Bart Aernouts finished 3rd at the IM 70.3 European Championship in Elsinore after a fierce battle with Wild. The Belgian crossed the finish line in a time of 3:44:38. His BMC-Vifit Sport teammate Maurice Clavel came home in 9th, suffering from a crash 2 days prior to the race. Rodolphe Von Berg (USA; 3:40:22) won the race as Adam Bowden (GBR; 3:40:52) finished second.
Bart Aernouts had a decent swim, coming out of the water in 24th place with a little under 3’ disadvantage over the lead of the race. In the early stages of the bike, Bart charged his way through the field. Just before the halfway point, Aernouts settled in the big chase group about 2’ behind the leaders in 5th place. Bart started the run in 8th place, battling for 5th place with 3 other athletes. One of these athletes was his team mate Maurice Clavel who had been riding in that chase group together with Bart. That big chase group started to catch up on the two athletes in front of them in the first kilometers of the run. From that point onwards, it came down to a battle between Aernouts and Wild for the final spot on the podium. With 2k to go, the two still ran side by side. In the final kilometer, Bart was able to step up his pace to break away from Wild and crossed the line in 3rd place. The BMC-Vifit Sport athlete managed to post the fastest bike split of the field to finish in a time of 3:44:38. His teammate Maurice Clavel came home in 9th place crossing the line in 3:48:06. He was in a lot of pain all race long after suffering from a crash 2 days ago. Also Patrik Nilsson toed the line today, but he was forced to withdraw from the race dealing with convulsions during the swim. He has his eyes set on Frankfurt in a few weeks, so he didn’t take any risks today.
Afterwards Bart Aernouts analyzed his race with a big smile on his face. “I felt solid in all three disciplines today. I had a decent swim and on the bike I felt quite good straight away. It was a different story than 2 weeks ago in Challenge Samorin, where I had no power at all. Here I could push hard on the bike to catch the group in front of me. The other guys in front where just too strong. I tried to come as close as possible and just waited for the run. It was a tough bike course today, so I knew everybody would be tired which would result in a run for strong athletes. In the run, I was surprised that I felt so good straight away. It was a nice battle with Rudi Wild for 3rd place. Obviously, the two guys in front of me were too strong for me. I’m happy to take the final podium spot at the European Championship and the associated points for Kona.”
Of course Maurice Clavel was disappointed with his 9th place finish. “Today was a really hard day. I was able to race at only 80% of my capabilities today due to a bike crash 2 days ago. So it’s unfortunate for me not to defend my chances in full force.”
Photo credit Charles Robertson
Emma Pallant takes back to back win at Windsor Castle Triathlon
Emma Pallant successfully defended her title at Windsor Castle Triathlon. “It’s always good to come back here in such a massive team event. It is fun as this is one of the fewer races where we can start with the male athletes. I posted the 2nd fastest running split of the day, so I love to run with the guys. I’m really happy with the win at the Royal Windsor Castle Triathlon and all set for IM Austria in 2 weeks.”