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.
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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.
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.
— HUUB Design (@HUUBDesign) June 16, 2019
Skoda Challenge Geraardsbergen, Sunday 16th June 2019
1.9km / 90km / 21.1km – FULL RESULTS
1st – Pieter Heemeryck (BEL) – 3:52:50
2nd – Thomas Steger (AUT) – 3:54:38
3rd – David Bishop (GBR) – 3:58:49
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: