Belgian Kenneth Vandendriessche wins tough Ironman Lanzarote

Archive picture Kenneth Vandendriessche (Instagram)

Somewhat remarkably, there wasn’t a world-class field of competitors at the start, but that doesn’t make Kenneth Vandendriessche’s victory any less memorable; the Belgian struck in the closing stages of Ironman Lanzarote and ultimately won the race in 8:39:56.

Vandendriessche had to make up quite a bit of ground, because after the 3.8 kilometer swim he was nineteenth and with his swim time of 57:10 he was 6.24 minutes behind the fastest swimmer of the day, Dane Mathias Petersen, who swam did 50:46. At this point in the race these two men could not have known that they would meet at the end of the day in the battle for victory.

One thing is for sure; Vandendriessche started his catch up immediately on the bike, because after sixty kilometers he had made up about half of his gap and was riding together in a group with Michael Weiss, Maximilian Hammerle and Samuel Hürzeler. Only leaders Petersen and Philipp Bahlke were still in front, with a gap of about three and a half minutes.

In the end, Petersen proved to have the strongest bike legs after all, as he quickly rode away from Bahlke, who eventually returned to T2 1:14 minute behind. Vandendriessche’s gap had also grown at that point; the Belgian came back to T2 after 5:43 minutes, although by then he had discharged his companions and could start the final marathon in third position. He caught up with Bahlke very soon and after about thirty kilometers he also passed Petersen. He didn’t hesitate and immediately passed him, creating a gap almost immediately. That lead only grew in the final kilometers, allowing Vandendriessche to enjoy his victory a bit more. He took that victory after 8:39:56. Petersen claimed second spot at 2:49 minutes behind and Bahlke third spot at 11:17 minute behind.

Here you’ll find our race report on the women’s race.