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Vandendriessche runs to Ironman Lanzarote win

Duathlon star takes his first Ironman title at a challenging day in Lanzarote

Photo by: James Mitchell/ Club La Santa

Belgian Kenneth Vandendriessche proved that he is much more than one of the world’s best long-distance duathletes with a big win at Ironman Lanzarote today. The three-time European long-distance duathlon champ surged to the front during the marathon to take the win at the 30th anniversary of the legendary event in the Canary Islands.

Related: Ironman Lanzarote celebrates its 30th anniversary in style

Petersen leads the swim

Denmark’s Mathias Petersen was first out of the water, hitting the beach in Puerto del Carmen in 50:46, 22 seconds ahead of Germany’s Philipp Bahlke and about two minutes up on a group of five that included France’s Dylan Magnien and Yvan Jarring, Switzerland’s Samuel Hurzeler, and two more Germans – Tobias Drachler and Silas Koehn.

The always challenging Ironman Lanzarote bike course featured the usual strong winds, but that didn’t seem to phase Bahlke and Petersen, who rode ahead of the rest of the field. Through 66 km the pair were separated by 11 seconds, but most importantly had a lead of 3:30 on a group that included the strong-cycling Michael Weiss (AUT) Maximillian Hammerle, Hurzeler and Vandendriessche.

By the end of the bike it was Petersen who had ridden clear to lead into T2, with Bahlke 1:14 down and Vandendriessche all alone in third, 5:43 behind. Weiss had dropped back to 8:13 back, while one of the pre-race favourites, 2017 champ Bart Aernouts (BEL) having ridden himself into sixth position, 10:20 behind.

Photo: James Mitchell/ Club La Santa

Vandendriessche storms the last third of the run

Out on the run course Petersen quickly lost time to Bahlke, who moved to within 22 seconds by the 4.7 km point, while Vandendriessche moved to within 4:18 of the lead. Weiss also appeared to be gaining time through the early stages, gaining almost a minute. Bahlke’s charge stalled, though, and he started to lose time as Vandendriessche slowly gained on Petersen. As they hit the 28.5 km point of the run Vandendriessche had moved into second place, just one minute behind, while Bahlke was a distant 7:30 back.

Related: Dant makes impressive Ironman debut with Lanzarote win

Over the next 5 km Vandendriessche would storm to the lead and never looked back, running a blazing 2:40:37 marathon to take his first Ironman title in 8:39:56. Petersen would hang tough for an impressive runner-up finish in 8:42:45, with Bahlke hanging on for third in 8:51:13.

You can find the results from today’s race here.

  1. Kenneth Vandendriessche (BEL) 8:39:56
  2. Mathias Petersen (DEN) 8:42:45
  3. Philipp Bahlke (GER) 8:51:13
  4. Dominik Sowieja (GER) 8:52:35
  5. Samuel Hurzeler (SUI) 8:53:41
  6. Michael Weiss (AUT) 9:00:17
  7. Maximillian Hammerle (AUT) 9;00:35
  8. Jordi Montraveta Moya (ESP) 9:04:35
  9. Tobias Drachler (GER) 9:05:30
  10. Bart Aernouts (BEL) 9:09:14