Niek Heldoorn claims the gold medal at Embrunman

(Archive photo: Instagram Heldoorn)

It’s a day to remember for the Dutch Niek Heldoorn, because the athlete just won the Embrunman. Heldoorn noted a time of 9:30 hours on this extreme Long Distance, that’s known for the climb up the Col d’Izuard (2360 meters above sea level). Heldoorn managed to keep off America’s Kennett Peterson (+0:41) and Croatia’s Andrej Vistica (+2:58).

Already after the swim part, Heldoorn was in the front of the race, because with a swim time of 49:36 minutes he was first to hop on his bike. During the climb up the Col d’Izoard Heldoorn had to deal with some strong and well-trained climbers. He ended up noting the 5th fastest climbing time of the day, but had to accept he was overtaken by one athlete. Heldoorn set things straight during the second part of the bike, rode back to the front, and ended up leading as he entered T2.

Heldoorn maintained his lead with a strong marathon, running 2:52 hours. Peterson constantly stayed at a distance of approximately three minutes from Heldoorn, but in the final kilometers he ended up closing the gap to 41 seconds. Peterson crossed the line in second place, while Vistica rounded the podium.