Just three weeks after claiming the title at the European Ironman Championships for the second year in a row, the warrior, Caroline ‘Xena’ Steffen adds another Championship title to her belt at the ITU World Long Course Championships in Vitoria-Gasteiz. 

 

Steffen’s dominating bike leg was once again the cherry on top of her race that secured her the title for the second time (previous winner in 2010). Chasing Great Britain’s and 2009 Champion, Jodie Swallow, out of the 4km swim by over two minutes, the race was always going to be tightly contested between these two previous winners, and favourites going into the event. But, it was Denmark’s Camilla Pedersen, who slipped out of the water just a shadow ahead of Steffen.

Swallow kicked hard at the start of the 120km bike ride, but by the start of the second 60km lap Steffen had moved into the lead position where she would remain for the rest of the day. Swallow continued to ride hard in second position, and as predicted by our ‘not so foreign correspondent’, Rachel Joyce, this race would come down to to a foot race. Steffen came out of T2 just under two minutes ahead of the ‘flying Swallow’. Pedersen had lost one spot on the bike leg, and was chasing Swallow by 4:19 out of transition, with the rest of the field over 10 minutes behind.

Steffen surged ahead and was putting time into Swallow. By the half way mark she had increased her lead to almost five minutes. Despite cramping in the final stages of the run leg, Steffen held strong and grinned as she ran down the finishing chute to claim the World Champion title for the second time. Post race she exclaimed, “of course I’m very happy to add another title. I had a really good day today, and winning a World Championship is always a big thing.”

Swallow started to slow in the latter part of the run. This 30km run was the furthest she had run in a race, and with six kilometers to go, Pedersen moved into second place and charged for the finish line, claiming silver and running the second fastest run of the day. When asked about her silver medal she was ecstatic, “It feels awesome. Caroline Steffen is so strong. So hard to take down, so second I am really happy with.”

With the rest of the field nearly eight minutes behind, Swallow claimed the third spot on the podium, and another sign for her that things are heading in the right direction since her return to racing after injury. “It was very hard, everything hurts at the moment, especially when you are not totally ready for it, so I’m happy with a podium today.” Swallow said.

All three women mentioned the atmosphere and the crowds’ support while out on the course. Steffen probably the most animated saying “you Spanish are just absolutely crazy. I’ve never seen so many people on the race course before. Unbelievable.”

Spain’s Virgina Berasategi finished in fourth position and claimed the fastest run split of the day – 2:02:34

 

RESULTS:

 

Name Country Total Swim Bike Run
1 Caroline Steffen SUI 6:04:17 0:55:58 3:01:27 2:04:08
2 Camilla Pedersen DEN 6:09:23 0:55:46 3:07:36 2:03:21
3 Jodie Swallow GBR 6:12:48 0:53:32 3:05:43 2:11:07
4 Virginia Berasategi ESP 6:20:36 1:01:02 3:14:09 2:02:34
5 Maider Gaztañaga Dorronsoro ESP 6:23:52 0:57:54 3:14:37 2:07:31
6 Ewa Bugdol POL 6:24:46 0:57:55 3:15:26 2:08:17
7 Jeanne Collonge FRA 6:35:15 1:03:06 3:18:46 2:09:48
8 Olesya Prystayko UKR 6:37:23 1:05:09 3:18:20 2:11:15
9 Gurutze Frades Larralde ESP 6:45:38 1:09:32 3:22:04 2:11:03
10 Estefaia Gomez Villanueva ESP 6:47:13 1:04:38 3:26:52 2:12:40
11 Natasha Gorrie-Nuttal RSA 6:49:35 1:04:54 3:19:17 2:21:59
12 Heidi Sessner GER 6:50:34 1:03:06 3:20:21 2:24:09
13 Gillian Clayton CAN 6:51:22 1:15:53 3:22:16 2:09:54
14 Vanessa Pereira POR 6:53:14 1:07:57 3:24:33 2:17:06
15 Merja Kiviranta FIN 6:58:46 1:02:58 3:18:23 2:34:16
16 Natasha Yaremczuk CAN 7:12:18 1:04:57 3:45:38 2:16:36
17 Caroline Koll RSA 7:13:40 1:04:43 3:36:00 2:29:35
18 Yasuko Miyazaki JPN 7:25:30 1:05:07 3:35:21 2:41:09

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