The suspense didn’t let up in the women’s race at Challenge Walchsee in Austria last weekend, with Britain’s Catherine Jameson and Lucy Gossage right up there at the front of the pack throughout the middle-distance race.
Jameson led out of the swim, and over the first 60km of the bike she held a 3:30mins gap over her pursuers Gossage, Daniela Sämmler (GER), defending champ Yvonne van Vlerken (NED) and Simone Braendli (SUI).
Sämmler subsequently fell back, but the remaining trio of Gossage, Van Vlerken and Braendli kept calm and by T2 they had closed the gap. Within seconds of each other the top four women headed out onto the run.
Braendli quickly showed her running strength, putting in 1:25mins over van Vlerken by the 5km mark and 4:22mins by the halfway point. She crossed the line more than seven minutes ahead of second-placed Gossage, with one of the fastest run splits ever seen at Challenge Walchsee of 1:20:30. Van Vlerken rounded out the podium in third place.
Jameson finished in ninth position, around 20mins behind Gossage. Full results here.
A duel between Filip Ospalý (CZE) and defending champ Giulio Molinari (ITA) was expected, but, the Italian went all-out for a win from the beginning. While Ospaly led out out of transition, Molinari attacked hard and rode from ninth place to take the lead in a few short kilometres.
Reaching T2 he had expanded his lead over the mountainous 90km bike leg to 6:42mins ahead of Per Bittner (GER) and Nick Kastelein (AUS) who were just three seconds apart.
On the run Kastelein started eating into Molinari’s lead, followed closely by Bittner and Andreas Giglmayer (AUT), but Molinari crossed the line with over 4mins in hand. Behind him, the fight for second and third was fierce with Giglmayer finally taking second and the day’s fastest run split (1:15:39) and Bittner third. Full results here.
Did you race Challenge Walchsee? Let us know in the comments!