In a thrilling race, Rolophe Von Berg (USA) held off Javier Gomez (ESP) to win the 2019 Ironman 70.3 European Championship in Elsinore, Denmark. The American has quickly established himself as being a top contender for the world title in Nice this season. Earlier in the year, he won the 70.3 North American Championship in St. George, Utah. And in Denmark, he successfully defended his European title from 2018 with a win over Gomez – one of triathlon’s most admired athletes.
Gomez led the way out of the water with Von Berg trailing by 38 seconds after the swim. It was on the bike where the American would make his move to the front and have a lead of 1:44 on Florian Angert and 3:34 on Gomez. As expected, Gomez closed the gap early, but it wasn’t enough to take the win. Despite a 1:07:45 half-marathon split, Von Berg (3:39:35) made it across the line 11-seconds ahead of Gomez (3:39:46). Pablo Dapena Gonzalez finished in third (3:41:03).
In the women’s race, Holly Lawrence led the race from start to finish. Early on it looked as though Denmark’s Helle Frederiksen and Czech Republic’s Radka Kahlefeldt would challenge for the race lead, but Lawrence quickly opened up a gap on the bike. Coming into T2, Lawrence had a led of nearly four minutes on a group of chasing women.
Out on the run course, it was a battle for second place as Lawrence (4:06:24) had all but secured her third regional championship of 2019 season – the 70.3 European, North American Championship and Asia-Pacific Championship. It was Lawrence’s countrywoman, Fenella Langridge (4:09:22) who took second. Kahlefeldt finished third (4:10:36). Only two minutes separated the third and fifth place finishers.