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Dant makes impressive Ironman debut with big win at Ironman Lanzarote

New pro Lydia Dant takes the day in her first full-distance race

Photo by: James Mitchell/ Club La Santa

After winning a number of races outright as an age-grouper, Great Britain’s Lydia Dant turned pro late last year. To date her long-distance pro efforts have all taken place in Lanzarote – last October she finished fifth at Ironman 70.3 Lanzarote, then took seventh in March at the same race. She continued her Lanzarote-themed pro career today at the full-distance race on the island with a debut win over the distance, hanging on for the win over Els Visser (NED).

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Charging ahead on the bike

Italy’s Elisabetta Curridori led the way out of the water in 59:27, with Dant 1:27 down in second place and Visser another 69 seconds behind in third. It didn’t take long, though, before Dant charged to the lead and would never look back. By 37.5 km the Brit’s lead was up to 3:46 on Curridori, with Visser trailing by 4:19. Halfway through the ride Dant was a whopping 8:07 up on Visser, with Curridori trailing by 11:38. Canada’s Angela Naeth managed to ride her way up to fourth at that point, but was almost 20 minutes down.

Visser was able to close the gap a bit over the final half of the ride that featured the two big mountain climbs up Mirador de Haria and Mirador del Rio, but was still 6:14 down as they hit T2. Curridori was still in third, but was now 24:21 behind Dant, while Naeth was 28:03 back as she hit T2.

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Visser, who has been training in Gran Canaria with Nicola Spirig for much of the winter, seemed to be steadily gaining time through the first third of the run – through 12 km she had closed the gap to 4:39 – but that’s where things stayed until well into the second half of the marathon. Through 28.5 km Visser was able to move to within 3:20, and had gained almost another minute over the next 5 km. Visser would continue to gain time, but in the end Dant had more than enough to hold on for the win, crossing the line in 9:37:26 for the win. Visser would take second in 9:39:11, 1:44 back. Curridori would hang on for third in 10:02:52, while Germany’s Jenny Schulz (10:16:41) would run past Naeth (10:34:01) for fourth, leaving the Canadian in fifth. Slovakia’s Nikola Cordova would take sixth in 11:14:48, with American Ginger Howell finishing seventh in 11:20:38.

Photo: James Mitchell/ Club La Santa