The challenging bike course surrounding Immenstadt, Germany proved to be the difference in deciding this year’s ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Champions. France’s Sylvain Sudrie and Switzerland’s Caroline Steffen powered away from their competitors on the very difficult 130-kilometre bike course, and then held on for the win on the 30-kilometre run.
Both Sudrie and reigning champion Tim O’Donnell (USA) were at the front of the pack after the 4-kilometre swim, which took the top men just under 49 minutes to complete. Sudrie took charge of the race once he got onto the hilly course, finishing the 130K ride in 3:35:59. Also riding well on the non-drafting course were France’s Francois Chabaud and Germany’s Konstantin Bachor, who were the only two men to finish the bike leg in under 3:35. O’Donnell lost over five minutes to Sudrie on the bike and couldn’t make up any ground on the final leg.
Sudrie posted the second-fastest run of the day (1:56:26) to finish first in 6:24:57. O’Donnell ran only a few seconds slower than the Frenchman to pull up to second, finishing almost four minutes later. Chabaud rounded out the podium, finishing more than two minutes behind O’Donnell.
In the women’s race, Steffen led the way out of the water in 54:01, with Spain’s Virginia Berasategui and Germany’s Anja Ippach only a few seconds behind. Dutch superstar Yvonne Van Vlerken finished the swim over six minutes later and started the tough bike course with a big gap to make up.
No one could make up any time on Steffen on the bike, as the Swiss talent charged through the ride in 3:48:00, which was seven minutes faster than Van Vlerken and Berasategui. Steffen finished off the day with a 2:09:45 run to win in 6:55:21. Van Vlerken was a distant second, but posted the day’s best run en route to finishing in 7:07:04. Berasategui rounded out the podium, finishing six minutes back of Van Vlerken.
Top 5 Elite Men
1. Sylvain Sudrie (FRA) 6:24:57
2. Timothy O’Donnell (USA) 6:29:35
3. Francois Chabaud (FRA) 6:32:04
4. Jonas Djurback (SWE) 6:32:32
5. Konstantin Bachor (GER) 6:33:01
Top 5 Elite Women
1. Caroline Steffen (SUI) 6:55:21
2. Yvonne Van Vlerken (NED) 7:07:04
3. Virginia Berasategui (ESP) 7:13:19
4. Anja Ippach (GER) 7:42:44
5. Tamara Kozulina (UKR) 7:45:15