Joerie Vansteelant (BEL) proved his supremacy in Long Distance Duathlon is far from over after charging to his fourth consecutive World Championship title in Zofingen today. Vansteelant controlled his pace on the first 10km run and challenging 150km bike before beasting the final 30km run ahead of silver medallist Rob Woestenborghs (BEL) and Soren Bystrup (DEN), who took third.
The men’s race got off to a furious start, as Woestenborghs attacked the front half of the 10km run course, carrying a 6-second advantage over defending champion Vansteelant, Bystrup, Anthony Le Duey (FRA), Thibaut Humbert (FRA), and David Duquesnoy (FRA) onto the second lap.
Not much changed in the second half of the run for the men, as the six headed out on the bike course within a close proximity to each other. Woestenborghs would have set out on the challenging 150km bike course with a 10-second advantage, but he gave up his lead to Vansteelant when he couldn’t find his bike in transition.
Vansteelant capitalized on the opportunity to take off on his bike first, followed directly by Woestenborghs. The men rode together, and by the time they hit kilometre 34, the Belgian duo owned more than three minutes on their competitors. Woestenborghs hung with his compatriot the duration of the bike, pulling into transition just two seconds later. The next to hit T2 was Humbert nearly eleven minutes later alongside Bystrup.
It didn’t take long for the king of long distance duathlon to take off for his crown when his feet hit the ground. Within the first 2.5km, Vansteelant pulled away to a 50-second lead over Woestenborghs. Vansteelant extended that gap to two minutes by the uphill midway turn mark. Behind them, the hunt for bronze heated up as Bystrup overtook 2011 silver medallist Humbert with 15km to go.
Vansteelant torched through the final downhill three kilometres, passing the female athletes who started an hour ahead of him, as well as leaving his competition quibbling behind him. Vansteelant recorded his fifth world title just seconds slower than his course-record setting time last year with a time of 6 hours, 7 minutes and 58 seconds.
Fellow countryman Woestenborghs was second best 4 minutes and 36 seconds later. Bystrup made his way to the podium with a third-place finish in a time of 6 hours, 12 minutes and 38 seconds.