A big win for Diede Diederiks in the women’s race of today’s European Championship Middle Distance Duathlon at Powerman Alsdorf. The Dutch athlete dominated the race from start to finish. In the men’s race, it was Belgian’s Kenneth Vandendriessche who showed to be the strongest as he claimed the European Championship title.
In the first 10K run, Diederiks already found herself right in the mix. A lead group of seven athletes went out onto the bike course simultaneously, but once in the saddle, Diederiks disappeared for her chasers. Diederiks needed 1:28:39 hour to complete the 60 km of cycling, which gave her a nice advantage once she racked her bike for the final 10K run.
Swiss’ Melanie Maurer may have been a few seconds faster on her second run, it wasn’t enough to make up for the time she lost in T1 and during the bike part. It was therefor Diederiks who broke the tape (2:45:01 hour), Maurer finished 2:34 minutes later in second place and Dutch Marieke Brouwers settled in third (+6:41).
Unlike in the women’s race, not all men stayed together during the first run. It was France’s Benjamin Choquert who took a lead as he noted the fastest run time of the day, not only for the first run (29:43 minutes), but also the second run (30:17 minutes). However, he lost his lead during the bike part.
Behind Choquert, a group of six men jumped onto the bike. Among them were Vandendriessche and Germany’s Simon Huckestein, who ended up winning and taking third respectively. Dutch’ Lars van der Knaap, who would turn out to cross the line in third, was about 45 seconds behind this group.
In the saddle, Vandendriessche moved to the front, while Van der Knaap started to make up time too. On the final run, Vandendriessche didn’t feel much pressure from behind anymore. With a time of 33:19 minutes, he completed the final 10 km and won the race. Van der Knaap ran to second place and Huckestein completed the podium.