1.
  • Craig Alexander aboard his Specialized Shiv.
  • Joe Gambles, with his Speed Concept and Campagnolo Record drivetrain. Interestingly, Gambles is not yet on the electronic EPS group.
  • Boulder native Damon Barnett on a Project One Trek Speed Concept. Wow, those colors are quite loud, Damon!
  • Heather Jackson was rocking her Cannondale Slice with Zipp 808 Firecrest hoops, and gave hydration duties to a frame-mounted Speedfil. I'd suggest she set up some BTA equipment for a bit of free speed.
  • Jackson, clearly working pretty hard.
  • Mirinda Carfrae looks great aboard her Felt DA in a small 650 size. It may appear that her knee angle is too obtuse, but it isn't - I believe she's sitting back on the saddle and coasting here for the moment, going around a corner. Her position is pretty bang-on.
  • Cervelo athlete Jo Lawn is one of the lucky few aboard the new P5.
  • Kienle's rig is all business. He's riding Carbonsports Lightweight wheels front and back, Shimano Di2 components, and keeps fueling very simple with two rear-mounted bottles and nothing else. He just puts his head down and rides hard, and that turned out to be the winning formula today.
  • Tim O'Donnell looks to have tweaked his position a bit since we last saw him after 70.3 Galveston. His hands have come down just a bit, and he's looking very aggressive. His fourth-place win behind Kienle, Alexander, and Docherty indicate his changes are working pretty well.
  • Funny enough, almost every time we saw Crowie, he was sitting up!  Come on, Craig - I want to shoot you riding aero!
  • Gambles out on the run.
  • Michael Raelert was out of contention by the time the run started, but he didn't let up, and still put together a nice half marathon.
  • Michael Raelert, finishing up his run.
  • Jesse Thomas, getting ready for a fast T2.
  • Thomas got out on the run and right to work.
  • There are those Aviators!
  • Matty Reed was in the mix, but never close to the top spots.
  • Greg Bennett downing a cup of Ironman Perform.
  • Those Radar XL shades look pretty big on Bennett's face, but they're great for visibility in the aero position.
  • There were some high-profile spectators at the race, including Terenzo Bozzone.
  • Heather Jackson cheered on by boyfriend Sean Watkins, the founder and namesake of his Wattie Ink management brand.
  • Jackson is always known for her foot speed, and it earned her a third-place finish today.
  • Wattie was clearly excited about Jackson's podium finish.
  • Crowie's fast pace is always a threat, but he just barely missed the win, by 59 seconds.
  • Andy Potts looked good all day, and hung on for fifth.
  • The indefatigably positive Linsey Corbin ran into some bad luck when a flat tire ended her race early. But instead of going home to pout and regroup, she just hopped out on the course with husband Chris to cheer on her competitors. That's what I call a class act!
  • It's safe to say that the Corbins have a special place in the hearts of many fans out there.

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