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Frederik Van Lierde and Nikki Bartlett take the top spot at Ironman Lanzarote

Voted as the hardest Ironman race in the world, Ironman Lanzarote hosted the 28th edition of the event on May 25th. The small island off the coast of Africa offers little relief from the sun and heavy winds. With wind gusts well over 50 km/h and a bike course that features over 2,500m of climbing, the bike route is one of the most difficult on the Ironman circuit.

Long climbs and technical descents are hallmarks of the Lanzarote course.

Related: Ironman Lanzarote voted the toughest Ironman in the world

In the men’s race, Frederik Van Lierde (BEL), the 2013 Ironman world champion, Christian Kramer (GER) and Jaroslav Kovacic (SVN) came into T2 together. On the run, Kramer made an early move out of T2 and gapped Van Lierde and Kovacic. However, at the halfway point, Van Lierde took over control of the race and didn’t look back. Kramer held onto second, while Emilio Aguayo (ESP) ran his way into third.

In the women’s race, Canada’s Rachel McBride was on the start line despite sustaining a nasty road rash after a crash at Ironman 70.3 Pays d’Aix, just two weeks ago. McBride led the way out of the water with a minute gap over Dede Griesbauer (USA), Maja Stage Nielsen (DEN) and Emma Pallant (GBR).

Related: VIDEO: Rachel McBride will race Ironman Lanzarote on a road bike

Having to ride a road bike due to the stitches in her elbow, McBride relinquished the lead early on the bike. Starting well behind the leaders after the swim, Nikki Bartlett (GBR), a former member of the national rowing team, rode her way through the field and into the lead. Coming off the bike, Bartlett had an eight-minute lead on Stage Nielsen.

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It’s not often I’m lost for words. I feel on top of the world right now. Winning @ironman_lanzarote in those conditions is a dream come true. . . 4 years as a Pro, 14 Pro Podiums since 2016 and in 2019 I win my first race. . . To share this amazing moment with amazing people and watch close friends smash their dreams and goals. Speechless. . . Those crowds are something else, thank you everyone who’s apart of this, supported today and watched. And thanks to the volunteers and support staff which put together this iconic race. Wow. Just wow! Congrats to everyone who raced and the podium ladies ❤️ . . 📸: @thatcameraman @ironman_lanzarote @clublasanta #dreamcometrue #winning #IMLanzarote #lovelife #dreamsdocometrue #hardwork #dedication #swimbikerun #triathlon #ironmantri #strongwomen #sport #sportsnutrition #iRaceZone3 #FeedYourAdventure #speechless #thankyou #Lanzarote #lanzaroteisland

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On the run, Stage Nielsen managed to pull back some time, but the deficit was too much. Barlett would end up crossing the line first 4:31 ahead of Stage Nielsen. Netherlands’ Lenny Ramsey finished third, and McBride would end up finishing seventh.