Jolien Vermeylen and Janus Staufenberg win spectacular Europe Triathlon Cup Holten

Rachel Klamer (left) still can smile after being defeated by Jolien Vermeylen (right) (Picture: FB Triathlon Holten)

In a rainy Holten – the Netherlands – Belgian Jolien Vermeylen and New Zealander Janus Staufenberg took stunning victories at the Europe Triathlon Cup Holten. Especially the women’s race was thrilling.

Immediately after the swim, a nice leading group of seven women formed, which included both Klamer and Vermeylen. There was good cooperation in this leading group, so a chasing pack did not manage to get any closer. On the other hand, there were also no attacks – even on the steepest parts of the infamous climb in Holten – and the cycling provided little fireworks in that regard.

Still, the battle was very enjoyable to watch. The same was true of the run, where it quickly became apparent that Klamer and Vermeylen had the strongest running legs. Side by side, the two women ran together for kilometers; sometimes Klamer in the lead, sometimes Vermeylen and so sometimes simply side by side. Both women looked strong and relaxed and meanwhile Holten held its breath: who was going to win here and would home-favorite Klamer be able to claim her seventh victory in Holten?

The finale was thrilling, with both ladies going maximum to break the other. First it was Klamer who accelerated, but Vermeylen didn’t struggle and went over it in turn not much later. For a moment it looked like Klamer was about to break, but she too fought back to place another acceleration immediately after and retake the lead. Yet in the end, it was Vermeylen who placed a final devastating acceleration to take the win in 1:00:06. Klamer followed just four seconds behind in second. The bronze was for Olivia Thornbury; the New Zealander finished third in 1:00:46.

In the men’s race, a large pack quickly formed on the bike. It stayed that way until T2. During the run it went particularly fast and that leading group quickly fell apart. That was mainly thanks to Staufenberg, who eventually took the victory in a time of 53:49. Australian Bradley Course finished second in 54:00 and Daniel Damian from Canada was third in 54:13.