Racing took place over both the half and full distances last week in Europe and North America. Some vital Kona points were scored in Hamburg while a red-hot run of form continued at Steelhead. In addition to that, local wins in both Finland and Regensburg on what was a top weekend of triathlon.
Text By Laura Siddall and Rob Sheeley | Images By Getty Images and Wattie Ink
SUPER SAEMMLER DOMINATES IRONMAN HAMBURG
Text By Rob Sheeley
A slick all-round performance from Daniela Saemmler allowed her to dominate the inaugural Ironman Hamburg in Germany on Sunday. The 29-year-old won by over 16-minutes to Eva Wutti and Kristin Moeller.
Saemmler took charge from the outset, leading the swim narrowly from Sandra Wassink-Hitzert. They had already put a space of three-minutes on Eva Wutti, who was likely to be the biggest danger to Saemmler.
Saemmler’s bike leg was a race highlight; the German powered her way to a blistering 4:55:24, opening up a huge margin to her rivals.
Wutti moved to a clear second but would enter T2 some 22-minutes down on the lead and with her work cut out for her.
Rahel Bellinga rode the second fastest bike split (albeit 14-minutes slower than Saemmler) which allowed her to move up to third heading out on to the run.
It was expected that Wutti would run time into Saemmler and possibly erase the deficit in time to claim victory. However, Saemmler was resolute, backing up her swim/bike combination with some formidable running, which would eventually prove more than enough to keep Wutti at bay.
A 3:08:53 marathon saw Saemmler stop the clock at 9:07:49 in front of the gallant Wutti.
Back in the field, the diminutive Kristin Moeller was sprouting wings en route to a slippery 2:58:10 fastest run-split, which saw her storm into third and assure herself a place at Kona in October.
Ironman Hamburg 2017 Results
JACKSON TOO CLASSY AT STEELHEAD
Text By Rob Sheeley
The Heather Jackson train rolled on last weekend when she notched up yet another victory, this time at Ironman 70.3 Steelhead.
The American superstar won by just under three minutes from Alissa Doehla with Jodie Robertson a further four-minutes back in third.
Robin Pomeroy led the swim with Laura Matthews and Doehla close behind. Jackson’s swim laid the perfect foundation for her day, emerging from the water in sixth, just 33-seconds off the lead.
It wasn’t long before Jackson had erased the margin and ridden her way to the front, looking to set up a lead.
A swift 2:18:38 ride had Jackson 2:38 in front of Doehla with Robertson moving to third a further three-minutes away.
Given the strong runs of both Doehla and Robertson, Jackson could not rest on her laurels and she set about carving out a fastest run of 1:24:04 to seal the win.
Doehla’s run was a mere one-second slower and assured her the second step on the podium, giving the impression that a win may not be too far away.
Robertson also ran well with her third-fastest 1:25:22 allowing the Ironman Texas champion to comfortably hold onto third place.
Ironman 70.3 Steelhead 2017 Results
SALI FLIES IN FINLAND
Text By Laura Siddall
It was Finland’s own Kaisa Sali who took the win at Challenge Turku. Second out of the water, she moved into the lead early on the bike and never looked back. The ever consistent and competitive Yvonne van Vlerken finished in second and Annie Thoren from Sweden in third.
“It was an amazing experience to do my first international race in front of the home crowds and of course winning the race made it even more special,” Sali said after the victory.
“The amount of spectators following the race along the course or through TV tells s nice story about how fast our sport is growing in a Finland.
“I know I have a bit of home ‘advantage’ in saying this but I think the race is one of the best international races in Europe considering the routes and the atmosphere and we pro athletes are treated super well considering the accommodations, training possibilities etc.”
It was really a race between these three athletes. Thoren led out the water, fifty seconds ahead of Sali. Van Vlerken followed in a group, led by Ewa Komander, two minutes down on Thoren. Sali soon reduced the deficit and was in the lead on the bike by 20km. Van Vlerken was also reeling in Thoren, (with Komander dropping back), catching her in the last third of the bike course and arriving in T2 in second, just ahead of Thoren.
Onto the run and Sali maintained her lead over Van Vlerken and the rest of the field, and Van Vlerken stretched ahead of Thoren. It was a great win for the Fin, and another podium for Van Vlerken, with Thoren holding on to third.
Challenge Turku Results 2017
|2||Yvonne Van Vlerken||NED||WPRO||4:13:53|
RIESLER RUNS AWAY WITH IT IN REGENSBURG
Text By Laura Siddall
Diana Riesler was favourite heading into the event, even having raced to second at Ironman UK just a few weeks earlier. The German delivered leading from the gun to take a comprehensive win and sub-nine hours at Challenge Regensburg. Simona Krivankova finished second and Erika Csomor in third.
Riesler was first out the water, with about a fifteen second gap to Yvette Grice and then Dana Wagner, and a further three minutes back to Csomor, with Krivankova an additional three minutes.
Riesler did further damage on the bike, with a split that was over twenty minutes quicker than anyone else in the field. Krinvankova rode strongly at the start of the bike to pass Csomor and maintain a gap of about two to three minutes over the rest of the bike and into T2.
On the run Riesler solidified her lead, running one of the fastest splits to take the win in a time of 8:51:02. Krivankova held off Csomor to take the silver and Csomor in bronze.
It should be mentioned that the team of Sonja Tajsich and Tom Stecher won the mixed event in The Challenge for Two competition. Both athletes completing all three disciplines, half the distance each. Tajsich and Stecher were racing in memory of Julian Vielehner.