Skipper and Van Vlerken awesome in Almere

Joe Skipper and Yvonne Van Vlerken were the class of the field at Challenge Almere, taking the European Long Distance Championships in the process.

| September 11, 2017 | NEWS

Yvonne Van Vlerken sets a new course record at Challenge Almere.

Yvonne Van Vlerken sets a new course record at Challenge Almere.

Photo >Charlie Crowhurst | Getty Images

Joe Skipper (GBR) and Yvonne Van Vlerken (NLD) overcame the tough weather conditions that included lots of rain and wind and were still able to post fast times as the two took Challenge Almere, which served as the European Long Distance Championship.

Skipper holds off Zyemtsev

After trailing out of the water, Skipper found himself chasing Denmark's Kristian Hogenhaug on the bike. Fourth out onto the run course, Skipper moved to the front of the race, only to find himself being tracked down by the ageless Viktor Zyemtsev (UKR). In the end, though, Skipper was able to break the magical eight-hour barrier with his 7:59:39 clocking. Zyemtsev would take second in 8:03:14 while Slovakia's Jaroslav Kovacic took third in 8:05:40.

Joe Skipper wins the European Championship at Challenge Almere.

Joe Skipper wins the European Championship at Challenge Almere.

Photo >José Luis Hourcade

Course record for Van Vlerken

It was a battle between the Dutch in the women's race as Sarissa de Vries led the way through the swim, the bike and the first 14 km of the run before Van Vlerken was able to finally pass her countrywoman to move to the lead. Van Vlerken would fly through the run to finish in 8:51:13, a new course record. de Vries would hang on for second (9:09:44) while Hanna Maksimava from Belarus rounded out the podium in 9:20:02.