Lucy Gossage wins IRONMAN Lanzarote. Again.

Chief Correspondent

Tenth career iron-distance title for the Duracell Bunny

AG 70.3 World Champion Simone Mitchell finishes second overall

Lucy Gossage (GBR) and Alessandro Degasperi (ITA) both earned their second IRONMAN Lanzarote titles on a great day of racing on Saturday. After a podium sweep in 2017, this year British women took three of the first four position across the line.

Winner in 2014 and third 12 months ago, Lucy Gossage only made the decision to race about three weeks ago – and it proved a great one. That is her fourth consecutive IRONMAN victory in less than 12 months, adding to UK, Wales and Emilia-Romagna, Italy.

Starting the day with a solid 58:43 swim in her weakest discipline, that left the Brit just under seven minutes behind Camille Donat (FRA),but perhaps more importantly, only four and half minutes behind Michelle Vesterby (DEN). She was also in the company of the experienced Yvonne Van Vlerken (NED), with Nikki Bartlett not too far back with a 1:00:04 swim. Never a fish in the water, that was a good start to a great day for the part-time oncologist / part-time ‘pro’ triathlete / full-time role model.

Donat was soon caught on the bike, leaving the three pre-race favourites at the head of the race – Vesterby leading, with Gossage and Van Vlerken chasing. Van Vlerken started to struggle after the first 60km, and would soon start to lose time and eventually pull out of the race with sickness. Meanwhile, Gossage picked up the pace, and on the climb of Mirador Del Rio would take the lead, reaching the top with a 30 second margin over Vesterby, with Bartlett also riding well, less than four minutes down.

Gossage continued her efforts over the second half of the course and on return to T2 had built her lead to 4:10 over Vesterby, with Nikki Bartlett maintaining third place, now 9:45 in arrears. Just two minutes further back, Simone Mitchell – winner of our ERDINGER Athlete of the Month award last year – was now in fourth place overall, the leading Age-Group athlete by a long way. Overall AG winner last year at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Champs, she was having a great day.

Gossage looked in control on the run. Speaking post-race she said that her focus was on ensuring that she at least matched those chasing and maintained her position, rather than specifically looking to extend her lead. Vesterby was running well, and over 20-miles the 4:10 gap had only extended to 6:48. Gossage (3:15), Vesterby (3:19) and Bartlett (3:16) would all run very similar marathon times, the result being that Lucy never looked threatened for the win.

The real action on the run course was coming from Simone Mitchell. The fastest runner from the start, she moved past Bartlett and then with 10km to go she had Vesterby in her sights too. Had she pushed too soon? Absolutely not. She passed the Dane and her pace continued. She would finish with a 3:08:00 marathon, the fastest AG athlete overall by almost 42 minutes.

In crossing the line second – matching the feat of Louise Collins in 2010 – she finished just five minutes behind Lucy Gossage. With two Umeke trophies from previous Kona podium finishes already, can anyone stop her finishing on the top step in October this year? Simone told me, “Had a plan, stuck to it too and it paid off! Job done. Super happy!!”

Of her win, Lucy said: “It was a really hard race, but I felt amazing on the bike, and most importantly, I felt comfortable in the lead without worrying too much about the girls behind.” I´m so happy!”

After the disappointment of missing out on her start at IRONMAN South Africa, Nikki Bartlett can take much away from her return to racing.


The Men

The 3.8km swim saw four athletes emerge in close order; Martin Dejker (NED) in 49:11, leading out Alessandro Degasperi (ITA), Ivan Raña (ESP) and Romain Guillaume (FRA). GB’s Brian Fogarty was well off the pace with a 1:03:02 swim, but he would soon make some significant progress.

Winner in 2015 and second last year, Degasperi was soon in the lead and would maintain that position all day. Over five minutes clear by the top of Mirador Del Rio, he was still over four minutes in front at T2, chased by Ivan Raña (ESP) with Dejker coming in third, alongside Brian Fogarty who had ridden a 4:59:38 bike split – the best all day – to move from way outside the top-20 Pro’s at T1 to fourth at T2.

Degasperi gradually increased his lead over the first 20-miles of the run to almost eight minutes, but was manning his efforts too, regularly stopping at the aid stations to ensure he was on top of hydration and nutrition. It was a professional performance.

Raña was able to pull back a couple of minutes over the final 10km, but it was too little, too late, the Italian showing once again his passion for this race. Cyril Viennot (FRA) ran 2:51:00 to secure the final podium slot, while Fogarty would finish as the 14th Pro athlete.

IRONMAN Lanzarote, Spain – Saturday 26th May 2018
3.8km / 180km / 42.2km


1st – Alessandro Degasperi (ITA) – 8:52:16
2nd – Ivan Raña (ESP) – 8:58:37
3rd – Cyril Viennot (FRA) – 9;01:36
4th – Jens Petersen-Bach (DEN) – 9:04:04
5th – Andrej Vistica (CRO) – 9:06:08

14th – Brian Fogarty (GBR) – 9:33:32


1st – Lucy Gossage (GBR) – 9:49:27
2nd – Michelle Vesterby (DEN) – 9:57:11
3rd – Nikki Bartlett (GBR) – 10:01:46
4th – Saleta Castro Nogueira (ESP) – 10:04:26
5th – Marta Bernardi (ITA) – 10:11:57


1st – F30-34 – Simone Mitchell – 9:54:29 (Second fastest time overall **)

3rd – F25-29 – Annie Frederick (GBR) – 12:09:27
3rd – F30-34 – Tase Jackson (GBR) – 11:43:37
3rd – F40-44 – Sian Tovey (GBR) – 11:30:05
2nd – F55-59 – Julie Harrison (GBR) – 13:50:07
2nd – F65-69 – Glynis Greenough (GBR) – 16:49:59

3rd – M25-29 – Daniel Anderton (GBR) – 10:08:19
2nd – M60-64 – A.J. Lane (GBR) – 12:27:10

(** Note – in Lanzarote, the entire field starts together in one wave start. Pro athletes get a (very small) head start, just a few yards ahead of the masses).

John Levison
Written by
John Levison
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