Lanzarote seems to be a comfortable race venue for Victor del Corral Morales. In 2012 he became only the second Spaniard (after Eneko Llanos) to win the oldest Ironman in Europe. Like he did two weeks ago in Pays d’Aix, del Corral had an incredible run, adding to his race-fastest bike split to take the title. He also broke Ivan Rana’s course record with his 4:06:42 winning time.
Russian Olympic distance specialist Alexander Bryukhankov forced the pace in the swim, leading a group of seven out of the water in 22:23. It wasn’t until the 9.5 km climb at Tabayesco that del Corral started his show. Great Britain’s Will Clarke had been leading the race from T1 on, and was almost three minutes ahead of del Corral at the bottom of the tough climb. By the top, though, the lead was down to 10 seconds. A little later del Corral passed Clarke and would never look back. Clarke took second (4:10:53) thanks to a solid run ahead of Domenico Passuello from Italy (4:12:46).
For the women, Holly Lawrence from Great Britain was the first out of the water in 24:03 minutes, followed by defending champion Danne Boterenbrood (NED) and Germany’s Katja Konschak. Jerzyk, who raced at last year’s Summer Olympics in London, and the British co-favorite, Susie Hignett, lost only a few seconds in the swim. But the Belgian duo of Tine Deckers and Sophie de Groote, along with former ITU world champion Samantha Warriner (NZL), came out of the water almost three-minutes behind. Boterenbrood attacked for the lead at the bottom of the Tabayesco climb. Jerzyk, Hignett and Lawrence followed behind, but on the uphill section, Deckers made up a lot of ground. By T2, Boterenbrood was still in the lead, but Deckers was in the runner-up position ahead of Hignett and Jerzyk. (Only 90 seconds separated first through fourth.) Jerzyk started like a short-distance athlete and kept the pace up until the finish line. The 25-year-old almost sprinted to the victory in her debut pro race on the Ironman 70.3 series in 1:22:42., breaking the previous course record (4:39:48). Boterenbrood took second just 56 seconds back, while Hignett was about three minutes back of her in third.
Two victories were marked by two new course records this weekend at the fifth Challenge Barcelona with Sergio Marques (POR) and Eva Wutti (AUT) taking out the titles in 8:05:21 and 8:51:01, respectively.
In the women’s race, Eva Wutti, despite feeling prior to the race that she had not totally recovered from Challenge Copenhagen, confirmed her place as top seed. Wutti’s main competition of the day was Lucie Reed (CZE) who finished in 8:57:34, comfortably ahead of third place’s Tina Boman (FIN) with 9:23:16.
In the men’s race, despite a slower swim split, Marques managed to make up time on the bike course and finally overcame his rivals in the last part of the run. British athlete Tom Lowe, one of the main favorites, finished second on the podium in 8:07:50 after chasing down third place finisher Konstantin Bachor (GER) on the run. Bachor rounded off the podium in 8:11:23.
Life Time Fitness Dallas
Cameron Dye and Alicia Kaye won the men’s and women’s elite titles at Life Time Fitness Dallas on the strength of superior bike splits.
Dye started the day with a race-best 18:38 swim which gave the Boulder, Colorado native a two-second advantage on Hunter Kemper, five seconds on James Seear, nine seconds on Stuart Hayes and Brandon Barrett and 12 seconds on Ben Collins. Dye gave back 11 seconds to a race-best 54:44 bike split by Collins, while Hayes hung 1 minute back after a third-best 55:57 split and Kemper and Seear lost touch after 58:03 and 58:08 splits.
Starting the run, Kemper went on a rampage and made up a lot of ground with a race-fastest 32:14 split. But Dye’s well balanced day was capped off by a fifth-best 34:50 run which brought him to the finish in 1:50:17 with a 25 second margin of victory over runner-up Hayes, who finished with a 34:03 run. Kemper made up tons of ground with his run, but lost too much time on the bike and was 34 seconds short of Dye with his third-place finish.
Alicia Kaye began with a 20:35 swim that put her 2:01 behind Sara McLarty of the U.S. and 43 seconds behind Helle Frederiksen of Denmark. Kaye broke open the race with a women’s best 59:38 bike split which was 1:59 better than Frederiksen, 3:35 better than McLarty, 4:06 better than Lauren Goss and 4:41 better than Radka Vodickova of the Czech Republic. Kaye’s 38:07 run split surrendered 1:10 to Frederiksen but brought the American to the finish in 2:00:22 with a six second margin of victory over the Dane. Goss closed fast with a women’s race-best 35:40 10k run, but that only brought her to third place, 2:02 behind Frederiksen.
ITU World Cup Cozumel
London Olympic gold medalist Nicola Spirig (SUI) made her return to the international scene with a bang on Sunday at the Cozumel World Cup, winning her first race back on the ITU circuit since the Olympics and her first World Cup since Kitzbuehel in 2008. Sarah Groff (USA) and Lisa Perterer(AUT) were able to battle through the heat and humidity to round out the podium on the sprint course.
Groff, Katie Hursey (USA) and Pamela Oliveira (BRA) led the group out of the swim, with Spirig exiting the water 29 seconds back. Two groups formed in front early on the bike, with Spirig driving the pace in the chase group to catch the lead pack by the end of lap two.
A group of 16 women entered T2 together, but splintered apart from there. By the end of the first lap, Spirig, Groff, Perterer and hometown favorite Claudia Rivas (MEX) were pushing the pace, with Joanna Brown (CAN) not far behind.
The last lap of the run was when Spirig sprung into action, breaking off from Groff, Perterer and Rivas with less than 2.5km to go. She crossed the line in 57:53, ahead of Groff, who finished in 57:58.
For the men, Javier Gomez (ESP) finished up his season the same way he started it – winning. Despite soaring temperatures and humidity, Gomez collected his 14th World Cup title with an impressive ocean-side run. Aurelien Lescure (FRA) was second, while Dmitry Polyanskiy (RUS) took third.
The sprint swim did little to break up the long start list, as a massive group of men formed together on the bike. The group continued to swell over the four-lap bike course until the third lap when five men engineered a break.
But it wasn’t enough to hold off the golden Gomez, as he shot off as soon as he racked his bike in transition. Despite the unforgiving temperatures, Jarrod Shoemaker (USA) and Polyanskiy answered the pounding pace. Behind them, Lescure began consistently picking off the competition and in a surprising burst of speed, the Frenchman blew past Shoemaker and Polyanskiy, pulling up to Gomez right before hitting the finish chute.
But when the pair crossed onto the blue carpet, Gomez gunned it and left the competition behind him to finish his season with a World Cup win, which is exactly how he started it in Mooloolaba seven months ago. Lescure crossed over just two seconds after Gomez to earn his first World Cup medal since 2011. After finishing just off the podium in his last two races, Polyanskiy engaged in a down to the line battle with Shoemaker. In a photo finish, it was determined Polyanskiy earned bronze in 53:31.