The world of professional triathlon descended on the island of Mallorca on Saturday – with not one but two major events taking place on the largest of the Balearic Islands – and the first was Challenge Peguera-Mallorca 2021.
Two close races saw Switzerland and Germany take on top of the results sheets, while a British triathlete grabbed an excellent podium too.
In our preview we were pretty clear that London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Nicola Spirig was the odds-on favourite to extend her sequence of middle distance wins this season. That was indeed the final result – but this was far from the multi-minute dominations which have characterised the Superfrau this year.
Great Britain’s Lucy Hall, of course, led the way through the swim, building an advantage of almost a minute from the chasers who were led by the returning Jodie Stimpson. Spirig, Imogen Simmonds (SUI), Julia Hauser (SUI), Luisa Baptista (BRA) and India Lee were all part of that chase group too. With so many great riders there, Hall’s advantage was certainly not going to allow her an easy ride to the finish!
Lucy has really been learning her middle-distance craft (and this was her third consecutive weekend of racing), and she was clearly not going to be intimidated by the names behind her. A fine rider in her own right, that she added the fastest bike split too, giving her a two-minute advantage starting the run.
If Spirig was going to win, she was going to have to work for it this time round.
After that swim and bike effort, Lucy produced a strong run (1:24:29) on what is a far from flat and fast course, but the two high-profile Swiss stars Spirig (1:20:15) and Simmonds (1:21:34) were able to make the pass late in the run, the trio being separated at the finish by less than two minutes.
Hall maintained her ‘podium every race’ 2021 season to date, and given the quality of the athletes that finished ahead, perhaps one of her best-middle distance performances yet.
PRO Men – Funk power on the bike
The men’s race was packed with quality and the final podium saw three very familiar names with just 77 seconds between them.
Germany’s European Triathlon champion Frederik Funk gave up a minute through the opening swim – but his modus operandi kicks in on the bike. Only compatriot Nils Frommhold could match him. Funk faded pretty badly two weeks ago at Challenge Salou, where Collin Chartier (USA) took the win. Chartier was back – would Funk’s three-minute advantage over the American plus Denmark’s Magnus Ditlev, be enough?
Funk soon dropped Frommhold on the run and set out his stall for the win, looking strong and holding the chase from behind. Into the second half of the run however and the Chartier Express was in progress and the gap was closing.
Funk was in no mood to yield though and while the gap closed, he was fully focussed on getting back into the winner’s enclosure. He did just that with 39 seconds to spare.
Challenge Mallorca 2021 Results
Saturday October 16, 2021
1.9km / 90km / 21.1km
1. Frederik Funk (GER) – 3:45:502. Collin Chartier (USA) – 3:46:293.. Magnus Ditlev (DEN) – 3:47:074. Nils Frommhold (GER) – 3:49:295. Youri Keulen (NED) – 3:50:2717. Sam Wade (GBR) – 3:55:1223. Thomas Davis (GBR) – 4:00:18
1. Nicola Spirig (SUI) – 4:14:432. Imogen Simmonds (SUI) – 4:15:583. Lucy Hall (GBR) – 4:16:424. India Lee (GBR) – 4:19:585. Luisa Baptista (BRA) – 4:22:3110. Lucy Byram (GBR) – 4:29:56
Originally posted on TRI247.com. Click here to Read More.