Belgian Pieter Heemeryck just stole the show at the Ironman 70.3 European Championships in Tallin. After an impressive day, he just won the highly competitive race. Among the women, the big favorite was the eventual winner: Laura Philipp struck during the run and crowned herself European Champion.
After the swim, Heemeryck was already in a good position; he may have been fourteenth, but only 30 seconds from the fastest swimmer and near or even ahead of all the favorites. On the bike, Heemeryck rode to the front almost immediately, and then did not leave the lead position. Mike Phillips was able to stay closest and after about fifty kilometers he even joined the Belgian. The two then stayed together until T2 and saw a large chasing group at over three minutes.
Even though a lot can happen during a final half marathon, it was actually pretty clear pretty quickly that Heemeryck would run away with the victory. He immediately ran away from Philipps and halfway through, his lead had already increased to over a minute and a half. Even in the second half of the run, his lead increased a bit more, eventually winning in a time of 3:36:56. Philipps secured the silver in a time of 3:38:55 and Henrik Goesch was third in 3:39:27.
Nice battle between Philipp and Simmonds
Laura Philipp experienced a difficult swim and came out of the water in 11th place, facing a 2:47 minute deficit and with big names like Lucy Hall, Sara Perez Sala, Imogen Simmonds, Lisa Norden and Emma Pallant-Browne ahead of her. On the bike, however, Philipp quickly put things in order and within thirty kilometers she was already second, with only Hall thirty seconds ahead of her, solo in the lead. Not much later, a leading group came together, with Simmonds and Norden in addition to Hall and Philipp. This leading group stayed together until T2, with Emma Pallant-browne following in fifth at just over a minute behind.
During the run, Simmonds and Philipp laid fire to each other, while Pallant-Browne ran to third position and quickly began to make up time. Until the final kilometers, that is, when the British athlete lost time again and it seemed to be Simmonds who ran away from Philipp, until Philipp made up a 15-second deficit anyway and then beat Simmonds in the closing stages. Philipp won the race in 3:59:24, Simmonds was second in 4:00:12 and Pallant-Browne third in 4:02:28.