On Sunday, March 23 many of the world's top pro triathletes converged on Melbourne, Australia to take part in the 2014 Ironman Melbourne Asia-Pacific Championship.
Ironman Melbourne is a relatively new member of the WTC Ironman family and has taken the triathlon world by storm and over 40 countries were represented in Sunday's sold out race.
Several of the most recognized pros in the world were on hand in an attempt to claim top prize in the prestigious event.
Craig Alexander, Dirk Bockel, Paul Matthews, Marino Vanhoenacker, and Alex Zeebroek were a few of the early race favorites expected to contend for podium spots.
All the main contenders were in the mix after the 3.8k swim and well into the bike course.
Craig Alexander and Marino Vanhoenacker seemed content to sit a few minutes back of a lead pack of 12 riders as they reached the halfway point of the bike.
It was Alex Zeebroek who made a big move after 100k mark and the dynamic of the race changed as some of the riders at the front could not stay with him.
It was David Dellow who managed to stay with Zeebroek and the two of them started the marathon together but it was Dellow with a lead of over a minute at the halfway point of the run.
Several of the pros tried to chase down Dellow, but it was Dirk Bockel of Luxembourg who had the most left and at 35k in the run he took over the lead and went on to become the Ironman Melbourne Asia-Pacific Champion for 2014.
The fight for top spot for the pro women was intense as well with top pro Mary Beth Ellis going up against Caroline Steffen.
Ellis broke away in the swim and had a clear two minute advantage as she began the 180k bike course, but before the 40k mark Steffen had closed the gap and the two of them rode within sight of each other right up to the bike/run transition.
Angela Naeth was in third place late in the bike and was closing the gap as the pro women reached the transition area and challenged for second place early in the run.
Caroline Steffen was able to pull away and Ellis was winning the battle for second place over Naeth as the lead women reached the halfway point of the 42k run.
The race was still in progress at press time.
Ironman Melbourne is one of three Ironman races in the world that offer a prize pool of US125,000.
There were also 100 Ironman Hawaii World Championship qualifying spots up for grabs for the top age-group athletes.
For a look at how the race unfolded for the pro women and the finish times for all the top pro and age-group athletes as they become available, be sure to visit IronStruck.com