DON & MULLAN Dominate Ironman Mallorca01-Oct-2014
Thanks to a tough course, a lot of spectators and a strong pro field, the inaugural IRONMAN Mallorca marked a great new event on the European IRONMAN tour. “This course is absolutely unique,” said the 36-year-old Tim Don (UK) after the race. “Although I live in the U.S., I decided to come over to Europe to race here in Alcudia.
” Three weeks after finishing third at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship Mont-Tremblant, former Olympic-distance world champion Don was one of the clear favorites when the gun went off early in the morning. Once in the water, Switzerland’s Manuel Kueng set the pace. He led the way in the non-wetsuit swim and exited the water in 44:46 and would go on to lead the race for more than six and a half hours. Don was in second place after the swim, leading a group of nine in 45:25. On the bike, Kueng was allowed to open up a gap of nearly five minutes through the first 115 kilometers while the men chasing behind embarked on a tactical battle.
“The race exploded at the climb,” said Don later, talking about the moment when the group of pursuers hit the long uphill section 120 km into the bike. “It was like riding the Tour de France, everyone was attacking everywhere.”
Kueng came off the bike with a 3:26 advantage, but 13 km into the Don took over the lead and never looked back, finishing his first IRONMAN race in 8:34:02. Behind him, Miguel Angel Fidalgo from Mallorca ran a great marathon to finish second in his debut at the distance, too. Switzerland’s Mike Aigroz was happy with third after dealing with many injuries for the last few years.
Even though she didn’t win, it was an emotional finish for Dede Griesbauer in the women’s race. “This has been my first good race in four years,” said the two-time IRONMAN champion. Four days after her 44th birthday, she raced just like Kueng–at the front for much of the day. Griesbauer exited the water in 50:10, only 18 seconds behind Mette Pettersen Moe (NOR). On the bike, Griesbauer quickly moved to the front and by the time she reached T2 she led the race by 31 seconds over fast German biker Nina Kuhn, and was a minute ahead of Pettersen Moe who was in third. Kuhn seemed to be in a great shape, but dropped out minutes later.
“The first 10 kilometers of the run were extremely hard,” said Griesbauer. Through three km Pettersen Moe took the lead again, but the American was not willing to give up the lead that easily. The Norwegian got passed by Griesbauer again through 15 kilometers, but co-favorite Eimear Mullan (GBR) was quickly moving up. At the half marathon mark Mullan was only a minute behind and after 30 km she made her move to pass Griesbauer.
“It was tough, when I passed Dede, but I never looked back,” said the three-time IRONMAN UK champion from Ireland. “The last kilometers were not nice but I made it.”
Mullan celebrated the title at the beach of Alcudia in 9:24:17, but Griesbauer seemed to be even happier to be runner-up in 9:27:09 after suffering a couple of tough years. Thanks to a solid race and a strong marathon, German Astrid Ganzow ran into third place.
2014 Ironman Mallorca Results
Top 5 Men
1. Tim Don (GBR) 8:34:02
2. Miguel Angel Fidalgo (ESP) 8:38:08
3. Mike Aigroz (SUI) 8:40:29
4. Miguel Blanchart Tintó (ESP) 8:41:20
5. Carlos López Díaz 8:45:09
Top 5 Women
1. Eimear Mullan (IRL) 9:24:17
2. Dede Griesbauer (USA) 9:27:09
3. Astrid Ganzow (GER) 9:31:10
4. Mette Pettersen Moe (NOR) 9:38:58
5. Kamila Polak (AUT) 9:44:33
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