Denmark’s Kristian Hogenhaug claims the Long Distance world title in Almere
With an impressive run and a course record, Danish professional triathlete Kristian Hogenhaug took advantage of the perfect racing conditions this Sunday in Almere to claim the World Triathlon Long Distance Championship, stopping the clock on 7 hours 37 minutes and 46 seconds. Just over a minute of another Scandinavian, Swedish Jesper Svensson, who claimed the silver medal after an intense duel that had them running shoulder to shoulder for over 35km. Brazilian Reinaldo Colucci finished in the third place.
The race started on a clear and calm morning in the Dutch city of Almere, home of one of the oldest triathlon long-distance races of the world, with over 30 elite male athletes lining up to become the next World Champion. And with the water slightly over 20 degrees, it was Svensson who quickly took the lead of the 3.8km swim, with only Antony Costes (FRA), Long Distance silver medalist in 2019 Pablo Dapena Goonzalez (ESP) and Alexander Berggren (SWE) able to follow him.
Behind the three leaders, a small group of chasers managed to stay around three minutes behind, while some of the race favourites like Andrew Starykowicz (USA) struggled in the water, to leave transition with over 5 minutes of a difference.
As soon as the athletes were out on their bikes, it became a fast a furious chase for Hogenhaug, who started chasing Svensson immediately. The strong tail winds helped, and before the end of the first 90km lap he was already hanging behind the leader, driving through the dikes and mills well over 55km/h.
Behind them, Costes, Milan Brons (NED) , Colucci and Evert Scheltinga (NED) managed to made it through the first lap losing less than five minutes, while Starykowicz had to pull out, with a minor concussion after being hit during the swim and crashing a couple of times in the first kilometers of the flat and fast bike course.
By the end of the 180 km bike, the two Scandinavians had made a bridge over seven minutes, to enter the second transition together. And together they left, to then run comfortably shoulder to shoulder for most of the 42 km run course. Chatting between them, smiling, taking fluids and food almost at the same time.
After 35 km running together, it was Hogenhaug making the decisive move just at the end of the fifth lap to open a gap that was roughly a minute in just 3 kilometers. Running solo, the Danish run the last kilometers just enjoying the course, cheered by the spectators.
Hogengaug, 30 years of age, had the run of his life, clicking 2h41m38s for his marathon run to stop the clock on a total time of 7h37m46s, Danish record over the long distance, course record and the second fastest time ever on a Challenge event, all to claim the most important title of the day: World Triathlon Long Distance Champion. “This one was my 4th long distance race in four months. I didn’t feel good but I think I had a decent swim. I like to go to the front of the race to take control, so as son as I could I did it, but I think I hammered, maybe a bit too much, so then I slowed down a bit. I did a lot of work on the bike and then the battle on the run, was something I will never forget. I never had pushed it that far”, he said after the race.
Only one minute later, Svensson crossed the finish line in second place, to claim not only the World Championships silver medal but also his national long distance record. “I am really happy. It was such a great race today. I lost against an incredible man, congratulations. A marathon is always a marathon. I went out too fast the previous time I did one so today I wanted to take it easy. We had a nice chat while running together (with Hogenhaug), it was fun. I could have never imagined that we would go so fast”, he explained on the finish line.
And to round up a day of records, the third one on the finish, Colucci, also was the fastest Brazilian ever over the 4km swim, 180km bike and 42km run. “I am extremely happy with my day”, he said. ” It was a really fast course. I tried to qualify to Tokyo in the last races but unfortunately couldn’t make it so I decided to focus on long distance races, and it paid off. And I am really happy with my performance today”.
Fourth place was for the local hero, Evert Scheltinga, who at 34 years of age got his best ever results over the long distance, and also smashed the national record. Austrian Thomas Steger finished in 5th place, and Dapena in 6th, both of them with fantastic run splits. But the fastest run split of the day was for another Spaniard, Victor Arroyo Bugallo, who climbed from 18th to 8th overall. The first eight men on the finish line stopped the clock in less than 8 hours, making the 2021 World triathlon Long Distance Championships in Almere one of the fastest races in history.
Related Event: 2021 World Triathlon Long Distance Championships Almere-Amsterdam
|Results: Elite Men|
|Results: PTWC Men|
|1.||Geert Schipper H2||NED||07:55:22|
|2.||Brendan Bischoff H2||NED||11:41:54|
|3.||Ward D'Hhulster H2||BEL||11:57:08|
|Results: PTVI Men|
|1.||Ondřej Zmeškal B1||CZE||10:51:44|
|2.||Fernando Anitua García B3||ESP||11:54:12|
|3.||Alberto Ceriani B1||ITA||13:10:26|
|Results: 20-24 Male AG|
|1.||Leonel Antonio Lucas Vera||ECU||09:50:47|
|Results: 25-29 Male AG|
|3.||Cayetano Redondo Herreros||ESP||08:49:35|