Full-distance Ironman racing returned to Mallorca today for the first time in five years, with an exciting pair of pro races. (More on the women’s race in an upcoming story!) France’s Leon Chevalier proved to be the best on the day, hanging on for a close win over Germany’s Florian Angert, with Australian Cameron Wurf rounding out the podium.
It was Angert, the winner of the Challenge Championship in Samorin, Slovakia, in August who led the men out of the water. He had a lead of about 40 seconds on a group of three that included Challenge Almere (and World Triathlon Long Distance) champion Kristian Hogenhaug, and a lead of a about 2:40 on a big group that included Wurf.
The Australian super-cyclist rode his way to the front by about 30 km into the hilly, 180 km bike course, but had company in the form of Chevalier and Hogenhaug. Those three would stay clear of the rest of the field through the bike, hitting T2 with a lead of 3:55 on Angert and 5:55 on another German, Boris Stein. With the next-closest competitors over 10 minutes behind, it appeared that those five would be the ones contending for the podium positions.
Chevalier quickly took control of the run and pulled clear of the two men he’d led off the bike with, but started to fade in the last half of the run as Angert started to make his move towards the front of the race. With a few km to go Chevalier appeared to be in trouble as he stopped to refuel at an aid station – by that time Angert had surged past Wurf to move into second position. He was still 1:37 ahead of the German at that point, but by the time he got to the very-welcome finish line (7:57:03) the lead was down to 55 seconds as Angert took the runner-up spot (7:57:59). Wurf rounded out the podium in 8:04:03, with Hogenhaug taking fourth in 8:06:01 and Stein finishing fifth in 8:09:40.
You can find full results from today’s race here.