Germany’s Andreas Raelert took the Ironman Austria win this weekend. Raelert won the race in 7:59:51 hours ahead of Maik Twelsiek from Germany (8:11:36) and David Plese from Slovenia (8:19:03).
"I’m very happy with my victory," said Raelert after his finish at the Wörthersee, "The race was extremely hard, the more I was carried to this success by the great audience here. I'm happy that I was able to finish in a sub 8hr-time."
The Iron-distance world record holder had to work hard during the swim. Raelert initially was part of a small leading group, before the duo Colpaert/Santi pulled away. Bart Colpaert was first out of the water in 42:54 minutes, Raelert was in sixth place after the swim (44:25 minutes). Thanks to a quick transition, Andreas Raelert started on the bike course in fourth position.
According to his match plan, Andreas Raelert focused offensively on the bike, as the Belgian Bart Colpaert immediately started the bike part with a high speed performance. After about 150 kilometers also Maik Twelsiek and GB’s Phil Graves attacked. Graves went on the run course as the race leader, Andreas Raelert finished the 180 kilometer bike ride in 4:30:40 hours. He was in fourth place, 3:46 minutes behind Philip Graves.
He started into the marathon with a tough pace and was able to pass David Plese and Maik Twelsiek on the first kilometres. After 9km, Raelert caught up with Graves (who would be hit with injury halfway through the run) and took over the lead. After this, he gained more and more time on his pursuers and ran to the victory – with the fastest marathon of the day (2:40:07 hours).
"I want to thank especially this magnificent audience," resumed Andreas Raelert. "The spectators have given me almost wings. To cross the finish line here as the winner is an unforgettable experience. I will take this wonderful impression as a great motivation for my preparation for Kona."
Erika Csomor took the women’s title, with Ireland’s Eimear Mullen third.