Weekend Wrap-up: ITU Long Distance World Championships, Ironman 70.3 Lanzarote, Ironman Mallorca and Salinas ITU World Cup

Sudrie and Swallow crowned Long Distance World Champs

By olalla.cernuda@triathlon.org

Frenchman Sylvain Sudrie and Great Britain’s Jodie Swallow both reclaimed their once earned titles after being crowned the 2016 ITU Long Distance World Champions, after their wins in Oklahoma, United States. Conquering the 4km swim, 120km bike and 30km run multisport course through very strong winds, both elites claimed their second world titles years after earning their first.

The 2016 ITU Long Distance World Championships took place on Saturday, September 24 in Oklahoma (USA) over a two-lap 4km swim in the Hefner Lake, which is the water reservoir for Oklahoma City that only allowed swimming for the event. After the 4km swim, they took the bikes for a 120km ride into the warm and humid air of the Oklahoma countryside. The course, some urban but mostly rural, was a series of mildly undulating hills with the greatest challenge being the strong country winds. The run course consisted of three laps of 10 km each staged in the flat and fast closed course of the Hefner Lake.

Women’s race
In the women’s race, two previous winners of the event lined up among the field in the hopes of collecting another long distance title, Swallow and Caroline Steffen (SUI). Although the field was stacked with talent from the start, the two women proved that they were the ones to beat for the crown.

The 2009 Long Distance World Champion, Swallow, one of the strongest swimmers on the field, solidified her crown immediately from the beginning after putting up a fast swim that saw her exit the waters first and never losing that lead position until the end.

Swallow was also the first woman out of the first transition and during the 120km bike ride on the flat and fast course in Oklahoma, increasing her distance with the chasers kilometre by kilometre and crossing the finish line with a time difference of more than seven minutes from Steffen, who did a supreme effort on the bike course to finish second.

Excelling on the long distance course once again, 2016 has been a year to remember for Swallow, with her victory on the Long Distance World Champs adding to her winning the Ironman Asia Pacific Championship in Cairns, as well as a number of 70.3 wins. The win also saw her return to the top of the ITU podium for the first time in seven years when she won the very same title in 2009.

Steffen, the Swiss triathlete, who won the world title in 2010 and 2012, has concentrated on half-distance racing this year, recently finishing fifth in an all-star cast at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship on the Sunshine Coast in Australia, but she showed a fantastic performance in Oklahoma, finishing second with a really strong bike course.

Third place then went to Canadian athlete Rachel Mcbride, who managed to keep Annie Thoren and Emily Cocks off the podium. The bronze was a second-time merit for Mcbride after she also earned the bronze in 2013.

Men’s race

It was a France day on the men’s race, with the country taking home the gold and silver from strong and solid performances by Sudrie and Ciryl Viennot. Both men were previous world champions and aiming for the title in Okahoma, but it was Sudrie whoe took the world crown thanks in large part to his amazing swim that managed to earn him the lead that carried onto the bike and run. The gold brought him back on top of the long distance podium after first winning the title in 2010.

The strong winds and waves made the swim really hard from the first strokes and it was Brazilian Rafael Ribeigetting first out of the water, followed closely by Sudrie.

During the bike, 120 km on the flat course with again very strong winds were enough for the Frenchman to get a gap away from the rest of the pack. While Davide Giardine (USA) entered T2 only 4 minutes behind, on the run Sudrie managed to maintain his lead from the chasers to grab his second world title.

The 30km run along the lake was a killer for some of the athletes, with the chasers changing positions lap by lap. French compatriot Viennot ran the fastest time of the day, which was enough to cross the finish line in second place.

American Matt Chrabot was third after another fantastic show on the run.


Heemeryck and Huetthaler Bike it Out in Lanzarote

by Volker Boch

Pieter Heemeryck celebrated a great first IRONMAN 70.3 win at the Club La Santa IRONMAN 70.3 Lanzarote. The 26-year-old Belgian had a sensational bike ride to make his way on the Canarian island. When he got out of the water, Heemeryck was not too far away from the fastest swimmer Neil Peters. The Luxembourgish exited the water in 24:56 minutes leading men’s pro field ahead of British Stephen Bayliss and Cameron Good from Australia, Heemeryck was in seventh at that point and only 16 seconds behind.

It was the Belgian who set the pace then on the tough and stunning bike course. Heemeryck early opened up a gap on a small chase group including Bayliss, Peters and Thomas Strange from Denmark. When the leader hit the half-way mark, he was already 4 minutes away from the group. Although Heemeryck couldn’t make more ground on his pursuers during the famous Tabayesco climb, he reached T2 with an advantage of 4:10 over Italian Domenico Passuello and his fellow countryman Kenneth Vandriessche. While Bayliss, Peters and Strange lost more time, both Passuello and Vandriessche added a great bike ride after a weaker swim and they immediately started to battle out silver and bronze right after on the run.

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Thanks to the fastest run of the day, Vandriessche was a happy runner-up at the end of a sunny day in Lanzarote although he couldn’t make up any meter on Heemeryck.

In women’s race, a strong biker took over control early in the race. Austria’s Lisa Huetthaler is well known for her bike strength and she proved her skills at the 5th edition of the IRONMAN 70.3 Lanzarote again. When the 33-year-old came out of the water, she was not too far behind American leader Kelsey Withrow who had the fastest swim in 26:02 minutes. The gap to first place was 2:37 minutes, when Huetthaler exited the Lagoon in front of the Club La Santa, and she started hammering to the front as expected on the bike then.

Through 45 kilometers Huetthaler led the race by one minute over Maria Czesnik from Poland. Shortly after this timing, Czesnik made a move to the front, but on the way to the top of Tabayesco the Austrian battled herself back into first place. Huetthaler reached T2 with an advantage of more than three minutes, and she had no issues to take the win on the run. Meanwhile, Czesnik already could feel a storming Spaniard coming up at the end of the bike leg: Judith Cocharan Vaquera jumped off her bike only 50 seconds later than Czesnik, and they both fought hard for runner-up position from that moment on. With seven kilometers to go, they ran shoulder by shoulder and everyone was waiting for a sprint finish. But Czesnik could find some energy left in the tank to eventually run into second place on the final kilometer.
Originally from: http://ap.ironman.com/triathlon/news/articles/2016/09/ironman-70.3-lanzarote-recap.aspx#ixzz4LJv0MpV4


Diaz and McCauley Make Moves in Mallorca

by Angela Pribernig

The third edition of IRONMAN Mallorca attracted quite a strong pro field like Germans Horst Reichel, Markus Fachbach, and Konstantin Bachor, as well as the Spanish favorite Marcel Zamora. Carlos Lopez Diaz was the local favorite and he did not disappoint.

First out of the water was the British David Bartlett in 48:03. Benjamin Pernet (FRA) was second, third came the local Carlos Lopez Diaz (ESP). Lopez Diaz took over the lead on the bike after a few kilometers and showed his strong skills in the saddle. The strong Germans Markus Fachbach, Horst Reichel, Roman Deisenhofer, and Konstantin Bachor built the chase group together with Zamora, and Hervé Banti (MON), but Lopez Diaz increased his lead constantly and edged more than a five minute gap over the field.

On the marathon, Fachbach and Bachor stayed behind Lopez Diaz, but they weren’t able to make up any time. As Lopez Diaz increased his lead Bachor fell back and Reichel was running up to third position. He wasn’t able to keep up and Gustavo Rodriguez snuck his way slowly but surely to the lead group and nabbed the number three spot. In the meantime, a seven minute gap between Lopez Diaz and Fachbach was built and Fachbach wasn’t able to catch the leader. Carlos Lopez Diaz won his very first IRONMAN race on home soil and as the first Mallorquín ever. He finished the race in 8:26:09. Markus Fachbach came in second in 8:31:51 with Gustavio Rodriguez rounding out the podium in 8:32:32.

The women’s race was just as exciting.  Lauren Parker (AUS) came out of the water first (33:13), second was Emma Bilham (SUI), followed by Deborah Van Gossum (BEL). Natascha Schmitt (GER) soon made it to the top and was chased by Bilham and Jocelyn McCauley (USA).

Tineke Van den Berg (NLD) made it to the top at the end of the bike, being chased by McCauley and Schmitt. On the run, Schmitt fell back and at 10km McCauley ran up to the top. She started increasing her lead while Maja Stage Nielsen (DEN) stayed close behind in second, but she wasn’t able to catch up. From the half marathon split the top three stayed the same with McCauley in the lead, Nielsen in second position, and Van den Berg in third. McCauley increased the gap between herself and the chase group and won her first IRONMAN in 9:11:55. Maja Stage Nielsen took second in 9:23:40, third finished Tineke Van den Berg in 9:24:27.
Originally from: http://ap.ironman.com/triathlon/news/articles/2016/09/ironman-mallorca-recap.aspx#ixzz4LJw2gYK1


Kasper and Castro capture first World Cup wins

by Chelsea White/ITU Media

It was a day of firsts at the 2016 Salinas ITU World Cup as USA’s Kirsten Kasper and Spaniard David Castro Fajardo captured their very first World Cup titles in the debut event in Ecuador on Sunday.

Women’s Review
After starting her season with two back-to-back World Cup bronze medals, Kasper finally achieved her first gold at the 2016 Salinas ITU World Cup by outrunning USA compatriot Summer Cook in the final kilometres.

Kasper said of her win, “Words can’t describe how excited I am. I know Summer well from college, she ran for Villanova and I ran for Georgetown so we were big rivals. So I knew that if we just worked together and work off of each other we would do well. To get away from her I was just trying to listen to my body and know where I was. I obviously can’t control what she was doing, so I just try and focus on myself. I was feeling strong in the final lap, so I thought I would take over and push through to the finish.”

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Taking the silver medal, Kasper was joined by Cook, grabbing her second World Cup podium of the year, while the bronze was earned by South Africa’s Gillian Sanders, who also recorded a career first by stepping onto her first World Cup podium.

Charging out of the ocean, Mari Rabie (RSA) with Canadian Dominika Jamnicky and Aussie Emma Jacksonmanaged to get the slight edge from the swim and led into the first transition, but the gap was only slightly as the rest of the field were only seconds behind.

While the sprint only offering up four short laps, a small pack of women found their moment to get ahead of the others and ride as the leaders. Training partners Rabie and Lisa Norden (SWE) were the frontrunners, creating the split after every lap. But while the group of nine women were not threatened by the trailing chase pack led by Ecuador’s Elizabeth Bravo because they were over a minute down, the strength of runners that were included in the leading nine did mean that someone was going to have to make a breakaway. Kasper, Cook, Sanders, Jamnicky, Jackson, Michelle Filpo (FRA) and Vanessa De La Torre (MEX) followed Rabie and Norden into the second transition looking forward to the two-lap five kilometre run.

It took no time for Kasper and Cook to separate themselves as the front two women. Gaining space from the rest of the women they cycled with, after one lap they had secured their spots as the gold and silver.

The battle for bronze then came down to a small bunch who had formed in the first 2.5km. Sanders, Rabie, Norden and De La Torre became a foursome, running side by side until the finish.

Down the finish chute, while Kasper and Cook ran as compatriots for the entire two laps, it was Kasper who had the extra push at the end as she was first down the finish chute to capture her first World Cup victory.

Cook then followed just seven seconds behind to claim the silver and snag her second World Cup podium of the year.

Sanders then was awarded with the bronze, after broke away from her pack in the final lap, a move that would grant her a first-time World Cup podium for her career.

Men’s Review
The men’s race was a battle of surviving the masses as Spain’s Castro won the very first Salinas World Cup crown in a sprint finish, securing his second World Cup podium of the year and his first career gold.

“I am very happy. I can’t believe this, it really is unbelievable. This was a sprint distance and in the last kilometres myself and Cristanto (Grajales) attacked the field and I just am very happy with gold,” said Castro of his first victory.

The silver then went to another first-timer – USA’s Matthew Mcelroy, who took second in the sprint battle just ahead of Mexico’s Crisanto Grajales who claimed bronze.

Starting the day out with a beach start, the men entered the ocean water to close out the debut World Cup race for Ecuador.

Despite the possibility of the beach start causing some separations in the water, the short distance took away any advantages as the men exited the swim.

Germany’s Maximillian Schwetz was the swim leader, but the role was short-lived as he was followed by the entire men’s field into the first transition.

The busyness on the course did not let down. With only four laps on the bike, no one attempted a breakaway and for 20 kilometres, a string of over 30 men rode as a train, looping around the streets of Salinas.

The only hope for distinction would be on the run. Almost the whole field once again entered the transition zone together and those who got out of the madness first were the ones who put up some space on the pavement.

After the first lap, eight men came out on top. Igor Polyanskiy (RUS), Dmitry Polyanskiy (RUS), Grajales, Mcelroy, Castro, Antonio Serrat Seoane (ESP), Leo Bergere (FRA) and Feliz Duchampt (FRA) created the lead group and had no contest of any chasers behind them.

It wasn’t until the final kilometres where the men started to realize there would only be three spots on the podium. Castro, Grajales, Mcelroy and Duchampt pulled ahead at the end, but it was Castro who had the legs and pushed his way to a sprint finish to claim the crown.

Mcelroy would follow for the silver, earning himself his first-career World Cup podium and medal. Grajales then would take the bronze, also finding himself on the World Cup podium for the first time since 2012, along with his first podium in the sprint distance.


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