Ironman 70.3 European Championship, Wiesbaden
Melissa Hauschildt pieced together a superb race to easily claim the Ironman 70.3 European Championship. Her second European title, after winning the Ironman Championship in Frankfurt and first athlete to win both.
Trailing race leader Jodie Swallow by 3mins 30sec after the swim, she had clawed back 2mins after the first 40km on the bike from the front group that contained some big names – Helle Frederiksen, Anja Beranek and Camilla Pedersen. She went to the front and built a lead coming into T2, from there no one came close, with a 1:18:47 run split and eventually winning with a 5min buffer from Swallow.
“We went to St. Moritz already two days after racing Frankfurt. I had a couple of easy days and then prepared for Wiesbaden. We spent a lot of time checking out the place in Switzerland, I love the mountains. I’m all good yet, and I hope I can win on Sunday.”
Brad Kahlefeldt wrote himself in the Challenge history books winning the inaugural Challenge Iskandar Puteri.
Iskandar Puteri lies in the southern state of Johor in Malaysia, approximately a 20-minute drive from Singapore and Johor Bahru City.
He trailed New Zealand’s Dylan McNiece by 35sec after the swim, but Kahlefeldt and Mike Phillips (NZL) caught him on the bike and the trio set about building a lead. At the final change it had turned into a massive 6 minutes 15 second from the Aussie chasers Mitch Robbins, Mitch Kibby and Alex Polizzi.
But Kahlefeldt thrives in the heat and was too good in the end.
Mitch Kibby was the next best Aussie with a blistering run in the heat to finish fourth and Mitch Robbins was fifth, Brad Bauer in sixth.
"After some sick days and good recovery I'm very happy to win the inaugural Challenge Iskandar Puteri today. Was a good feeling.
Well done to Mike and Dylan, on the podium and helping push the bike to build up a sizeable lead after the ride,” said Kahlefeldt.
It was back-to-back races in Asia for Kahlefeldt on his way back from Europe to Australia.
In the women’s race it was New Zealand’s Amelia Watkinson who got the better of Radka Vodickova on the back end of the run to win. Australian’s Renee Baker was fourth and Michelle Duffield fifth.
Ironman 70.3 Chungju
With only two professionals in the field and just six in total, the challenge for Australian Sarah Crowley was where she finished in relationship to the men.
Her 4:33.32 effort placed her third overall behind men’s winner Brad Williams (USA), second Nick Baldwin (SYC) and well clear of her only opponent Jiho Hwang (KOR).
She was 27:45 in the swim; right up with the men, before a 2:34.04 bike and outstanding 1:29.30 run, the quickest overall.
It follows on from an excellent season for Crowley who was third in the IRONMAN 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship in Cebu last week, and third in the IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Championship in Cairns.
“Very happy to win #IM703 Chungju, great way to end a big block heading into Sunshine Coast and Kona,” said Crowley
Charlotte McShane has taken Britain by storm with back-to-back wins, this time at the sprint distance Tri Liverpool race from a strong field.
McShane, a former winner dashed Great Britain’s Sophie Coldwell’s hopes of defending her title.
It was an exciting finish with just 3 seconds separating McShane (1:01:41) from second place Jessica Learmonth (1:01:41). Tamsyn Moana-Veale grabbed fourth spot and Natalie Van Coevorden bounced back from a cold during the week to finish fifth. Dan Wilson continues his comeback finishing fourth.
2016 Tønsberg ETU Sprint Triathlon European Cup
Heavy rainfall in the preceeding days led to flooding and poor water quality in the bay which forced organizers to cancel the swim and turn the race into a Duathlon - 2-lap run making 4.8k would be the first leg, followed by a 20k bike and a final short run of 2.4k would decide the medals today. With dry roads and little wind this meant that we would be guaranteed an exciting race.
It didn’t faze Joel Tobin White who took a hard fought win from fellow VIS athlete Declan Wilson with Christian Wilson posting a top ten result.
National Talent Academy athlete Brittany Dutton put in a solid performance to finish fifth behind Olympic bound Yuliya Yelistratova (UKR). Danielle De Francesco posted a top ten finish in ninth and great result for Joanne Miller in 11th.
From the start it was Yelistratova who took command of the race and ran at a pace the truly pushed the other athletes.
Alongside her at the end of the first lap was Kseniia Levkovska AZE and Danish athlete, Alberte Kjær Pedersen who, as a strong Junior was now suddenly racing alongside one of the most experienced women athletes on the circuit.
Levkovska and Yelistratova both chose to serve their penalties on the first lap, leaving Kjær alone to run. Behind them came a large pack of runners, including the two Russians, Valentina Zapatrina and the younger Ekaterina Matiukh, Amanda Bohlin SWE, Sara Pérez Sala ESP and Brittany Dutton AUS.
Just before this pack reached level with the penalty box, Yelistratova and Levkovska burst out and back onto the run, with Yelistratova once more kicking hard to catch up the Dane. Another lap brought the groups all together but the pace was too much for Kjær and as they entered T1 it was Yelistratova, Zapatrina, Matiukh, Bohlin, Levkovska, Dutton and Deborah Lynch NZL.
Four laps on the twisting roads saw Zsanett Bragmayer HUN catch up and with Danielle de Francesco AUS they were nine.
Some determined and strong solo rising from Pérez took her into the peloton and it was this group that entered T2. Team Australia now had two well-placed athletes in the lead group and the shortest of runs to finish might give them a medal chance.
A moment’s hesitation with her helmet seemed to give Yelistratova extra speed as she shot out of transition and immediately put her mark on the pace of the final run. The only ones who could keep with her were the two Russians and as they ran down onto the waterfront it was the younger Matiukh who was leading by just a stride.
As the crowds began to shout their encouragement the strength of the Ukrainian athlete was just enough to take her up to the shoulder and then beyond and as the pace increased she created a gap between her and Matiukh.
Gold went to Yelistratova. Silver to Matiukh and just behind her bronze went to her teammate Zapatrina.
After the race, Yelistratova, heading off to Rio on Tuesday said, “I came here to use this as a warm up for Rio. It was a shame about the swim but I wanted to work hard on the run, my husband, Vladimir, has helped me really well and my running, with the high cadence, helps me save energy.”
The men’s start was moved to accommodate the larger number of athletes and, although the distance was some 50m less than the women this decision was taken by the Technical Delegate, working with the LOC and the coaches, to ensure the athletes’ safety. It was a good call as the massed ranks of the men took off at top speed from the start.
Justus Nieschlag GER, with gold last week, was hoping to do the double but he was up against a massive wall of gold and green Australian uniforms. Leading the team from down-under was Declan Wilson AUS wearing #1.
Lining up the athletes in transition was a good call. Looked impressive. So was the start, showing so many national uniforms.
As the first run lap finished it was indeed that wall of gold and green that led the 20-strong group of men through transition.
Nieschlag found himself in the chase pack some 10 seconds adrift. The gap grew on the second lap and it was clear that the medals would come from the leading group. Norwegian hopes were raised by the presence in that group of Gustav Iden, Jørgen Gundersen and Casper Stornes. The cheers from the many spectators who now lined the course rose in intensity every time they saw a Norwegian uniform and by the time the athletes came into T1 the noise levels were dangerously high.
Out on the bike and that lead pack of 20 worked hard, really hard to maintain the advantage they had over the chase pack. Supreme bike control ensured maximum effort and speed around the technical course and despite a few wheels kissing, there were no spills.
There were however some thrills especially when Stornes broke away from the front and raced through transition to the delight of the crowds and astonishment of the other athletes.
Coming into T2, no mistakes were made and it was Iden and Gundersen who led them out onto the run, with the Aussie uniforms of Wilson and Joel Tobin White very visible. Tobin White had a disappointing race in Malmö but here in Tønsberg, things were looking good. As the run unfolded, things got to look even better and for only the second time he was able to edge ahead of team-mate and friend, Wilson.
It was Tobin White who took gold and, taking time to high-5 same spectators lining the finish chute it was Wilson who got silver. Behind them was a huge smile. The huge smile was on the face of Anders Lund Hansen DEN.
After the race, Tobin White said, “Not beaten him for a long time. We are like best mates, training together and it’s really like having a brother on the podium next to me. I’m off to the French Grand Prix soon in about three weeks’ time. I’m from Melbourne, best city in the world, and the weather is pretty much like this. I love the races here as you get to see loads of different places. I loved it here but it was a shame that the 20-25k I swim each week was not used here but that is how it goes.”
Wilson said, “If this had been a triathlon I’d have won. Ha-ha. It was tough as a duathlon. I tried to hold my position in the run and the bike and then give everything on the final run. Loads of us here today. Some from France. Joel and I came from Thailand and Spain as part of the build-up for Cozumel. My first time here but I definitely want to come back. The bike was great, wheels touching, swearwords as it got sketchy. It was great in the peloton. I find it a ball. You can rail the corner and then accelerate out like Gundersen was doing.”
1. Joel Tobin White 51:35
2. Declan Wilson 51:51
10. Christian Wilson 52:14
19. Max Neumann 52:36
39. Adam Rudgley 52:49
DNF Jack Van Stekelenburg
5. Brittany Dutton 58:44
9. Danielle De Francesco 58:57
11. Joanne Miller 1:01:06