Anne Haug and Daniel Bækkegård were this year’s winners
The ninth edition of the Club La Santa IRONMAN 70.3 Lanzarote was held this weekend in the municipality of Yaiza, returning to the international triathlon calendar after last year’s suspension and offering its best version of itself on a sporting day with magnificent weather conditions. The bay of Playa Blanca, the National Park of Timanfaya and the marvellous mountains of Los Ajaches are just some of the landscapes that the participants of this triathlon took away as souvenirs.
The coastal town of Playa Blanca was the epicentre of the competition, hosting the IRONKIDS 70.3 on Thursday, with the triathletes who will reach Kona in the future taking centre stage. Saturday was the big event for the adults. In this ninth edition, the race saw the participation of 670 athletes of 44 different nationalities, reflecting the popularity of the event.
Outstanding international triathletes such as Anne Haug, Nikki Bartlett, Daniel Bækkegård and Emilio Aguayo did not want to miss the event and did their utmost to win the competition. Let’s not forget that this ninth edition was a chance for the athletes to win one of the thirty places on offer for the World Championships in different categories, as well as two slots for professional triathletes, guaranteeing an impressive triathlon spectacle.
The competition started at eight o’clock in the morning in Marina Rubicón with a special tribute paid to La Palma and its inhabitants in these difficult times. The triathletes then faced the first 1.9 kilometres that made up the swim. In this first segment, Slovakian Richard Varga grabbed first place and came out of the water at Playa Dorada as provisional leader, closely followed by Denmark’s Bækkegård. Great Britain’s India Lee did the same in the women’s category, although the gap between her and her main pursuer was even greater.
After exiting the water, the competitors headed straight to their bikes to complete the 90.1 km course. The forces were equalised and the most experienced in the cycling segment closed the gap with the front runners. Bækkegård accelerated to snatch first place from Varga and another Dane, Mandsen, moved into second place. Nikki Bartlett overtook her compatriot Lee and moved up to take the lead in the women’s category
Finally, the stunning seafront promenade of Playa Blanca took centre stage in the running segment in the final 21.1 km of the race. Daniel Bækkegård remained at the head of the pack and no one could knock him off the top spot. On the women’s side, Anne Haug and Nikki Bartlett produced a race to remember in which they fought to the end. Germany’s Haug finished the race eight minutes ahead of Bartlett who came in second.
1. BÆKKEGÅRD (DEN) – 04:03:30
2. NOODT (GER) – +0:54
3. MANDSEN (DEN) – +4:43
1. HAUG (GER) – 04:30:31
2. BARTLETT (UK) – +8:33
3. LEE (UK) – +11:04
All the participants crossed the finish line with a big smile on their faces after having achieved their goal, taking with them the experience of having participated in one of the most highly rated circuits in this modality of triathlon.
Photos: ©JamesMitchell / ©Pedro Pérez