James Teagle has claimed a strong win at the inaugural LOTTO CHALLENGEGDAŃSK in Poland. The Brit set off fast on the run and the rest of the men’s field could not come anywhere near him on the half marathon. Behind him an exciting battle between South Africa’s Matt Trautman and Spain’s Pablo Dapena Gonzalez, saw Trautman put down the hammer on the run and take a second place. With Dapena Gonzalez in third place, the podium was complete. It was also an incredible race for Sarissa de Vries from the Netherlands. She had already shown her form earlier this season during ANFI CHALLENGEMOGANGRAN-CANARIA and CHALLENGERICCIONE, but today she showed that she is not yet done with that winning feeling by taking a convincing win at LOTTO CHALLENGEGDAŃSK. Behind her Lucy Hall (GBR)– who was in the lead for most of the race – finished in second. Leanne Fanoy (NED) completed the podium.
It may have been nearly three years since we last saw him race, but it was no surprise to see Lukasz Wojt – a former swimmer born in Gdańsk, but living in Germany – take the lead in the swim. Wojt left no room for doubt, with an impressive swim time of 22:21 minutes over 40 seconds ahead of his closest competitors: Dapena Gonzalez and Poland’s Brembor Tomasz. Six athletes where on the heels of the lead group. These chasers included James Teagle (GBR), Franz Loeschke (GER), Matt Trautman (RSA), Henrik Goesch (FIN) and Evert Scheltinga (NED), coming out of the swim 1:39 down on Wojt.
Groups formed on the bike
While initially Wojt seemed able to maintain the gap he created in the water on the bike, after about 30km the first men found his wheel. Some shuffling eventually created a six-men strong lead pack with Wojt, Loeschke, Teagle, Trautman, Dapena Gonzalez and Goesch. Just before T2, Teagle broke away and was first on the run, 0:19 ahead.
On the run Teagle quickly took off and it was going to be hard for anyone to catch Teagle, but behind him an interesting battle between Trautman and Dapena Gonzalez was taking shape. Trautman showed he had the best running legs of the day. While Teagle lifted the finish tape, the South African sprinted to second place. Dapena Gonzalez crossed the line in third place.
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Women’s Race: Hall clocks a faster swim time than some pro men
Catching some pro men – who started two minutes earlier – Hall was the fastest swimmer in the women’s field. Within 23:43 minutes the British athlete had reached her bike. It was over 1:35 minutes before the second woman, De Vries, followed. Behind her there was a gap of nearly two minutes to Italy’s Santimaria Margie, who was in third place in T1.
De Vries chases down Hall on the bike
Once in the saddle, Hall continued her attack. She soon increased the gap to De Vries, who was giving her all to the chase. At the halfway mark on the bike, the time difference was three minutes. Lehrieder followed in third . These positions didn’t change during the bike leg with Hall heading out on the run course in first place. De Vries however managed to close the gap a little in the final kilometres. The Dutch athlete racked her bike 1:10 minutes behind the Hall.
With De Vries a little over one minute behind, Hall went out on the run course with a dangerous chaser breathing down her neck. After about 5km, De Vries ran herself to first place. Hall hung in strongly for a well-earned second place. Fanoy took the third podium spot, overtaking Germany’s Carolin Lehrieder.