Frodeno, Spirig Dominate at Challenge Gran Canaria
By Juno Tanaka April 24, 2021
|Jan Frodeno dominates again, glorious win Challenge Gran Canaria: ‘I was suffering hard’|
|On a sunny and pretty hot Gran Canaria, Jan Frodeno showed once again – after his stunning victory at CHALLENGEMIAMI – that he is the best athlete of this generation. The German World Champion was in the leading group of ANFI CHALLENGEMOGAN-GRANCANARIA for a long time during the swim and bike, but made the difference during the run. He did this with overwhelming force and so his victory was never in danger. He won the race after 3:41:21hr. In the end, the silver and bronze went to Pablo Gonzalez Dapena (+1:09) and Nick Kastelein (+1:21).|
While the men largely stayed together during the swim, it was Swiss Andrea Salvisberg who was first entering the transition area: he came back from the water after 21:43 minutes and was followed by French Sam Laidlow, German favorite Jan Frodeno, Australian Nick Kastelein, Belgian Pieter Heemeryck and Spanish Pablo Dapena Gonzalez, among others. The only two favorites who were slightly further behind were Patrick Lange (+46) and Frederic Funk (+1:03).
On the bike, it was initially Jan Frodeno, Pieter Heemeryck and Sam Laidlow who broke away as three, but Giulio Molinari and also local favorite Pablo Dapena Gonzalez soon caught them. After twelve kilometers, a leading group of five athletes thus emerged. Not much later, Italy’s Mattia Ceccarelli also joined the leaders, while Laidlow unfortunately got involved by a crash and lost the leading group.
Meanwhile, the five leaders actually stayed together throughout the bike, each time in a different order. For a moment it seemed that this was not entirely to Frodeno’s liking, as the World Champion briefly angered himself while biking and shouted that he could not get away from his competitors. In the last kilometers some chasers, including Andi Böcherer, Patrick Lange and Nils Frommhold, came even closer and so actually all the favorites started the half marathon almost simultaneously.
After four kilometers of running, it was immediately clear that Frodeno had no desire to wait any longer and try to run away from everyone. At that point he already had a one-minute lead on first pursuer Gonzalez Dapena. Böcherer followed fourteen seconds behind while Molinari, Lange, Kastelein and Heemeryck were very close to him. Not much later Lange and Kastelein would advance to a shared fourth place, running side by side, making up time on Gonzalez Dapena. The rest of the athletes had to leave a bigger gap from this point.
With eight kilometers to go, Frodeno was of course still in the lead, but it was Patrick Lange who was maybe even more on fire. He was closing in some seconds on Frodeno and, perhaps more importantly, ran away from Dapena Gonzalez and Kastelein, who were running shortly behind Lange in third and fourth place.
During the last part of the run, however, things suddenly changed. Frodeno went straight to victory, but Lange lost his momentum while Gonzalez Dapena just managed to accelerate. The Spanish top athlete ran back to second place and did not relinquish it until the finish line. 1:09 minute after Frodeno, Gonzalez Dapena took the silver. Eleven seconds behind him, Kastelein took the bronze.
Results Pro men:
1. Jan Frodeno 3:41:21
2. Pablo Gonzalez Dapena 3:42:30
3. Nick Kastelein 3:42:42
4. Patrick Lange 3:43:05
5. Andi Böcherer 3:45:36
6. Albert Moreno Molins 3:46:57
|Nicola Spirig comes, sees and conquers at Challenge Gran Canaria|
After an almost perfect race, Switzerland’s Nicola Spirig has just won ANFI CHALLENGEMOGAN-GRANCANARIA after 4:05:52 hr. She was in the lead almost from start to finish and therefore triumphed quite comfortably. The silver and bronze were for the Dutch Sarissa de Vries (+5:25) and Swedish Lisa Nordén (+5:51).
During the swim it was Spanish Sara Perez Sala who – just like during CHALLENGEMIAMI – showed to be extremely fast in the water and so the Spanish athlete was first back on dry ground: she needed 24:55 minutes for her 1.9 kilometer swim. Yet she did not make a big difference, because Nicola Spirig and the Dutch Sarissa de Vries followed at ten seconds, showing their swimming skills as well.
On the bike, Spirig immediately showed that she had only traveled to Spain to win, as she not only took over the lead, but she also immediately opened a gap on her direct competitors. Meanwhile, Lisa Nordén started to catch up and rode on the hilly course to a second position. Behind her Sarissa de Vries managed to keep her position for the time being and Perez Sala dropped back to fourth position.
While De Vries soon caught up with Nordén and the two ladies were able to chase Spirig, it was yet the Swiss favourite who managed to increase her lead. With about 25 kilometers to go, Spirig had already extended her lead to one and a half minutes and with that she seemed to be in an excellent position for the win.
During the final kilometers on the bike, that lead even increased a bit and so the Swiss favorite could start the final half marathon quite comfortable. It was a different story for Nordén and De Vries, who returned to the transition zone at nearly the same time and therefore had to give their all for the best possible classification.
While Spirig did not see her lead shrink during the run, De Vries and Nordén occasionally exchanged positions, but did not get away from each other. Until the last kilometers, because then it was De Vries who proved to be the stronger of the two and could eventually run away from Nordén. When Spirig crossed the finish line and took the win after 4:05:52hr, De Vries had to continue for a bit, but her second place was no longer in danger when she finished in 4:11:17hr. Nordén eventually finished third after 4:11:41hr.
1. Nicola Spirig 4:05:52
2. Sarissa de Vries 4:11:17
3. Lisa Norden 4:11:13
4. Katrina Matthews 4:14:06
5. Judith Corachan 4.20.22
6 Sara Perez Sala 4.23.52
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