Kueng, Huetthaler take IRONMAN 70.3 Luxembourg

Manuel Kueng wins IRONMAN 70.3 Luxembourg 2018

Second in 2013, 2014 and 2017, Great Britain’s Susie Cheetham returned to IRONMAN 70.3 Luxembourg on Sunday – and finished in second place for the fourth time. It was a good day for Brit Colin Norris, who used his speedy run legs (he set the fastest split at IRONMAN 70.3 Edinburgh last year), to secure his first IRONMAN 70.3 Pro podium finish.

PRO MEN

Manuel Kueng (SUI) and Romaine Guillaume (FRA) – who would go on the finish first and second – were also the quickest through the opening 1.9km swim, exiting the water in 23:07 with Fernando Toldi (BRA) and David Breuer (GER) for company. Markus Fachbach (GER) was a further 30 seconds later, with an excellent opening swim of 24:15 from Colin Norris.

Guillaume and Kueng were still locked together 90km of cycling later, with Marcus Herbst (GER) riding through to third at T2 (+1:49), before a group of six athletes arrived in close order, five minutes after the leading duo (Norris, Toldi, Philippe Lamberty (LUX), Stefan Overmars (NED), David Berthou (FRA) and Sven Strijk (NED)).

Through the first half of the run, it was Guillaume who was looking the strongest, but his lead was not decisive. 36 seconds clear at 13km, 3km later the Swiss athlete had close that gap and taken the lead, a lead he extended to just over two minutes by the finish.

3rd to 6th were separated by barely a minute at the finish – but it was Norris (fastest run split of 1:16:02), who completed the podium just 24 seconds ahead of Sven Strijk

PRO WOMEN

Unlike the men’s race, the top two finishers overall had a little time to make up after the opening swim. It was Annie Thoren (SWE) and Katja Konschak (GER) who lead the way in the water (25:47), before Huetthaler and Cheetham reached dry land 1:22 later. By 20km on the bike however they were in the first two positions on the road, something that would remain that way for the rest of the day.

Huetthaler (2:20:47) would arrive at T2 almost two minutes ahead of the Brit after her 2:23:02 bike split on the challenging Luxembourg circuit. With Maurenn Hufe (GER) next – over seven minutes later – they would not be challenged on the run.

Cheetham chipped away at the lead of Huetthaler, and by 15km had reduced it to a minute and a half, but would need something significant to change over the final 5km to move into the lead. The Austrian didn’t crack over the final quarter of the run and the gap at the finish was 2:06.

Alexandra Tondeur (BEL), the winner 12 months ago, finished with a 1:20:24 half marathon to complete the podium.

IRONMAN 70.3 Luxembourg – Region Moselle, Sunday 17th June 2018
1.9km / 90km / 21.1km

PRO MEN

1st – Manuel Kueng (SUI) – 3:51:59
2nd – Romain Guillaume (FRA) – 3:54:29
3rd – Colin Norris (GBR) – 3:56:23
4th – Sven Strijk (SWE) – 3:56:47
5th – Marcus Herbst (GER) – 3:57:00

PRO WOMEN

1st – Lisa Huetthaler (AUT) – 4:13:52
2nd – Susie Cheetham (GBR) – 4:15:59
3rd – Alexandra Tondeur (BEL) – 4:20:31
4th – Mareen Hufe (GER) – 4:24:29
5th – Laura Zimmermann (GER) – 4:27:18