Gallery: Challenge Geraardsbergen 2019 – Brits on the podium

Challenge Geraardsbergen - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade

Heemeryck and Bleymehl take the wins in Belgium at Challenge Geraardsbergen

CHECK OUT THE RACE IN PICTURES BELOW

Winner 12 months ago (HERE), home athlete Pieter Heemeryck has been on an incredible run of form in Challenge Family races. His win yesterday at Challenge Geraardsbergen means that he has won five and finished second once in his last six Challenge Family race starts. Already this year he has won in Salou, Gran Canaria and finished second at The Championship, to add to wins at the back end of 2018 in Forte Village and Daytona.

The race saw strong performances from three British Pro athletes. While Joe Skipper ultimately had to withdraw early in the run with injury, he was in second place at the time and happy with his progress over the middle distance, a format in which his results haven’t consistently match his impressive iron-distance C.V. of recent years.

View this post on Instagram

Yesterday I raced challenge geraardsbergen. This race was going to be a bit of a test for me. Normally when i race a half distance triathlon i feel as though I'm unable to race like I feel I should be able to race in a half distance from my training data, it's like I've got a mental block and I'm just not able to leave it all put there. I finish the race feeling ok but in the race it's like I'm stuck at ironman pace specifically on the bike leg. After a disappointing race at the championship a few weeks a go I was going to change a few things at geraardsbergen and see how they panned out. A few of the changes which I made coming into this race were, a better positioned drink bottle at the front of my bike courtesy of revolver, this is more aero and saves watts, a disc wheel, I also took a road bike out with me to warm up on prior to the race, and racing blind so no power, speed or any other data on the bike. Back to the race itself. I had an ok swim, I think I was oht of the water in around 15th out of about 45. Then onto the bike it felt great to not be looking at a computer and just ride completely to feel. My plan was to just ride at a hard pace so make sure I was breathing continuously and at an effort which felt uncomfortable. This definitly worked as I felt like I was flying around the course and not long after the 1st ascent of the muur I was up to 2nd position. I ended up finishing the bike leg in 2nd only 3 minutes behind Pieter Hieemeryck who is a great cyclist and finished 2nd at the championship a few weeks ago. I was about 40-50 seconds ahead of 3rd and 2-2.5 minutes ahead of the next pack. Unfortunately for me I picked up a niggle last Sunday after a session and when I started the run I was limping. It ended up getting worse and after 3k I had to stop. I was in 2nd place still but the pain was to much and I dont think I would have been able to finish anyway with how it felt. I knew prior to the race it would be a 50/50 if I would be able to finish. I'm pleased with how I rode though and it's a big step in the right direction. I just need to recover from this injury now and hopefully I'll be in Frankfurt.

A post shared by Joe Skipper (@notanotheraveragejoe) on

In his first full year over this format, David Bishop secured a podium spot in third, while in the women’s Pro race, Fenella Langridge battled hard all day but had to settle for second thanks to the biking power of 2018 Challenge Roth champion, Daniela Bleymehl.

Skoda Challenge Geraardsbergen, Sunday 16th June 2019
1.9km / 90km / 21.1km – FULL RESULTS

PRO MEN

1st – Pieter Heemeryck (BEL) – 3:52:50
2nd – Thomas Steger (AUT) – 3:54:38
3rd – David Bishop (GBR) – 3:58:49

PRO WOMEN

1st – Daniela Bleymehl (GER) – 4:18:32
2nd – Fenella Langridge (GBR) – 4:20:48
3rd – Sara Van de Vel (BEL) – 4:23:47

Once again photographer Jose Luis Hourcade (www.joseluishourcade.com) was on hand to capture the race. Check out his images below:

Challenge Geraardsbergen - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Defending champion and hot favourite for the win, Pieter Heemeryck (BEL)
Challenge Geraardsbergen - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Joe Skipper getting ready to go
Challenge Geraardsbergen - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
2018 Challenge Roth champion, Daniela Bleymehl (GER)

 

Challenge Geraardsbergen - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
The Pro Men hit the water…
Challenge Geraardsbergen - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
…closely followed by the Pro Women
Challenge Geraardsbergen - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Plenty of Age-Group athletes too
Challenge Geraardsbergen - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
A strong swim set up Heemeryck’s day in Belgium
Challenge Geraardsbergen - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
A close group at the swim exit
Challenge Geraardsbergen - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Here’s Great Britain’s David Bishop
Challenge Geraardsbergen - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
An empty road ahead – and behind – for the impressive Heemeryck
Challenge Geraardsbergen - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Daniele Bleymehl impressive on the bike, once again

 

Challenge Geraardsbergen - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
A flat and fast section – cobbles to follow!
Challenge Geraardsbergen - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Local support…
Challenge Geraardsbergen - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Plenty of green on this course
Challenge Geraardsbergen - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Joe Skipper got himself up to second place on the bike
Challenge Geraardsbergen - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Fenella Langridge in aero mode, trying to match the pace of Bleymehl
Challenge Geraardsbergen - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
There is a road in there somewhere!
Challenge Geraardsbergen - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Cobbles!
Challenge Geraardsbergen - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Joe Skipper on the Muur van Geraardsbergen
Challenge Geraardsbergen - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
David Bishop was moving well on the bike
Challenge Geraardsbergen - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Injury would force Joe Skipper out of the race early in the run, while in second place
Challenge Geraardsbergen - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Fenella Langridge trying to chase Daniele Bleymehl

 

Challenge Geraardsbergen - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
David Bishop would secure a podium finish on the run
Challenge Geraardsbergen - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Heemeryck was in total control at the front of the Men’s Pro race
Challenge Geraardsbergen - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Bleymehl matched the pace of Langridge on the run
Challenge Geraardsbergen - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Sara Van de Vel was not going hungry – and third place was her reward

 

Challenge Geraardsbergen - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Another podium for the consistent Fenella Langridge
Challenge Geraardsbergen - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Fourth for Elisabetta Curridori (ITA)
Challenge Geraardsbergen - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Heemeryck extends his lead in the Challenge Family World Bonus rankings
Challenge Geraardsbergen - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Bleymehl adds Geraardsbergen to her win in Heilbronn
Challenge Geraardsbergen - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
The Pro Women’s podium celebrates
Challenge Geraardsbergen - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Champagne for the Pro Men too
Challenge Geraardsbergen - Photo Jose Luis Hourcade
Am impressive finish line and post-race party zone