The red squad of the Uplace-BMC Pro Triathlon Team was well represented in Lanzarote with 4 athletes at the start line: Helle Frederiksen, Will Clarke, Romain Guillaume and Axel Zeebroek.
In the men's race, Will Clarke (GBR: 04:04:16) took the win in a close battle with Victor Del Corral (ESP: 04:04:22) and his team mate Romain Guillaume coming in third (FRA: 04:06:53).
In the women's race, our Hy-vee US Champion, Helle Frederiksen (DEN: 04:29:58) dominated from start to finish smashing the course record by 10 minutes. Lucy Gossage (GBR: 04:50:04) came second more than 20 minutes behind Frederiksen, while Nicole Woysch (GER: 05:03:28) came third with a gap of 33 minutes on our winner.
Helle Frederiksen wins Ironman 70.3 Lanzarote
Helle Frederiksen demonstrated her excellent shape from start to finish. She came out of the water just 45" behind the leading men, with a lead of almost 4' on Lucy Gossage. On the bike she gave it all on her 'beastie' and looked strong throughout. Her lead grew up to a very comfortable 15' going into T2. As a real champion, she didn't want to ease off despite the comfortable lead. She won the race in 4:29:58 shaving 10 minutes off the previous course record.
The result of hard work
After the disappointment of Mont Tremblant, Helle Frederiksen was happy to answer with an incredible victory: "In Mont Tremblant, my aim was to become World Champion. I wanted to show myself and the world how dedicated I work to become the best.
Today, I feel really good after such a hard race. I am very pleased that I was able to demonstrate my current race level. The swim was pretty good, I came out of the water just behind the leading men. Riding alone was tough. After 60K on the bike, I started to get tired. But on the run, I felt strong again, only until the last 3K, but I fought until the end. I am happy that I train for a reason and that my hard work pays off. I showed that today: I will always race hard, that is my way of racing."
Will Clarke wins Ironman 70.3 Lanzarote, Romain Guillaume 3rd & Axel Zeebroek 9th
In the men's race, the Uplace-BMC team mates started off strong. Axel Zeebroek came first out of the water together with Marko Albert, with Will Clarke following just behind. Romain Guillaume followed 30" further back. It was Romain Guillaume, winner of IM Lanzarote earlier this season, who took the lead 10K into the bike and pulled away from the rest of the field. Axel Zeebroek and Will Clarke were part of the chasing group. They were working hard to keep Victor Del Corral behind. Del Corral, last year's winner and a strong runner, was fighting back on the bike managing to reduce his gap of almost 4' at T1 to 1' on the chase group going into T2. At the start of the run, Will Clarke started to close the gap on Romain Guillaume to eventually take the lead around the halfway point. From than on, he fought an exciting battle with Victor Del Corral who came closer and closer. In an extreme fight for the win, Will had eventually 6 seconds left to take the win. Romain Guillaume took a very solid third place after leading most of the race. Axel Zeebroek, who started the run in second position, felt his old foot injury coming back and didn't want to take any further risks for his participation in Kona.
Best race of my life
Obviously, Will Clarke was a very happy man at the finish line: "It was an amazing race. I actually had an average swim and just followed the pack. I felt good the first half of the bike. Romain was too strong. We were focusing on keeping our lead on Victor Del Corral as big as possible. I had a lead of 1' on Del Corral at T2, I was afraid he would catch me during the run. He closed the gap with 20" in the first lap and 10" in the second lap. In the last lap, it was a mental game. I had to dig deep and push hard. I am over the moon, this is an amazing feeling. This was the best race of my life. The next days, I will relax in Sands Beach Active."
Great swim and strong bike
The always-smiling Romain Guillaume clearly had a good reason to be happy today: "I had a super swim today. Until the last buoy, I was part of the leading group. I felt good today on the bike. I stayed in the group the first 10K and then took the opportunity to push a little harder. Without going really deep, I noticed immediately that there was a gap. I decided to continue in my rhythm. At the bottom of the Tabayesco, I had a lead of 1'40" and my lead grew to 3'40" at the top and 4' at T2.
During the run, I started off at a controlled pace. I noticed my lead was decreasing, so I speeded up until the10K mark. The last 10K were tough, I noticed that Pieter Heemeryck was coming closer, so I did every thing to secure my spot on the podium. I finished 2 tough training weeks, so I was not fresh during the last part of the race, but it was a great test for Kona."
The 9th place was not exactly what Axel Zeebroek had in mind at the start of the race: "I had 2 good training weeks, every thing went really well. Today, I was only at 70 or 80% of what I am capable of. It was disappointing that I lacked the strength today.
The level of the race was pretty high despite the field. As expected, the swim went well. On the bike, Romain was clearly the strongest. For me, it was difficult to stay in the group during the climb of the Tabayesco. We knew Del Corral was coming closer. So, in the last 15k of the bike leg, I gave it all so Will would have a bigger chance to win. I started running as second (because of penalty of 4' to Evert Scheltinga). After a few kilometers, I felt my old food injury again. I did not want to take any risks for Kona. My 9th place is a detail. Now I have to take the time to recuperate and try to find the key to be 100% in Kona. Today, there was a great visibility of the team with two excellent victories and a nice 3rd place, what more can you wish?"
Video images of the finish interview with Will Clarke:
Video images of the finish of Helle Frederiksen: