The leaden Embrunman was dominated by two French athletes: Arthur Horseau and Jeanne Collonge won the race with a big lead and outclassed everyone else.
In the men’s race, it was the Dutch defending champion Niek Heldoorn who did come out of the water after 47 minutes as race leader, at that point still accompanied by Gwenael Millot. Already in the transition area, however, the Frenchman lost the connection with the Dutchman, so from that moment on Heldoorn went off on his own. On the tough bike course, Heldoorn then saw Mennesson, who took an extra minute and a half for the swim, catch up first. About halfway through the bike leg, Horseau joined in as well, creating a leading trio of two Frenchmen and one Dutchman. Yet from then on Horseau quickly rode away from Heldoorn, while Mennesson in turn had to let go of the Dutch defending champion.
During the second half of the bike leg, Horseau really started to push the pace, as back in T2 his lead over Heldoorn had increased to nearly eight minutes. Heldoorn mostly raced his own race and saw his lead over Mennesson also grow to nearly three minutes, and with that Heldoorn was still in a great position for a top ranking.
During the marathon, Horseau saw his lead slowly but surely grow a bit more and so he actually ran 42 kilometers fairly unthreatened to an impressive and well-deserved victory. He claimed it in a time of 9:14:09, considerably faster than the winning 9:30 recorded by Heldoorn last year. In turn, Heldoorn saw all the men behind him drop back today and fall far behind: as a result, Heldoorn ran to a rock-solid second place in a time of 9:35:55. Croatian Andrej Vistica finished third in 9:56:53.
Jean Collonge outstanding level
In the women’s race, Jeanne Collonge came out of the water in fifth place, minutes behind Julie Iemmolo, Camille Shaw, Nina Derron and Emma Bilham. Iemmolo, the fastest swimmer of the day, was more than four minutes ahead of Collonge, so the eventual winner had quite a bit of time to make up.
On the bike this went pretty fast on the leaden course and halfway through Collonge had already caught up with all four women and was even well past them. Even in the second half of the bike, Collonge continued to increase her lead to eventually return to T2 with a lead of nearly ten minutes over Iemmolo, while Bilham came back third but had a gap of nearly fifteen minutes.
During the run, the only tension was that for the battle for the silver and bronze: Bilham caught up with Iemmolo to claim second place, but that was well behind Collonge, who won the race overwhelmingly in a time of 11:00:05. Bilham finished in 11:18:57 and Iemmolo third in 11:32:47.