At the full Ironman Distance, on a super-flat, super-fast course, Sarissa De Vries set a World Triathlon Long Distance Championship women’s record of 8:32:04 for a Netherlands home country victory at Almere-Amsterdam. While she was closely pursued by Manon Genet of France all the way to the end, De Vries led start to finish – with a 53:31 fastest swim, a 4:32:41 fastest bike split built up a big lead. Then De Vries wrapped it up with a women’s 5TH-fastest 3:01:49 marathon which was just quick enough to hold off Genet’s late race rush by 1:18.
After a 4th-fastest 56:26 swim and a third-fastest 4:36:09 bike split, Denmark’s Michelle Vesterby was within striking distance of De Vries and Genet, but Vesterby fell off the hunt with a 3:07:38 run split which left her with the bronze – 6:49 off the lead.
The 2014 long distance World Champion Camilla Pedersen of Denmark led the swim with De Vries sticking right on her feet as the duo carved out a 3 minutes lead on an all-star chase group including Elisabetta Curridori of Italy, Vesterby, Ilona Eversdijk of Netherlands, Gen4et, and Sarah Crowley of Australia.
DeVries and Pedersen rode together for a short while, until medical issues forced Pedersen to stop to check with on course medical personnel and fell off the pace. Halfway through the 180km ride, De Vries had a minute gap on Vesterby and Genet, followed by Crowley, who was competing one week after having a go at Challenge Roth. Finding the double, a bridge too far, Crowley, who fell out of co intention. And so, De Vries entered T2 with a minute lead on Genet.
When they started the run, it became clear that the race had come down to a two-women duel between De Vries and Genet. From the start, De Vries went all in and built a significant lead over Genet and Vesterby. But at 28 km, De Vries started struggling with stomach woes that forced her to stop and recoup for short breaks.
With De Vries struggling, Genet sliced away at De Vries lead until De Vries regained her form and so to speak stopped the bleeding. De Vries then crossed the line in 8:32:04 with a 1:18 lead on Genet and 6:49 on Vesterby.
“I just don’t have words for this and I don’t realize I’m World Champion in such a time,” she told World Triathlon media. “It’s really unbelievable.” It was an emotional win for De Vries, who lost her grandmother only a few days before and burst into tears after finishing.
“It’s very, very special. I watched this race when I was 10-years old when my dad competed in it. I always said that I wanted to race it when I grew up and now I have raced it three times and today a World Championship!” De Vries said she drew strength from her grandma. “The last 10km were so hard, nothing was in my body anymore, but I managed to finish.” she said.
Manon Genet told World Triathlon media: “I really gave it all. I hoped for the win, I was told that Sarissa wasn’t doing so well and I tried to push her but she is strong and I tried to be my strongest. It’s second place and it means the world for me,” she said.
The bronze medal was for Vesterby her best ever place for in the World Championships (she placed 4th one year at Kona). “I am not disappointed,” said Vesterby. “I always race to win and I pushed the bike really hard but the two girls finished ahead of me were just stronger today. I heard that I broke the bike record here so that’s pretty awesome.”
World Triathlon Long Distance Championships
September 12, 2021
S 3.8k / B 180k / R 42k
1. Sarissa De Vries (NED) S 53:31 T1 1:55 B 4:32:41 T2 1:55 R 3:01:49 TOT 8:32:04
2. Manon Genet (FRA) S 56:28 T1 1:44 B 4:36:09 T2 2:01 R 2:58:01 TOT 8:34:22
3. Michelle Vesterby (DEN) S 56:26 T1 1:40 B 4:36:09 T2 2:15 R 3:07:38 TOT 8:38:53
4., Elisabetta Curridori (ITA) S 56:06 T1 2:00 B 4:48:44 T2 1:50 R 2:52:32 TOT 8:41:08
5. Leanne Fanoy (UAE) S 1:00:50 T1 2:39 B 4:42:52 T2 2:27 R 2:56:28 TOT 8:45:14
6. Sarah Crowley (AUS) S 56:30 T1 1:39 B 4:44:59 T2 2:15 R 3:03:17 TOT 8:48:37
7. Annah Watkinson (RSA) S 1:00:45 T1 1:59 B 4:47:11 T2 2:31 R 2:58:43 TOT 8:48:37
8. Saleta Castro (ESP) S 56:37 T1 1:38 B 5:01:41 T2 2:36 R 3:10:13 TOT 9:12:44
9. Line Bonde (DEN) S 1:02:17 T1 1:58 B 4:45:21 T2 2:22 R 3:21:36 TOT 9:13:33
10. Simona Krivankova (CZE) S 1:07:41 T1 2:07 B 4:56:11 T2 2:05 R 3:08:59 TOT 9:17:01