Kristian Blummenfelt ended an incredible year on another high as he ran down Magnus Ditlev to win CLASH Daytona 2021 in Florida on Saturday.
The Norwegian added the fastest Ironman distance time ever to his Olympic and World titles under two weeks ago on his full-distance debut in Cozumel.
But the 27-year-old from Bergen didn’t appear to have suffered from those exertions as he produced a typically aggressive run to catch and pass Dane Ditlev for yet another big victory in 2021.
Swim – Kanute leads
Ben Kanute, a fine winner recently at IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside, was first out of the water at the Daytona International Speedway after a 24:36 swim. He was just ahead of fellow American Marc Dubrick.
Third was Britain’s Thomas Davis some 10 seconds off the lead with Blummenfelt right behind him in fourth.
Other big names in contention were Rudy Von Berg in sixth – 16 seconds back – while the Dane Ditlev was ninth, 36 seconds behind Kanute. Another Briton, James Teagle, was seventh.
Bike – Ditlev demolition job
Ditlev’s power on the bike is well known, and he used it to good effect to take over at the front before the leg reached the 20km point.
From there the Dane set about building an advantage he knew would be needed once Blummenfelt was chasing on the run.
By the time the field entered T2, Ditlev had an advantage of 2:23 from Blummenfelt after a blistering bike split of 1:40:45. Blummenfelt meanwhile clocked 1:43:43, exactly the same as third-placed man Von Berg. Kanute meanwhile was fourth, just a few seconds further back at the dismount line.
Run – Big Blu comes through
Ditlev did not need to lose time to Blummenfelt in T2 given the circumstances – but that is exactly what happened. By the time they exited the gap was a little over two minutes.
The exertions of Cozumel did not seem to be having any lasting effect on the Olympic Champion as he set about running down his Scandinavian rival.
By the time the field went through 8km – with 10km remaining – the lead was down to less than a minute and Blummenfelt was charging in typical fashion. By 10km it was just 15 seconds and the Norwegian had Ditlev very much in his sights now.
When Blummenfelt made the pass with just over 6km remaining and surged clear, Ditlev had literally no answer as the Olympic Champion built a gap of 20 metres within seconds.
Blummenfelt’s blistering 58:19 run saw him claim victory by 1:37 from Ditlev with an overall time of 3:08:31.
Von Berg – back in action after missing the Collins Cup through illness – produced a strong performance to take the final spot on the podium. Another returning American Matt Hanson – back after knee surgery – was a fine fourth, adding to his impressive second place 12 months ago.
CLASH Daytona 2021 Results
Saturday December 4, 2021 – 2km swim / 80km bike / 18km run
- 1. Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR) 3:08:31
- 2. Magnus Ditlev (DEN) 3:10:08
- 3. Rudy Von Berg (USA) 3:11:29
- 4. Matt Hanson (USA) 3:12:47
- 5. Brent McMahon (CAN) 3:14:19
- 6. Ben Kanute (USA) 3:16:12
- 7. Thomas Davis (GBR) 3:18:31
- 8. Andrew Starykowicz (USA) 3:20:46
- 9. Taylor Reid (CAN) 3:21:27
- 10. Nicholas Chase (USA) 3:21:53