Strong performances are one way to respond to stormy conditions. Italian Alessandro Degasperi and German Diana Riesler took great victories at the 2015 IRONMAN Lanzarote. The wind was as painful as had been predicted, allowing 1,671 athletes to showcase remarkable fortitude.
Degasperi celebrates first IRONMAN victory
Due to a couple of strong riders, some athletes tried to speed it up in the early stages of the race. Mark Oude Bennink (NED) set the pace in the men’s race for most of the way in the water and exited in 48:12 ahead of Stephen Bayliss (GBR). Within only 32 seconds, the first ten athletes stormed into T1, including most of the favorites, such as Germans Konstantin Bachor and Christian Kramer, and Belgian Bert Jammaer.
While Jammaer took over on the bike, it was on Bachor to jump to the front after a few kilometers into the stunning course. These two were accompanied by Kramer and Guy Crawford (NZL), but Kramer and Jammaer were the ones to keep the pace high. The wind was intense but no reason for Kramer to hold back. He got it going from the front and made his move at about halfway through the bike. When he came off with the best split (5:05:32), only Jammaer was within contact. In his last pro race the two-time Lanzarote champion was 3:32 down, and Degasperi was already 9:18 behind.
While bike course record holder Bachor had to drop out on the bike, Swiss Mauro Baertsch was surprisingly in fourth place after the tough windy ride (+9:45). Kramer led the way on the run, though Degasperi hammered into the marathon. Through 15 kilometers he had reduced the gap down to 4:56, then passed Jammaer for second and was only 2:43 down on Kramer at 25k.
"It was tough, but I had a great run today," said the Italian later. With every single step of his run he downsized Kramer’s advantage, and through 35 k the German’s lead was only 30 seconds. Kramer kept on fighting and was able to dig deep, but four kilometers out from the finish line he had to let him through. After ranking fifth in his debut IRONMAN race last year in Frankfurt, 34-year old Degasperi celebrated his first victory. Kramer crossed the line as a true champion after a great race ahead of Baertsch, the Swiss sensation in third.
Riesler takes it on the bike
Germany's Diana Riesler dominated the women’s race thanks to a bike ride that was none other than sensational. She came out of the water in fourth (55:41) behind Austrian leader Michi Herlbauer (53:21). "I totally concentrated on my race plan," said Riesler later. She did not think about the rest of the field and the extremely windy conditions. She played it smart and focused on her watts.
"It was hard, but I knew I was strong," Riesler said, who wowed the crowd as they watched her take the women's race by storm. Riesler passed Herlbauer at about 30 kilometers and was off and away. When Riesler came off the bike with the best split by far (5:37:12), she was in her own race. She was 19 minutes apart from Herlbauer in runner-up position and nearly 26 minutes in front of British Caroline Livesey in third.
Later, the German told us how surprised she was to hear about the huge gap when she started the run – but, no question, she hurried on. The 30-year old ran a 3:16:21 to win the race with a stunning lead ahead of Herlbauer and British Caroline Livesey. It was Riesler’s second IRONMAN victory after taking IRONMAN Malaysia last year.
Top 5 Women
1. Diana Riesler GER 0:55:41 5:37:12 3:16:21 9:56:04
2. Michi Herlbauer AUT 0:53:21 5:58:16 3:15:06 10:13:50
3. Caroline Livesey GBR 0:58:48 5:59:26 3:25:53 10:31:57
4. Li Shiao-Yu TPE 1:05:32 6:07:42 3:12:48 10:33:43
5. Verena Walter GER 0:57:53 6:06:21 3:32:48 10:44:41
Top 5 Men
1. Alessandro Degasperi (ITA) 0:51:11 5:12:13 2:47:16 8:56:50
2. Christian Kramer (GER) 0:48:21 5:05:52 2:59:14 8:59:31
3. Mauro Baertsch (SUI) 0:52:05 5:10:49 2:54:14 9:04:46
4. Miquel Blanchart Tintó (ESP) 0:48:34 5:24:27 2:51:43 9:10:26
5. Bert Jammaer (BEL) 0:48:26 5:09:28 3:08:18 9:12:06
Courtesy: Ironman Asia-Pacific