She made a move during the second part of the bike discipline and continued her surge on the marathon: Germany’s Daniela Bleymehl just took a big win at Ironman South Africa. The German athlete, who last year gave birth to a daughter, shared the podium with the German Elena Illeditsch and South Africa’s Magda Nieuwoudt, who took second and third respectively.
Due to choppy waters, the organization decided to shorten the swim to 700 meters. That short swim wasn’t in everyone’s favor, and De Vries was one of the people who was likely not too excited about the 700-meter swim. She may have managed to come out in first place, unlike in a 3800-meter swim, her competitors were right behind her. Only 19 seconds behind De Vries South-Africa’s Jade Nicole finished the swim, Nieuwoudt was in third (+0:36), South Africa’s Susie Cheetham in fourth (+0:36) and Bleymehl was sixth to complete the swim (+0:39).
With so many women right in front of the race, a group of three was formed. De Vries initially seemed to try and drop her competitors, but she wasn’t able to create a real gap. Cheetham and Bleymehl enjoyed their second and third position for the first part of the bike. Getting into the second lap, Bleymehl decided to take over. Bleymehl’s move saw De Vries and Cheetham, who were close to each other, drop back approximately 15 seconds. Nieuwoudt found herself in fourth place, look up to a six-minute deficit.
In the last 60 km, Bleymehl hit the gas. By the time she ended T2, Bleymehl had extended her lead to De Vries to about four minutes. Cheetham racked her bike in third place (+9:26).
During the run, Bleymehl continued the attack that she had started on the bike. The German athlete quickly took off, and that widened the gap between her and De Vries. That continued throughout the rest of the marathon. With a finish time of 8:09:02 hours and a marathon time of 3:11:41 hours, Bleymehl ended up taking the win. Elleditsch finished second, 11:25 minutes behind her. Nieuwoudt took the last podium spot (+15:11).