Iestyn Harrett outruns Kristian Hogenhaug to Challenge Gran Canaria victory

Iestyn Harrett takes the win at Challenge Gran Canaria (Picture: Challenge Family)

In a thrilling race that went completely upside down during the run, Iestyn Harrett delivered perhaps his best performance as a professional athlete. After a stunning duel with Kristian Hogenhaug, the Briton just won Challenge Gran Canaria.

The swim in the Atlantic Ocean did not immediately create big differences: at least not among the men at the front of the race. It was Italian Fabian Alejandro who was first back on the beach after 23:23 minutes, immediately followed by Casimir Moine, Luke Pollard, Tom Vaelen, Iestyn Harrett, Ugarte Ramos Mikel, Alex Woodman, Jack Hutchens, Dries Matthys and Kristian Hogenhaug, among others.

On the bike, however, one man was supreme and that was Hogenhaug. The former World Champion Long Distance rode incredibly strong and rode away from everything and everyone. When Hogenhaug came into T2, after ninety tough kilometers including tough climbs and descents, his lead had increased to one and a half minutes: Ramos Mikel, Vaelen, Moine, Pollard, Matthys and Harrett had work to do.

During the run, Hogenhaug, the favorite, maintained his lead at first. Yet it was Harrett who, after a few kilometers, began to make up more and more time and, after thirteen kilometers, even went alongside Hogenhaug. From that point on there was a British leader in the race.

In the closing stages Harrett did not crack anymore; even though his lead over Hogenhaug did not get much bigger, it was more than enough to claim victory. He did so in a time of 3:44:54. Hogenhaug was second in 3:45:29 and Ramos Mikel third in 3:46:26.