Daniela Ryf Recaps Her Historic 2018 Kona World Championship Race

October 25, 2018

Daniela Ryf Recaps Her Historic 2018 Kona World Championship Race

Daniela Ryf is the most dominant triathlete of her generation. Now, after a performance at this year’s Kona World Championship that can only be described as epic and that saw her clinch a fourth consecutive world title and shattered her own overall course record, she’s confidently (and unintentionally, the modest Swiss star would say) thrown her name into the conversation of determining the greatest triathlete of all time. We sat down with Daniela a few days after her historic win to hear about the race day from her unique point of view, in her own words. You don’t want to miss the video interview below...


“The start of the race was definitely the biggest challenge of my race. I got stung by a jellyfish two minutes before the start.”

You can train all year, arrive at Kona on the best form of your life, but you’re still at the mercy of elements beyond your control. In Daniela’s case, she was stung underneath her armpits while treading water prior to the cannon blast that signals the start of the Kona swim. While her swim was well off her normal pace, it was an astounding display of tenacity and grit, considering the toxic venom coursing through her arms, and set her up for an epic day of racing on the bike and run.

“To be honest, at that point, I thought, ‘I have to finish this race, to honor this race and be a champion.’”

Heading into the 2018 Kona World Championship, Daniela was already a three-time champion and the overall course record holder, and had therefore already cemented her legacy as one of the best triathletes in history. She had nothing left to prove. But what makes her a true champion is that she continually pushes the boundaries of her own physical limits and mental fortitude, and always seeks to honor her sport’s greatest race.

“I felt that the power was there, and I felt under control… And I felt so fast. I felt that crosswind from the back, and especially with the IA Disc. It’s such a good feeling because you get that sailing effect, and I felt fantastic. That’s what I like to do, hammering the bike and feeling really fast.”

Daniela exited the swim leg nearly 10 minutes behind her top rival, Lucy Charles, who had beaten the Kona swim course record. Putting her head down on the bike and doing the work, Daniela rode out of her mind, catching Lucy Charles and passing her like, in the words of one photographer on course, “like Lucy was standing still.” Daniela then proceeded to keep the pedal to the metal and rode to a new Kona bike course record.

“To smash that record by almost 20 minutes… No, I never believed that was possible.”

When the dust settled at the end of a historic day of racing across all fronts, Daniela broke her own Kona overall course record from 2016 by nearly 20 minutes!

“This island and this race changed my life, and I’m very grateful for that, and that’s way it’s always so special to come back here.”

‘Nuff said. All hail the Queen of Kona, Daniela Ryf.

female triathlon bike racers Kona Hawaii
The Pass. Daniela Ryf, aboard her IA Disc, soars past rival Lucy Charles on the Queen K Highway, en route to her fourth consecutive Kona World Championship.

Also in Blog

Junior Cycling Sensation Simone Boilard Joins TWENTY20 Pro Cycling
Junior Cycling Sensation Simone Boilard Joins TWENTY20 Pro Cycling

November 01, 2018

TWENTY20 Pro Cycling has announced the signing of Simone Boilard, who will make her professional debut in 2019. Boilard is a rising talents, and has made the steady climb through the junior ranks, closing out her junior racing with a bronze medal in the junior women’s road race at the UCI Road World Championships.

Read More

Watch Josh Amberger Breaks Down His 2018 Kona World Championship Race
Watch Josh Amberger Breaks Down His 2018 Kona World Championship Race

October 31, 2018

Josh Amberger shocked the world last year when he emerged first out of the water during the 2017 Kona World Championship. He returned to Hawaii in 2018, but no longer as an up-and-comer. His is a story of tenacity and maturity, and it's one of the most unique of Kona 2018, one he shared with us in his own words.

Read More

Mirinda "Rinny" Carfrae Recounts Her First Kona Back From Baby

October 30, 2018

Mirinda “Rinny” Carfrae is amongst the most beloved stars of triathlon. And that’s all thanks to her fierce competitive drive, affable disposition, and never-say-die attitude. We sat down with Rinny a few days after Kona to gain some insight into the mind of a legendary competitor with a new outlook on life.

Read More

Hey there...Ride much?

Felt Bicycles Events

Let's get to know each other. Sign up and we'll roll together.