Britain’s Lucy Charles has been crowned the winner of Challenge Family’s inaugural The Championship 2017 at Samorin, Slovakia.
More than 900 competitors from 57 nations lined up alongside the Danube River – in the shadow of the incredible x-bionic® sphere, and conditions were favourable with light winds and a temperature of 20 – 28°C.
The elite women’s line-up included Heather Wurtele (CAN), Annabel Luxford (AUS), Emma Pallant (GBR) and Lucy Charles (GBR) – fresh from her win at Ironman Lanzarote.
Charles took an early lead, exiting the water 25 secs in front of Luxford, followed by Salthouse (+ 01.26). However out on the bike leg, Luxford took the lead with Charles dropping down to third place, whilst Kimberly Morrison (GBR) put in a strong performance to climb up to second place 45km into the bike leg.
Entering T2 it would be Kimberly Morrison (GBR) in first, Luxford (AUS) in second and Wurtele (NZL) in third.
On the run course, Morrison started with a 53 second lead, but after a dominant start to her run, Luxford took, what seemed at the time, a comfortable lead. Within the first 5km of the run, Wurtele had climbed up to second place to continue to reduce the gap between herself and Luxford, with Charles emerging on both their tails.
Charles put in a spectacular run and in the last kilometre stole the lead, crossing the finish line in an impressive 04.14.32.
Charles said: “I can’t believe it. I could see that I was closing the gap on the run, but I didn’t expect to claw in the race win. Epic course, epic race and I really am over the moon. I think the 20m draft rule is great, and certainly works in my favour.”
OMG!! What a race! Loved it! Super exciting racing with classy ladies! Unreal to take the win