IRONMAN Portugal-Cascais results: Lange pays the penalty as Heemeryck and Pierre take wins

Pieter Heemeryck and Marjolaine Pierre got the wins at IRONMAN Portugal-Cacais 2023.

Staff Reporter
Last updated -

Pieter Heemeryck continued his fine triathlon season with a first ever victory over the full distance at IRONMAN Portugal-Cascais, as the Belgian powered home on the run to hold off Frenchman Dylan Magnien and Spaniard Antonio Benito Lopez.

In the women’s race, Marjolaine Pierre excelled on her full distance debut, as the Frenchwoman secured a slot at a home World Championship next year in Nice after taking a comfortable victory over German Anne Reichsmann and Ireland’s Olivia Mitchell.

Patrick Lange, the pre-race favourite and recent IRONMAN World Championship runner-up, finished in fourth despite running a 2:38:07 marathon, with the German losing time after missing the dismount line in T2 and searching for his bike rack in the wrong area.


Pro Women Report

In the water, the pace was on at the front during the swim, as Spaniard Marta Sanchez opened up a 90 second lead out of the water after swimming a lightning quick 48:39. In second, Swiss Emma Bilham was out of the water in 50:18, with Pierre looking good in third a further +0:15 back.

Behind the front three, a pack of five had formed at a deficit of +2:24, with Nina Derron of Switzerland leading the group that also included Mitchell of Ireland, Simone Mitchell of Great Britain, Hungarian Gabriella Zelinka and German Franziska Reng. Reichsmann, sitting in ninth, was +6:15 off the front.

On to the bike, Pierre managed to reel in Sanchez after less than twenty minutes of riding and by 54km had a lead of over +2:30 at the front of the race. As the main pack struggled to make inroads, Pierre consolidated her lead and Sanchez remained in second, with Reichsmann making the most progress further back.

By 109km, Pierre was +7:00 ahead of Sanchez and +8:44 ahead of Reichsmann, with Bilham of Switzerland the only other athlete within ten minutes of the long time leader. By the time they reached transition, Reichsmann had moved into second and narrowed the gap, but was still +7:38 behind, as the rest of the chasers looked set to battle it out for third.

Marjolaine Pierre IRONMAN Portugal Cascais 2023
Photo Credit: Carlos Iturbe for IRONMAN

Running well, Reichsmann set about reeling in Pierre and looked capable of doing so up until the halfway mark, by which point the gap was down to +4:41. However, Pierre, who is just 23 years old, ran a tactically astute marathon and put down a remarkably even split, pulling away from the German over the last 15km to win by +5:29.

Reichsmann, on the back foot all day after the swim, broke three hours for the marathon and finished second, ahead of Ireland’s Mitchell, who following a strong second half of the bike was able to stay ahead of Bilham and take the final spot on the podium.

Pro Men Report

Making the most of the quick swim conditions in Portugal, Germany’s Jan Stratmann was first out of the water alongside Joshua Lewis of Guernsey in the men’s race, with the pair splitting 42:35 to put close to a minute into the rest of the field heading into transition.

Lopez of Spain, swimming 43:27, was third out of the water at +0:52, with Heemeryck and Lange side-by-side exiting the swim with a deficit of 1:27 to the front and Frenchman Magnien on their heels.

Out on the bike, Lewis led up until the 26.5km mark, by which time Lange had fallen +2:20 behind and Heemeryck, along with Danish young star Thor Bendix Madsen, had closed the gap to the front and were taking turns alongside Stratmann and Lewis.

At 92.8km, the same quartet were at the front, until over the course of just 15km, Bendix Madsen put in a strong surge to split the race up and had gained +1:05 over Lewis, Stratmann and Heemeryck by the 109km mark. At this point, Lange was riding with a group of five athletes further back, including Magnien, Brit Will Crudgington and home favourite Joao Ferreira.

Coming into transition, Madsen remained at the front of the race, but hadn’t been able to extend his lead over Stratmann and Lewis, as the early leaders stayed strong. In fourth, Heemeryck had fallen to +5:20, whilst Lange and co were around two minutes back from the Belgian and seven minutes from the front.

For Lange, the biggest mistake of the day came in transition, as the German shared after the race that he “missed the dismount line in T2 today” which meant he “lost about 5-6 minutes searching in the 70.3 transition for my rack that obviously didn’t exist.” Lamenting the mistake, the two-time Kona winner said he “totally screwed a day that had so much more potential”.

On to the run, as the German was still trying to locate his bike, Heemeryck quickly began to close the gap to the front, and after patiently winding things up, overtook Stratmann and Madsen with ten miles to go and quickly opened up a minute lead.

Pieter Heemeryck IRONMAN Portugal Cascais 2023
Photo Credit: Carlos Iturbe for IRONMAN

By the 32.6km mark, Heemeryck was three minutes ahead of second place Magnien, who along with Lopez was making light work of the run and was beginning to slowly pick away at the Belgian’s lead. Fortunately for Heemeryck, the pair could never quite make the jump, as in the end he won comfortably by two minutes, with Magnien second and Lopez in third.

IRONMAN Portugal-Cascais 2023 Results

Elite Women

  • 1. Marjolaine Pierre (FRA) – 8:49:52
  • 2. Anne Reichsmann (GER) – 8:55:22
  • 3. Olivia Mitchell (IRE) – 9:01:07
  • 4. Emma Bilham (SUI) – 9:05:21
  • 5. Tiina Pohjalainen (FIN) – 9:08:29
Pro Female podium IRONMAN Portugal Cascais 2023
Photo Credit: Carlos Iturbe for IRONMAN

Elite Men

  • 1. Pieter Heemeryck (BEL) – 7:50:07
  • 2. Dylan Magnien (FRA) – 7:52:17
  • 3. Antonio Benito Lopez (ESP) – 7:54:01
  • 4. Patrick Lange (GER) – 7:58:51
  • 5. Thor Bendix Madsen (DEN) – 7:59:52
Pro Male podium IRONMAN Portugal Cascais 2023
Photo Credit: Carlos Iturbe for IRONMAN
Tomos Land
Written by
Tomos Land
Tomos Land is a triathlon & running journalist whose expertise lies in the professional world of short course & long distance triathlon, though he also boasts an extensive knowledge of ultra-running.
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