Michael Raelert won by 1:34 and Annabel Luxford won by 2:34 at the Ironman 70.3 European Championship at Elsinore, Denmark.
Raelert led the swim by 1 second and, after a brief moment in second place, led the bike leg by 1 second. After a third-fastest run, Raelert led a 1-2-3 German sweep of the podium with a 1:34 margin over runner-up Andi Bocherer and 2:33 over 3rd-place Nils Frommhold.
Raelert’s win was his second European 70.3 title after his 2012 win at Wiesbaden, matching his two Ironman 70.3 World Championships in 2009 and 2010.
Luxford led Danish competitor Camilla Pedersen by 2 seconds after the swim, trailed Pedersen by 3 seconds after the bike leg and secured the victory with a women's-best 1:21:42 run that brought her to the finish in 4:07:00 with a 2:34 margin of victory over Helle Frederiksen of Denmark and 3:28 over Kaisa Sali (formerly Lehtonen) of Finland.
Luxford’s win comes after a string of top performances that include late 2016 70.3 wins at Ballarat and Western Sydney and 2017 wins at Geelong 70.3 and Challenge Melbourne.
Raelert led the swim in 21:45 which gave him a 3 seconds lead on Frommhold, 6 seconds on Pieter Heemeryck of Belgium, 10 seconds on Ivan Kalashnikov of Russia, 12 seconds on Patrick Dirksmeier of Germany, 14 seconds on Sylvain Sudrie of France, 15 seconds on Bocherer and 17 seconds on Rodolphe Von Berg of the U.S.
After 40km of the bike leg, Frommhold led Raelert by 1 second, Bocherer by 20 seconds, Andreas Dreitz of Germany by 51 seconds and Ruedi Wild of Switzerland by 1:03.
After a 3rd-best 2:01:51 bike split, Raelert led Bocherer by 1 second, Frommhold by 8 seconds, Dreitz by 2:36 and Dirksmeier by 3:32.
After 3 kilometers of the run, Raelert opened a 35 seconds lead on Bocherer and Frommhold. Halfway through the 21km run, Raelert led Bocherer by 49 seconds and Frommhold by 1:11 with Pieter Heemeryck of Belgium trailing by 4:07. After a 3rd-best 1:14:36 run, Raelert finished in 3:42:52 with a 1:34 margin of victory over Bocherer, 2:33 over 3rd place Frommhold, 3:55 on 4th place Heemeryck and 4:08 over Von Berg, who closed with a race-fastest 1:13:23 half marathon for 5th place.
Luxford led the women with a 23:34 swim that gave her a 2 seconds lead on Pedersen, 7 seconds on Helle Frederiksen, 1:08 on Sarah Lewis of Great Britain and Maria Czesnik of Poland, 1:09 on Agnieszka Jerzyk of Poland and 1:11 on Kaisa Sali of Finland.
After 40km of the bike leg, Pedersen, Luxford and Frederiksen broke away to a 1:06 lead on Sali, 2:41 on Jerzyk, 3:36 on Czesnik and 3:40 on Lewis.
After a women's-best 2:16:33 bike split, Pedersen led Luxford by 3 seconds and Frederiksen by 4 seconds at T2. Sali trailed by 1:54 with Jerzyk and Czesnik a little more than 6 minutes arrears.
Inexorably, Luxford drew away, leading at 6km by 39 seconds over Frederiksen, 1:27 on Pedersen and 2:09 on Sali. After 9km, Luxford stretched her advantage to 1:07 on Frederiksen, 2:04 on Sali, who passed Pedersen.
After a women’s-best 1:21:42 run, Luxford finished in 4:07:00 with a 2:34 margin of victory on Frederiksen, 3:28 on 3rd-place Sali and 4:24 on 4th-place Pedersen.
Ironman 70.3 European Championship
June 18, 2017
S 1.2 mi. / N 56 mi. / R 13.1 mi.
1. Michael Raelert (GER) 3:42:52
2. Andi Bocherer (GER) 3:44:26
3. Nils Frommhold (GER) 3:45:25
4. Pieter Heemeryck (BEL) 3:46:47
5. Rodolphe Von Berg (USA) 3:47:00
6. Patrick Dirksmeier (GER) 3:48:18
7. Ivan Tutukin (RUS) 3:47:32
8. Ruedi Wild (SUI) 3:50:03
9. Andreas Dreitz (GER) 3:54:55
10. Stenn Goetstouwers (BEL) 3:55:14
1. Annabel Luxford (AUS) 4:07:00
2. Helle Frederiksen (DEN) 4:09:34
3. Kaisa Sali (FIN) 4:10:48
4. Camilla Pedersen (DEN) 4:11:24
5. Agnieszka Jerzyk (POL) 4:17:02
6. Sarah Lewis (GBR) 4:18:22
7. Natalie Seymour (GBR) 4:20:32
8. Diana Riesler (GER) 4:21:01
9. Maria Czesnik (POL) 4:22:39
10. Maja Stage Nielsen (DEN) 4:22:52