The weekend had a little bit of everything. A seasoned campaigner getting the job done in Barcelona, a breakthrough win for one of the sport’s most resilient athletes amid searing heat in Taiwan and a local win in Rio De Janeiro.

Text By Mirjam Weerd and Rob Sheeley | Images By Getty Images


Van Vlerken Victorious In Barcelona

Text By Mirjam Weerd

Ironman Barcelona didn’t disappoint with 24 pro women at the startline. Yvonne Van Vlerken racked up yet another win in emphatic style, continuing a great year for the evergreen athlete known as “Vonsy”.

(c) Getty Images

First out the water was UK’s Kate Comber closely followed by German Katja Konschak, the 2016 European Champion from Poland Ewa Bugdol, Ironman Hamburg Champion Daniela Saemmler and Kimberly Morrison from the UK.

Austrian Lisa Huetthaler gave in just over a minute on the leading ladies while Dutchwomen van Vlerken had to make up about three-and-a-half minutes.

While normally it doesn’t take Van Vlerken long to get to the front, it was the trio of Saemmler, Morrison and Huetthaler who set the pace on the bike putting in blistering 4.37 and 4.36 bike splits.

It made for a great set up to break the nine-hour barrier even though there was still a marathon to run. While Katja Konschak had significantly slower bike leg, she knew her strength was still to come. As for van Vlerken who didn’t catch the trio on the bike, she never let them get really far out of sight starting the marathon just over six minutes down.

The marathon was going to settle the score. Saemmler, Huetthaler and Morrison came off the bike together where Saemmler took the lead. But after the half marathon point she began to suffer stomach problems. She first saw van Vlerken fly by on the boulevard from Callela. Later, Huetthaler, passed the German long distance star to finish second.

Van Vlerken ran away with the win in another super fast time. Her 8.46.18 marks the 14th sub-nine for the Flying Dutch girl.

“I executed the plan to perfection”, Van Vlerken later told Witsup.

“Belief and confidence in myself and what I’m capable of at the moment made it possible for me to fly and shine here at Ironman Barcelona. Another win, but that magic red carpet will always stay special.”

Huetthaler finished in 8.51, while Saemmler managed to secure the last podium spot in 8.55. Konschak posted the fastest marathon time of 3.03 but fell two minutes short of the podium. Breaking nine hours will most likely leave her still happy about her performance in the Spanish coastal town.


(c) Getty Images

Ironman Barcelona 2017 Results

1 Van Vlerken, Yvonne (NED) 00:55:44 04:41:18 03:05:02 08:46:18
2 Huetthaler, Lisa (AUT) 00:53:49 04:36:41 03:16:22 08:51:21
3 Sämmler, Daniela (GER) 00:52:25 04:37:57 03:20:11 08:55:11
4 Konschak, Katja (GER) 00:52:11 04:54:41 03:03:27 08:57:12
5 Morrison, Kimberley (GBR) 00:52:28 04:37:23 03:37:17 09:12:49
6 Bugdol, Ewa (POL) 00:52:14 04:57:48 03:20:48 09:15:57
7 Baranovska, Lilia (UKR) 00:57:33 04:55:24 03:30:15 09:29:28
8 Tusell, Mercè (ESP) 01:06:03 05:02:21 03:15:03 09:29:57
9 Polak, Kamila (AUT) 00:58:54 04:58:21 03:34:00 09:37:59
10 Kowalska, Olga (POL) 01:04:10 05:07:57 03:20:17 09:38:20
11 Comber, Kate (GBR) 00:52:06 05:12:15 03:30:24 09:40:56
12 Alvarez, Palmira (MEX) 01:06:05 04:59:21 03:37:11 09:49:19
13 Stephan, Julie (FRA) 00:55:42 05:16:33 03:41:25 10:01:00
14 Nilsson, Jenny (SWE) 01:05:00 05:15:02 03:58:01 10:24:03
15 Alekseeva, Ekaterina (RUS) 01:23:54 05:49:47 03:16:19 10:37:07
16 Hallam, Rachel (GBR) 00:55:44 05:00:54 04:38:44 10:41:20
17 Diawuoh, Annabel (GER) 01:28:06 05:06:35 04:03:13 10:46:30
18 Ahlund, Jessica (SWE) 00:58:57 05:23:20 04:38:10 11:09:04

Wassner Too Tough In Taiwan

Text By Rob Sheeley

Laurel Wassner overcame stifling conditions to win Ironman Taiwan in searing heat on Sunday. The American led all day in a tough display to win her first Ironman in 9:50:21 from Kate Bevilaqua and Charlotte Morel.

Wassner said she had prepared specifically for the race and particularly remaining strong on the run, a move that paid dividends.

Wassner was always near the front, leading the swim in tandem with Morel. They had a three-minute gap over Bevilaqua with a further sevn minutes back to Danielle Mack.

Wassner and Morel remained up front on the bike, with neither able to gain the upper hand early on.

It took 85km fro Wassner to open up a margin, which she continued to extend into T2, leading by over nine minutes.

One of the pre-race favourites, Annah Watkinson, had suffered a slight calf twinge in the lead up to the race and was unfortunately forced to withdraw early on in the run after riding her way into third place.

The further they went on the run, the further Wassner’s lead extended, eventually winning by a whopping 45-minutes.

Bevilaqua took advantage of a fading Morel to work her way into second and claim another podium for 2017. Morel held third comfortably in front of Mack in testing race conditions that made finishing alone a feat in itself.

Ironman Taiwan 2017 Results

Name Country Swim Bike Run Finish
Wassner, Laurel USA 0:54:26 5:00:40 3:49:13 9:50:21
Bevilaqua, Kate AUS 0:57:45 5:26:03 4:06:36 10:36:13
Morel, Charlotte FRA 0:54:30 5:10:01 4:42:59 10:54:25
Mack, Danielle USA 1:04:41 5:29:23 5:05:48 11:44:30
Brown, Brooke CAN 1:07:40 DNF
Watkinson, Annah ZAF 0:57:50 5:13:21 DNF



Oliveira Outstanding In Rio

Text By Rob Sheeley

Brazil’s Pamella Oliveira took advantage of a strong swim/bike effort to claim Ironman 70.3 Rio De Janeiro. She won comfortably by eight minutes from Argentina’s Romina Palacio, with fellow Brazilian Mariana Andrade in third.

Oliveira set up the victory early with a slick swim that saw her exit the water three-minutes ahead of her nearest rivals, Palacio and Carolina Furriela.

Oliveira then extended her lead with a fastest bike split of 2:26:56, which meant she started the run with a large ascendency.

A fourth-best run of 1:27:37 was more than enough to seal the win for Oliveira with her lead never challenged.

Palacio produced the fastest run split to ensure that she finished second with Andrade’s solid bike leg allowing her to hold onto third, narrowly in front of Luiza Cravo.

Ironman 70.3 Rio De Janeiro 2017 Results

Name Country Swim Bike Run Finish
Oliveira, Pamella BRA 0:25:16 2:26:56 1:27:37 4:23:49
Palacio, Romina ARG 0:28:05 2:35:28 1:23:29 4:31:10
Borges De Andrade, Mariana BRA 0:30:15 2:29:57 1:28:53 4:32:46
Cravo, Luiza BRA 0:29:34 2:33:53 1:26:06 4:33:36
Neres, Beatriz BRA 0:29:37 2:36:07 1:26:33 4:36:28
Bertucci, Gisele BRA DNS
Furriela, Carolina BRA 0:28:51 2:40:48 DNF
Luniere, Nayara BRA 0:32:32 2:38:42 DNF

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