BMC Etixx Triathletes Dominate Ironman Races over the Weekend22. May 2017 — Triathlon Team
Bart Aernouts (8:34:13) claimed the victory in Ironman Lanzarote this weekend with a dominating performance. Teammate Romain Guillaume finished in 5th place, while in Spain, Emma Pallant took the win at IM Barcelona in 4:40:03 with teammates Amelia Watkinson and Patrik Nilsson in 6th and 8th respectively. Maurice Clavel took 3rd at IM Austria.
The day started with a very good swim for Bart Aernouts as he exited the water in 11th place, 3’30 back from the leaders. Romain Guillaume jumped on his bike in 6th place and immediately started his push forward to overtake the lead in the first few kilometers on the bike. At the 50K mark the BMC-Etixx athletes were sitting in 1st and 2nd, Romain in the lead with a 2’ advantage over Bart at that point in the race with a group of 4 athletes trailing by over 5 minutes. From then onwards Aernouts started eating into his advantage, closing the gap to Romain second by second.
Just before halfway Aernouts joined his teammate to co-lead the race. The Belgian kept going strong and opened up a small lead over Romain after 140K. But both BMC-Etixx athletes entered T2 within striking distance from each other and Aernouts and Guillaume started the run side by side with a healthy margin of 7 minutes on the first chasers. From that point, Bart’s dominance started. He immediately found his well-known, fast running pace. He immediately opened up a gap on his team mate and started extending his lead to the rest of the field.
After 15k on the run Aernouts was comfortably leading the race with more than 5 minutes over Guillaume and 8 minutes over 3rd place. Unfortunately Romain had to deal with stomach issues and dropped back to 4th but kept digging deep. Bart Aernouts was a man on a mission and his lead was never in danger. After a dominating performance, the Belgian took home the victory in Lanzarote in a time of 8:34:13. The second fastest time ever recorded in Lanzarote. Romain Guillaume crossed the line in 5th in a time of 8:57:01
“I’m really happy with my win in Ironman Lanzarote today. I had an amazing day with solid performances in all three disciplines. Starting with a strong swim…for me…and losing only 3 minutes to the guys in front. On the bike, I rode my own race and that’s important here. You should listen to your legs, don’t look to the other guys and do your own thing. I felt good on the bike, so I pushed a bit at the beginning. I was surprised to lead the race together with Romain after 80K. The rest of the bike is a long way. It wasn’t that windy today, but it’s still a tough bike course. The marathon was just about surviving and managing the gap towards the other guys. I felt comfortably during the run, but I still had to work hard to take the win today. I’m super happy to win this race. A race with a lot of history, with 3 Belgian victories, so glad to join that list and become the 3rd Belgian winner. Over the moon to win my second Ironman title as well.”
Emma Pallant Victorious at IM70.3 Barcelona
Emma Pallant took home the victory in IM70.3 Barcelona in style. The British athlete stunned with an incredible pace once again on the run to finish the race in a time of 4:40:03. Amelia Watkinson crossed the finish line in 6th place in a time of 4:50:32. Natalie Seymour (GBR; 4:43:06) finished second and Charlotte Morel (FRA; 4:45:53) rounded up the podium. In the men’s race Patrik Nilsson settled for 8th place in a time of 4:15:36.
Emma Pallant entered T1 together with her BMC-Etixx teammate Amelia Watkinson in 4th and 5th place. At the halfway point, Pallant was trailing the front of the race by 3’ but she moved up during the latter part of the bike leg and entered T2 in 2nd place with a deficit of 2’53 to start the run. In the first 2K she brought the gap down to just over 1 minute. The British athlete kept going strong to take over the lead only few kilometers later. From that point on there was no looking back for Pallant. She maintained a strong pace and with a running split of 1:22:35 Pallant took a convincing win in a time of 4:40:03, clinching back-to-back podiums after her 2nd place in IM70.3 Mallorca last week.
Watkinson gave her best on the run to cross the finish line in 6th place. In the men’s race Patrik Nilsson, who made his debut in BMC-Etixx colors, came out of the water in 12th place. During the bike, Nilsson moved up a few places to start the run in 9th position. After a convincing run, Nilsson finished the race in 8th place, crossing the line in a time of 4:15:36.
After the race Pallant looked back at her 4th victory of the season: “Of course I’m really happy with my win here today. It was a tough one, since it’s my third race in three weeks. I have got a bit of a high after seeing Bart win the Ironman of Lanzarote yesterday. So, I just got out there and got stuck in. I’m a bit hurt now for the moment, but pleased to come away with the win here in Barcelona.”
Maurice Clavel finishes 3rd in IM70.3 St. Pölten
In a final time of 4:00:04, the BMC-Etixx athlete also recorded the fastest run split of the day, Nils Frommhold (GER; 3:56:47) took the win as Andi Böcherer (GER; 3:59:04) crossed the line in 2nd.
Maurice Clavel exited the water in 3rd place after a solid swim. Once on the bike he immediately tried to pull away and succeeded. He opened up a gap of 1’45 after the first 24k. Unfortunately, the German had a small technical problem, but he still managed to keep 3rd place at the 62k mark. Towards the end of the bike Maurice dropped back to 4th place, but kept in touching distance with 3rd. In the beginning of the run Clavel immediately found his pace, taking over that 3rd place again and building a comfortable lead over 4th. He crossed the line after 4:00:04, setting the fastest run split of the day with a time of 1:11:47. Looking back at his race Maurice had mixed feelings: “Swimming was very easy in the front pack and I exited the water in third. After T1 I jumped on the bike as the race leader. But then unfortunately I had a small technical issue when something got stuck in my wheel and lost some time. The bike leg was very hard, with a lot of wind and rain. I gave it all, but especially in the descents I was very careful and lost a lot of time again. After 90k I entered T2, 6min behind the leaders. On the run, I was anxious to put the hammer down. With a run split of 1:11:47 I came very close to catching Andi Böcherer for second place. All in all, I’m satisfied with the race, although I came to St Polten to win! So, mixed feelings, a bit of disappointment, but happy with a solid race and a podium spot. From now on all focus on Challenge Samorin”.