How close was that? During the last lap of the run at Ironman Lanzarote today three women all appeared to be in contention for the win, but in the end Denmark’s Michelle Vesterby got to the line 47 seconds ahead of Great Britain’s Laura Siddall. Third-place finisher, Justine Mathieux (FRA), finished just over two minutes behind.
Vesterby led the women out of the water, with France’s Manon Genet just a few seconds back and Mathieux coming out of the water third, 15-seconds behind Vesterby. Siddall was fifth out of the water, 2:26 behind.
Genet was on fire out on the bike, course – by the half-way point of the ride she was 5:21 ahead of Vesterby, with Mathieux almost 10 minutes down and Siddall in fourth, 11:28 behind.
That’s how things would stay through the rest of the ride, with Genet’s lead growing to 7:53 on Vesterby, 14:48 on Mathieux and 15:18 on Siddall as the women hit T2. Genet continued to fly through the opening stages of the run – by just over 7 km she had opened up even more time and was 10:29 up on Vesterby. At that point Mathieux and Siddall were running together in third and fourth, 15:23 behind.
Genet would start to fade though, and through 17 km the lead was down to six minutes. A few kms later the lead was just a few seconds, and by 22 km Genet was out and Vesterby was in the lead, but found herself less than three minutes ahead of Siddall, with Mathieux just under four minutes down in third.
The lead kept shrinking, but ever so slowly – through 34 km Vesterby was only 1:07 up on Siddall, who was another 33 seconds ahead of Mathieux. Vesterby managed to find another gear, though, and started to open up some time on the chasers – through 38 km she was 1:19 up on Siddall with Mathieux at 1:51 down. Siddall gamely pushed for the front over the final kms, but Vesterby managed to hang on to take the win in 9:55:04, with Siddall crossing the line less than a minute later in 9:55:51 and Mathieux crossing the line in 9:57:16. Great Britain’s Simone Mitchell took fourth in 10:12;42.