TRI247
Search
shop

The Championship 2022 results: Gustav Iden back with a bang!

Norwegian superstar overcomes tough start to reign supreme in Samorin

Chief Correspondent
Last updated -
SHOP

It started with an average swim for Gustav Iden at The Championship in Samorin on Sunday, and it almost finished with a flat tyre in T1.

Despite all of that, the Norwegian superstar duly bounced back from his St George disappointment with a sublime run performance to top the podium in Slovakia.

Very, very impressive…

Advertisement

Swim – Varga leads, Iden flat

Displaying his renowned bullet-from-a-gun style take-out speed which was notably absent from the front pack at the IRONMAN World Championship in St George, Josh Amberger (AUS) was clear at the front of the men’s race within 90 seconds of the start. With Slovakia’s own ‘fish’, Richard Varga, in the race, he was not going to be allowed to simply swim away solo however.

Two of the absolute best swimmers in the sport, they were soon clear of the chasing pack. By the time the swim exit came around, Varga had pushed on to the front to head towards T1 with a 20-second advantage over the Australian.

Around a minute back, the chase group comprised Tom Davis (GBR), Kyle Smith (NZL), David Breinlinger (GER), Miki Taagholt (DEN) and Pieter Heemeryck (BEL). Heemeryck had a brilliant race here in 2019, finishing a close second to Sebastian Kienle after leading for most of the day. After an indifferent couple of years, could a return to the x-bionic sphere reignite his race results record?

There was then a clear 25+ seconds to the next group – Sam Wade (GBR), Frederic Funk (GER), Youri Keulen (NED), Thomas Steger (AUT), James Teagle (GBR), Jorik Van Egdom (NED), Stenn Goetstouwers (BEL) and at the back of that pack, race favourite Iden.

No massive shocks there – but then potential disaster impacted Gustav – who collected his bike and found the front tyre was flat. Quickly finding a track pump (we assume running tubeless, and relying on sealant), he was quickly able to inflate the tyre. Having missed racing in St George, this was not the kind of luck – or heart rate spike – he needed.

Would it even work?

Advertisement

Bike – Heemeryck moves to the front

The early shakeout on the bike saw both Miki Taagholt and Pieter Heemeryck emerge from the chasing group and move to the front, where they joined Varga in a leading trio.

At 40km they were almost a minute clear of Davis and Amberger, with Frederic Funk (no surprise), also using his bike power and seemingly not far short of joining them. It wouldn’t be the German’s day though.

In good news, Iden was still in the race, his tyre had held and he was 2:23 back and in the company of the main chase group, among which was Kyle Smith and Thomas Steger. Iden had seemingly moved on from those early troubles and he was still very much in the race. Indeed, probably still the favourite with his incredible running strength still to come.

The Championship 2022 Pieter Heemeryck Bike Aero
Pieter Heemeryck – Photo Credit: Jose Luis Hourcade

Over the closing kilometres, Heemeryck made a move and was able to reach T2 alone, 30 seconds up on Taagholt and Varga. There was significant danger around a minute and a half back, with Iden and Steger, two of the premier runners in the sport well within contention. That group also included Smith, Thor Benndix Madsen (GER) and Davis. After some up and down races, the Brit was ‘in’ the race all day. Great to see.

After a great swim and bike, Varga’s day would have at least a small bump to contend with – a 30-second penalty to be served for a bike dismount line issue.

Advertisement

Run – Gustav in a class of his own

When you have a lead of barely 90 seconds over Gustav Iden, you are always going to be running scared – whoever you are. When Gustav came running past me at the 2km mark, he looked sublime and barely out of second gear.

A lap later, Steger and Varga were putting up a good show having bridged back to form a chasing trio – but that was short-lived. The Norwegian soon said his goodbyes though, and set off in search of the lead and soon took up position number one. Pure class. Simply a different class.

The Championship 2022 Steger Iden Varga
Photo Credit: Jose Luis Hourcade

With his lucky (still unbeaten) hat, Iden cruised home on the last lap to another high-profile middle-distance win. And again – despite that flat tyre issue – another result which hasn’t seem him even threatened in the very late stages. He really is the middle-distance king.

Varga was rightly thrilled with second place. Often referred to as the ‘swimmer’, he said in an emotional post-race comment, “I f*&^ing proved my doubters wrong!”. Nice one Richard!

Steger won the battle of Team Pewag for third, while Taagholt had Smith at full sprint from about 150m out, almost catching him on the line.

Challenge Family The Championship 2022 results

Sunday May 22, 2022 – 1.9km / 90km / 21.1km

PRO Men

  • 1. Gustav Iden (NOR) – 3:43:44
  • 2. Richard Varga (SVK) – 3:45:05
  • 3. Thomas Steger (AUT) – 3:46:33
  • 4. Miki Taagholt (DEN) – 3:46:56
  • 5. Kyle Smith (NZL) – 3:46:56
  • 6. Youri Keulen (NED) – 3:47:53
  • 7. Thor Bendix Madsen (DEN) – 3:48:26
  • 8. Thomas Davis (GBR) – 3:48:43
  • 9. Pieter Heemeryck (BEL) – 3:49:41
  • 10. Ondrej Kubo (SVK) – 3:52:55
Pro Men Podium The Championship 2022
Photo Credit: Jose Luis Hourcade
John Levison
Written by
John Levison
TRI247's Chief Correspondent, John has been involved in triathlon for well over 30 years, 15 of those writing on these pages, whilst he can also be found commentating for events across the UK.

THE SBRX Show

In episode 1 of our new SBRX Show we sit down with ultra runners and coaches Kim and Jayson Cavill to get their take on the Barkley Marathons and triathlon & trail running gear reviews, training tips and more
Discover more
sumarpo triathlon swimming wetsuit
Sumarpo Vanguard triathlon and swimming wetsuit review – Can it challenge the mainstream tri wetsuit brands?
sea swimming sumarpo triathlon wetsuit
How to get faster at open water swimming – triathlon swim training tips to up your race pace
Challenge St. Pölten 2023 - Photo Credit José Luis Hourcade
Best middle distance triathlon bike courses – from the fastest courses to the most epic scenery
TRI-FIT RAPID-X goggles black
TRI-FIT RAPID-X swimming goggles review – A contender for the best swim goggles for pool and open water?
Challenge St. Pölten 2023 - Photo Credit José Luis Hourcade
Five reasons to race Challenge St. Pölten – kickstart your race season with this scenic middle distance triathlon
latest News
India Lee wins The Championship 2023 photo credit Challenge Family
Top contenders name their biggest rivals ahead of The Championship clash in Slovakia
ST GEORGE, UTAH - MAY 07: Anne Haug of Germany reacts after crossing the finish line in third place during the 2021 IRONMAN World Championships on May 07, 2022 in St George, Utah. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)
Anne Haug bounces back with SENSATIONAL season opener at IRONMAN Lanzarote
Emma Pallant-Browne finished the day with a remarkable run in Mallorca.
IRONMAN 70.3 Chattanooga: Start time, preview and how to watch live
Team Norway wins Mixed Relay at European Games
Team Norway seal the deal in Huatulco at last chance Olympic Games qualifier
Kristian Blummenfelt Paris Test Event [Photo credit: World Triathlon / Wagner Araujo]
Kristian Blummenfelt admits he was “expecting more” from WTCS Yokohama
triathlon on your terms
Never miss out with our triathlon alerts & digest. Get a dose of adventure & inspiration with Boundless.
Invalid email address
The SBRX Group

Proudly elevating endurance sports through content, products & services

SBRX
RUN247
Share to...