Manuel Kueng of Switzerland used a 2nd-best swim and top bike split to hold off the race-best run of Bas Diederen of Netherlands, and Julia Gajer of Germany won the women's title wire-to-wire at Ironman 70.3 Luxembourg.
Kueng combined a 2nd-best 21:31 swim, race-best 2:08:07 bike split and a 5th-best 1:17:01 run, plus 2:56 in transitions, to finish in 3:49:35 with a 1:28 margin of victory over Diederen and a 2:28 advantage on 3rd-place finisher Denis Chevrot of France.
Kueng’s win follows a recent 2nd-place finish at Ironman 70.3 Switzerland.
Gajer combined women’s-best splits in all disciplines – 23:50 swim, 2:27:09 bike and 1:23:12 run – plus 3:14 in transition to finish in 4:17:25. She had a 3:15 margin of victory over Natascha Schmitt of Germany and 7:21 over 3rd-place finisher Sofie Goos of Belgium.
Gajer’s win comes after 2nd-place Ironman 70.3 finishes earlier this year at Mallorca and Kraichgau.
Pieter Heemeryck of Belgium led the swim in 21:29, giving him a 2 second lead on Switzerland’s Manuel Kueng, 19 seconds on Sebastian Veith of Germany, 24 seconds on Patrick Lange of Germany, 27 seconds on Andreas Raelert of Germany, 29 seconds on Denis Chevrot of France and 30 seconds on Yvan Jarrige of France.
After the first 38 km, which winds along the largely flat terrain next to the Mosel River, Kueng charged to a 3:06 lead on Heemeryck, who led a closely bunched chase pack of 7 that included Lange, Herbst, Jarrige, Raelert, Chevrot and Breuer.
By 66.5 km, after passing through a hilly wine region, Kueng stretched his lead to 5:18 over Raelert, who led the chase pack of 7 that included, in order, Lange, Herbst, Jarrige, Heemeryck, Breuer and Chevrot.
After a 2:08:07 bike split, Kueng arrived in T2 with a 4:42 lead on a pack of four – Lange, Diederen, Herbst and Chevrot. Roughly 45 seconds later came a trio that included Jarrige, Raelert and Breuer.
By 10 km of the run, Kueng held on to a 3 minute lead on Raelert and Lange. But a few kilometers later, the deck shuffled again and the chasers were led by Lange, followed by Chevrot, Diederen and Raelert, who slowed with a cramp.
At 16km, Kueng held doggedly to the lead with a 2:54 lead on Chevrot, 3:22 on Lange, 3:25 on Diederen and 3:45 on a revived Raelert.
In the final 5k, Diederen flew by Chevrot and Lange on his way to a race-best 1:13:44 run that brought him to 2nd, 1:28 behind Kueng. Chevrot ran 1:14:33 to take 3rd, 1 minute behind Diederen, and Raelert ran 1:14:23 to take 4th, 29 seconds later.
Julia Gajer led the pro women out of the swim in 23:50, followed by fellow German Natascha Schmitt in 24:59, Nicole Woysch of Germany in 26:37, Alexandra Tondeur of Belgium in 26:40, Alena Stevens of Slovakia in 26:41 and Sofie Goos of Belgium in 26:45.
At the 38 km mark, Gajer maintained a 1:18 lead on Schmitt, 3:02 on Goos, 3:14 on Tondeur and 5:02 on Ilona Eversdijk of Netherlands.
At 70km, the leaders were spread further. Gajer led Schmitt by 1:53, Goos by 3:38, Tondeur by 6:32 and Rahel Bellinga of the Netherlands by 8:35.
By the end of the bike, Gajer led Schmitt by 2:29 and Goos by 4 minutes even.
While Schmitt pushed hard, she could not make a dent in Gajer’s lead and surrendered another 46 seconds to the leader’s women's-best 1:23:12 run split. Goos surrendered another 3:21 on the run to finish 3rd, 7:21 arrears.
Ironman 70.3 Luxembourg
Region Moselle, Luxembourg
June 20, 2015
S 1.2 mi. / B 56 mi. / R 13.1 mi.
1. Manuel Kueng (SUI) 3:49:35
2. Bas Diederen (NED) 3:51:03
3. Denis Chevrot (FRA) 3:52:03
4. Andreas Raelert (GER) 3:52:32
5. Patrick Lange (GER) 3:53:18
6. Yvan Jarrige (FRA) 3:57:26
7. Marcus Herbst (GER) 3:58:46
8. David Breuer (GER) 4:01:03
9. Sebastian Veith (GER) 4:04:52
10. Olivier Godart (LUX) 4:09:09
1. Julia Gajer (GER) 4:17:25
2. Natascha Schmitt (GER) 4:20:40
3. Sofie Goos (BEL) 4:24:46
4. Alexandra Tondeur (BEL) 4:32:52
5. Anna Halasz (HUN) 4:35:05
6. Rahel Bellinga (NED) 4:37:18
7. Alena Stevens (SVK) 4:42:13
8. Nicole Woysch (GER) 4:47:07