Sebastian Kienle earned his 4th victory (2010, 2012, 2018 and 2019) in his home town race ahead of Florian Angert and Ruben Zepuntke at Challenge Heilbronn.
Kienle overcame a 10th-best swim with a 3rd-fastest bike split and a race-best run to finish in 3:45:41 with a 2:41 margin of victory over Angert and 5:14 over 3rd place finisher Zepuntke in a 1-2-3 German sweep of the men’s podium at Challenge Heilbronn.
Daniela Bleymehl won her third straight at this venue. Bleymehl set the fastest splits in the swim and run to finish in 4:18:08 with a 10:08 margin of victory over Els Visser of the Netherlands and 12:32 over 3rd place finisher Corina Hengartner of Switzerland.
Florian Angert led the pro men’s swim with a 24:13 split that gave him 1 second lead on Chris Mintern of Ireland, 39 seconds on Marcus Wollner of Germany, 58 seconds on Ruben Zepuntke of Germany, 1:02 on Marcus Reichel of Germany, 1:06 on Philipp Koutny of Switzerland, 1:08 on Evert Scheltinga of Netherlands, 1:11 on Julian Erhardt of Germany, 1:12 on Andreas Dreitz of Germany and 1:13 on Kienle.
After a third-best 2:00:59 bike split, Kienle led the men into T2 by 7 seconds over Zepuntke (2:00:49 bike split), 9 seconds over Dreitz (2:00:51 bike split), 1:30 over Angert, 6:28 over Koutny, 8:05 over Erhardt and 8:07 over Scheltinga.
After a race-best 1:13:30 half marathon vanquished all resistance, Kienle finished in 3:45:41 with a 2:41 margin of victory over Angert (1:14:44 run split) and 5:14 over 3rd place Zepuntke (1:18:34 run). After a 1:19:18 run split, Dreitz took 4th place, 1:44 behind Zepuntke.
Sebi made it a point, in a video, to tell his fans about his new equipment choices. We thought this a good time, at his hometown race, to see whether he's actually racing what he said he was going to be racing.
Of course he's on his Scott Plasma Premium. And yes, he's gotten rid of his front derailleur and is on SRAM AXS 1x, and he appears to have chosen, for this race, a rear Zipp disc and what looks like a Zipp 858 NSW. Yes, he's no longer on Conti and is aboard Schwalbe Pro One tubeless as he said he would be.
He's riding his Speedplay pedals, which seems to be a favorite brand among many or most of the top Germans.
Daniela Bleymehl ruled the day with a race-best 28:34 swim, a strong 2:18:18 bike split and women’s-best 1:24:36 half marathon that gave the German a 10:08 margin of victory over Visser and 12:32 over 3rd place Hengartner.
Bleymehl dueled with half Iron maestra Laura Phillip on the swim and in the long transition zone where Philipp used her run strength to create a short lead on Bleymehl as they began the ride. In the early miles, the duo rode together to build a lead on the field before Philipp broke away from the two-time defending champion. Philipp, who won this race in 2015 and 2016, seemed primed for a third win when she began the run. But soon she started hobbling and grabbing her ankle before dropping out of the race.
May 19, 2019
S 1.9 km / B 84km / R 21 km
1. Sebastian Kienle (GER) 3:45:41 S 25:26 T1 3:32 B 2:00:59 T2 2:16 R 1:13:30
2. Florian Angert (GER) 3:48:22 S 24:13 T1 3:30 B 2:03:38 T2 2:20 R 1:14:44
3. Ruben Zepuntke (GER) 3:50:55 S 25:11 T1 3:58 B 2:00:49 T2 2L 2:22 R 1:18:34
4. Andreas Dreitz (GER) 3:51:39 S 25:25 T1 3:44 B 2:00:51 T2 2:22 R 1:19:18
5. Julian Erhardt (GER) 3:55:36 S 25:24 T1 3:55 B 2:08:37 T2 2:34 R 1:15:09
1. Daniela Bleymehl (GER) 4:18:08 S 28:34 T1 3:53 B 2:18:18 T2 2:48 R 1:24:36
2. Els Visser (NED) 4:28:16 S 30:26 T1 4:08 B 2:24:07 T2 2:44 R 1:26:53
3. Corina Hengartner (SUI) 4:30:40 S 30:35 T1 4:20 B 2:25:51 T2 3:09 R 1:26:48
4. Katharina Wolff (GER) 4:35:08 S 30:24 T1 4:24 B 2:28:00 T2 2:46 R 1:29:35
5. Karen Steurs (BEL) 4:37:09 S 30:29 T1 4:16 B 2:29:36 T2 2:56 R 1:29:55
[PHOTOs: Ingo Kutsche]