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IRONMAN 70.3 Les Sables 2024 results: Madsen’s meteoric rise continues

Danish sensation Laura Madsen holds off British duo to take an exciting win in the latest race in the IRONMAN Pro Series.

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Danish sensation Laura Madsen continued her superb form in what has been a breakthrough season as she took the win at IRONMAN 70.3 Les Sables on Saturday.

The 21-year-old, who only turned professional in 2023, started the year in style with a maiden victory at IRONMAN 70.3 Valencia and backed that up in style when finishing runner-up to India Lee at The Championship in Slovakia.

She then notched a top 10 on her T100 debut in San Francisco and produced a polished display here, moving into the mix on the bike before battling clear on an exciting run and holding off British duo Nikki Bartlett and Kate Curran to take the maximum 2,500 points as the IRONMAN Pro Series made its second stop in Europe.

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Swim – Oliveira sets the pace

It was an overcast day on the west coast of France and it was no surprise to see Pamella Oliveira lead out the swim.

The Brazilian was first out of the water in 22:04 but four others, including Curran, were right on her tail.

Eventual winner Madsen was just over a minute down while home favourites Marjolaine Pierre and Emilie Morier were at +31s and +43s respectively.

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Bike – Madsen makes her move

Onto the bike and similar to the men’s race, it was closely fought at the front with a lead group of six forming – Caroline Pohle (GER), Oliveira, Julie Iemmolo (FRA), Curran, Luisa Iogna-Prat (ITA) and Morier.

They put a minute between themselves and the rest, with Madsen leading the chasers.

But things had changed markedly by the halfway point with Madsen not only shutting down the gap but moving to the front, ahead of Pierre and her fellow Dane Maja Stage Nielsen.

Madsen would make it to T2 just in front but it was going to boil down to a footrace, with no fewer than nine women within 25 seconds.

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Run – Thrilling finale

Defending champion Charlene Clavel (FRA) was the first to make a move early on the run but Madsen was the one able to go with her and the two ran shoulder to shoulder before being joined by Bartlett as a fascinating battle developed.

At the halfway point it was Madsen and Bartlett – making a welcome race return after nine months out – who were locked together, with Curran now hot on their heels in third.

But on the second of the two run loops it was Madsen who started to assert and she crossed the line 40 seconds ahead of Bartlett, with both clocking almost identical 1:19 half marathons.

Curran was a close-up third, just 27 seconds further back, and well clear of Clavel in fourth.

“It was a big surprise for me today. It was super-close all day and fun to be around to battle it out! I had to really put out an A-race to take the win,” said a delighted Madsen.

And similarly happy – and emotional – was runner-up Bartlett. “It feels absolutely amazing – it’s so good to be back,” she said. “I’m chuffed to bits and I’m getting pretty emotional to be honest. Injuries suck and it’s been a long road back.”

Laura Madsen wins IRONMAN 70.3 Les Sables 2024 photo credit IRONMAN
[Photo credit: IRONMAN]

IRONMAN 70.3 Les Sables 2024 Results

Pro Women

Saturday June 29, 2024 – 1.9km / 90km / 21.1km

  • 1. Laura Madsen (DEN) – 4:05:51 [23:11/2:17:39/1:19:31]
  • 2. Nikki Bartlett (GBR) – 4:06:31 [23:43/2:17:14/1:19:28]
  • 3. Kate Curran (GBR) – 4:06:59 [22:11/2:19:05/1:20:05]
  • 4. Charlene Clavel (FRA) – 4:08:24 [23:35/2:17:13/1:22:04]
  • 5. Caroline Pohle (GER) – 4:08:32 [22:08/2:18:56/1:22:06]
Jonathan Turner
Written by
Jonathan Turner
Jonathan Turner is News Director for both TRI247 and RUN247, and is accustomed to big-name interviews, breaking news stories and providing unrivalled coverage for endurance sports.  
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