France’s Leon Chevalier and Australia’s Carrie Lester just claimed the win of the Embrunman. Given the extreme amount of climbing – among others the climb of the Col d’Izoard – the race is known as one of the toughest full distances in the world. You can see that in the finish times, because these weren’t too fast. With a finish time of 9:29:18 hour, Chevalier still broke the course record, though. Lester needed 11:06:23 hour to complete her race.
Chevalier shared the podium with the French Etienne Diemunsch, who took silver (+9:49) and Croatia’s Andrey Vistica, who finished in third (+10:09). But, of course, it all started in the water: after the swim, Chevalier was nearly three minutes behind the leader: Diemunsch. After 98 km of cycling and climbing the Col d’Izoard Chevalier succeeded at reaching the front. Diemunsch had dropped back a little after the climb and was riding in third place, approximately four minutes behind Chevalier. It was France’s William Mennesson who had passed him on the bike, as he was now Chevalier’s first chaser. He was about one minute behind Chevalier at this point.
In the second half of the bike, Chevalier really made the difference, creating a gap of nearly four minutes to Mennesson. Diemunsch was still in third place when he racked his bike (+8:27), but on the marathon he soon moved up as Mennesson slowed down. After 2:55:54 hour, Chevalier was the first to come across the finish line. After a nice battle between Diemunsch and Vistica – who were only seconds apart at the finish line – Diemunsch claimed the silver and Vistica took third.
While the top ten men all finished within three minutes, in the women’s race Lester was already in the lead from the very first moment, making it clear she was going to take home the win. After the swim – she clocked 53:49 minutes – Lester was already quite far ahead of her competitors. The second lady, Hungary’s Gabriella Zelinka, needed over five minutes longer to complete the 3.8 km of swimming. Halfway through the bike, Lester had already created a lead of fifteen minutes, which she extended in the final 90 km to 25 minutes. On the marathon, Lester showed that she still had enough left in the tank to put together a strong run. Running 3:21:38 hour, she was the one who got to break the tape. Zelinka passed the finish line 39:08 minutes later, claiming a second place. Belgium’s Xenia Luxem confiscated the last podium spot (+1:23:45).