Magnus Ditlev’s dream come true: first IM win at Ironman Cozumel

Magnus Ditlev took his first Ironman victory at Cozumel. (Archive picture: James Mitchell)

It didn’t go as fast as last year – then Kristian Blummenfelt won the race in 7:21, the fastest time ever on a Long Distance – but Magnus Ditlev won’t be bummed about that: he just recorded his first Ironman victory when he crossed the Ironman Cozumel finish line first. After winning Challenge Roth earlier this year, now the Danish athlete won his second world-class race in his career.

When Belgian Pamphiel Pareyn came out of the water first after 41:28 minutes (currents constantly from behind, ed.) it was Ditlev, as way more often, who was quite a bit behind; he came out of the water 12th and was then just over two minutes behind. While a large lead group of nine men formed on the bike, including Rudy von Berg, Pieter Heemeryck and Andy Potts, Ditlev began his pursuit directly from T1.

While the race was initially postponed a bit due to bad weather, in the meantime all opened up completely on the bike and it became bloody hot. It didn’t bother Ditlev though, as after only 50 kilometers he found himself in the lead group already, which was unchanged until then. Ditlev did not stay in the group for long, because as often happens, the Dane made the difference on the bike, proved to be of a totally different level and rode away from everyone.

During the bike, Ditlev saw his lead increase to 1:56 minute on Heemeryck, who in turn had also escaped from the leading group and thus started the marathon in second place. That initial leading group had completely fallen apart after 180 kilometers anyway, because after 4:38 minutes only the numbers three and four followed: Von Berg and Potts. 

While Ditlev was immediately in his rhythm, Heemeryck dropped out of the race after a little more than seven kilometers into the run; the Belgian dropped out for still unclear reasons. Meanwhile, it was the Brazilian Fernando Toldi who started a nice advance, while Potts and certainly Von Berg had a tougher time and dropped off the podium. After 28 kilometers, Ditlev had a lead of 4:31 minutes over Toldi, of 6:13 minutes over Jan van Berkel, who also was gaining positions, and 6:18 minutes over Potts. Pareyn was again a handful of seconds behind that, while Von Berg was already more than seven minutes behind and was thus sixth. 

Ditlev was in no danger in the final kilometers and won the race in 7:50:41. Van Berkel still passed Toldi and took second in a time of 7:53:20. Toldi thus finished third in 7:54:00.