Lotte Wilms dominates Ironman Klagenfurt, Mathias Petersen to impressive victory

Mathias Petersen steps on the Ironman Klagenfurt podium (Picture: Ironman Austria Insta)

Dutch Lotte Wilms and Dane Mathias Petersen have just won Ironman Klagenfurt. The race, which was marked by big differences within the pro field, was dominated by both athletes, but especially Wilms was from an extraordinary level: she led the race from start to finish.

It is a special achievement for Wilms, all the more so because Ironman Klagenfurt was only her second Long Distance, after she made her debut at the classic distance late last year. Thanks to her swim time of 48:31 minutes, she immediately took an ample lead and her lead over Fabia Maramotti, the second woman out of the water, was 4:16 minutes already.

It wasn’t that Wilms slowed down after the swim, because from then on she only saw her lead increase. So fast, in fact, that halfway through the bike leg the next lady up was Jade Nicole Roberts, at that point more than 11 minutes behind Wilms. During the second half of the bike, some women did get closer, but in T2 Laura Zimmerman followed in second, still over nine minutes behind Wilms. Roberts was among Zimmerman, as was Austria’s Gabriele Maria Obmann.

A nine-minute lead is a lot, but during a Long Distance a lot can happen and lead can sometimes disappear like snow in the sun. Wilms overwhelmingly had her race well laid out, however, and even though her lead got smaller and smaller, it happened very slowly and her lead remained more than comfortably large. Halfway through she was still 8:14 minutes ahead and with a few kilometers to go only a minute of that had disappeared. Wilms was therefore able to run to an impressive victory and she claimed it in a time of 8:56:51. Obmann finished second in 9:02:55 and Zimmerman third in 9:04:04.

The development of the men’s race was quite different: German Lukas Wojt set the fastest swim time (44:04) and got a chasing group of ten men out of the water behind him: they did need more than 3:30 minutes longer for the swim. This group included eventual winner Petersen.

On the bike, it was Cameron Wurf who once again took off on his own and pulled the entire field apart. When he was back in T2, he had a lead of almost five minutes over a chasing group of four men: Petersen, Wojt, Arnaud Guilloux and Georg Enzenberger.

Of that group, Petersen proved to be the fastest runner, but it still took some time for him to catch Wurf. After about 25 kilometers, he succeeded and Petersen was the new race leader. From then on he did not relinquish the lead and won the race in 7:56:39. Wurf was second in 8:02:42 and Enzenberger third in 8:08:28.