Justus Nieschlag and Anne Haug take world’s hardest 70.3
“Race on another planet” - or just head to Ironman 70.3 LanzarotePhoto by: James Mitchell/ Club La Santa
There were no doubts about whether or not Ironman 70.3 lived up to the moniker “racing on another planet” – today’s race featured incredibly brisk winds, along with a new course that added more elevation. With a choppy swim, a bike course that included over 1,000 m of climbing, followed by a run that included 190 m elevation gain, this was not a race for the weak of heart.
None of which seemed to slow German Olympian Justus Nieschlag and Anne Haug down too much. Nieschlag pretty much led from start to finish, coming out of the water in front and staying there through the tough bike. Dane Thor Bendix Madsen managed to bike his way to second by the end of the challenging second leg, with German Rico Bogen and France’s Mathis Margirier staying in the mix as well. 2019 champ Daniel Baekkegard would come off the bike over two minutes down.
Once on the run Margirier would push the German to the limit, but in the end he wasn’t able to stop Nieschlag from taking his second 70.3 title in two starts – the German won Ironman 70.3 Kraichgau in debut last year. The Frenchman would finish 15 seconds back, with Bendix Madsen rounding out the podium.
1. JUSTUS NIESCHLAG (GER) – 03:54:57
2. MATHIS MARGIRIER (FRA) – +0:15
3. THOR BENDIX MADSEN (DK) – +1:54
Haug turns on the “after-burners”
Great Britain’s Kate Curran led the women out of the water with countrywoman India Lee and Haug close behind. Lee would stay close to Haug through the early stages of the bike, but heading up through the Fire Mountains the German “turned on the after-burners” according to Lee and pulled clear. Haug would hit T2 with a lead of 1:35 on Lee, with Italy’s Elizabetta Curridori hitting transition 8:45 down in third. Curran would start the run almost 11 minutes down.
Haug only increase her lead, blasting through a 1:16:28 run to win the race by almost 12 minutes over Lee. Curridori held off a challenge by Curran to round out the podium, getting to the line just under ahead of the Brit.
1. ANNE HAUG (GER) – 04:16:47
2. INDIA LEE (UK) – +11:50
3. ELISABETTA CURRIDORI (ITA) – +19:54