Last week Imogen Simmonds won Challenge Barcelona, today she won Challenge Mallorca. The Swiss athlete is on a great final stretch of her season and triumphed in stunning fashion on the Spanish island.
Challenge Mallorca almost was a repeat of last weekend’s Challenge Barcelona with Lucy Buckingham (GBR) leading out the water in 25:09, followed by Simmonds who was 1:22 down. Buckingham retained a strong lead throughout the bike, something even a minor mechanical on the first climb didn’t jeopardise. By around 40km, Sif Bendix Madsen had caught Simmonds and they continued to chase Buckingham, eventually catching her in the final kilometres, entering T2 together and leaving Buckingham in third. Out on the run and Simmonds immediately took charge and for the first two laps, it seemed Buckingham was continuing to push her. However, in the third lap Buckingham left the course due to illness leaving Simmonds with a clear lead to take the win in 4:21:10. However, while the race for first was decided, the race second and third was far from done. On the last lap, Laura Madsen ran down Bendix Madsen to take second in 4:23:51 and then Diede Diederiks’ 1:24:16 run split took the Dutch athlete onto the final place on the podium in 4:24:20.
“It was a really hard day today to be honest,” said Simmonds at the finish line. “The last lap of the run felt like it was just a case of survival! Thank you so much to all the spectators and the entire Calvia region. Everyone was out cheering and as always it was a real festival of triathlon so thank you. They were tough conditions today and I made the mistake of underestimating them and paid for it on the second half of the run but luckily I had enough of a gap to have a bit of a buffer.”