Frederik Van Lierde and Michelle Vesterby survive challenges on the run to take the wins in Mexico at Ironman Cozumel.
November 28, 2016 | NEWS|
Frederik Van Lierde was near, or at the front of the race, for most of the day, eventually taking the day on the Mexican Island of Cozumel. The 2013 Ironman world champion was 10 seconds behind swim leader Igor Amorelli (BRA) - the two worked together early on the bike. The pair flew to the front of the race and pulled away from the entire field for the first two of three laps of the bike. Eventually Austria’s Michael Weiss, in a solo effort, bridged the gap to the leading pair and the trio dismounted their bikes together.
Weiss managed to mark Van Lierde’s pace during the first 7 km of the run, but then lost touch with the Belgian - at the end of the first of three run laps he was a minute behind. Behind Weiss, Matt Russell and Chris Leifermann were making gains on Weiss, but Van Lierde was holding strong.
At 21 km, Van Lierde appeared to have put time on everyone - stretching his lead 2:27 on Russell, 6:15 on Lieferman and over six minutes on Weiss, who was faltering. Van Lierde survived a last ditch attempt by Russell to get to the front of the race to take the the victory by 1:15 over Russell.
In the women’s race it was the "Lauren Brandon, Michelle Vesterby and Camllia Pedersen show" from start to finish.
Brandon smoked the swim and carried close to a five-minute lead on the Danish duo of Vesterby and Pedersen. Catching Brandon was the sole focus for the pair of pursuers and it took them 100 km to succeed. When they made the catch the trio rode together for the next 80 km and came into T2 virtually together.
Pedersen and Vesterby ran together for the first 7 km of the marathon, then Pedersen took the initiative and had a lead of close to a minute at 14 km. She had 90 seconds at 21 km. The gap remained the same for the next 10 km before Pedersen faltered. At 35 km she was behind Vesterby by 10 seconds.
Vesterby was chugging along as the wheels fell off Pedersen’s race in a big way. Pederson lost a total of six minutes in the final 7 km, and was eventually overtaken by Brandon. Vesterby was hurting near the end, too, but held on to claim the win by over four minutes on Brandon, while Pedersen struggled to the finish line in third.
Frederik Van Lierde