Challenge Almere-Amsterdam 2018: Dutch Scheltinga and Van Vlerken in the lead

This morning all the pros started their swim in the Weerwater for the Challenge Almere-Amsterdam. Conditions were great and it was Dutch Evert Scheltinga who came back out of the water as first. After about 90 kilometers biking, Scheltinga was still in the lead. Among the ladies also a Dutch leader: Yvonne van Vlerken is going strong in the lead.

Scheltinga was the fastest swimmer: he finished the 3.8 kilometers in 50:04. Right behind him it was the Slovenian Jaroslav Kovacic, who came out of the water only three seconds later. Scheltinga and Kovacic were followed by a group including Cameron Wurf, Marc Unger, Diederik Scheltinga and Tjardo Visser. This group was 3 minutes behind. Scheltinga and Kovacic were in the lead together on the bike, but Scheltinga showed his ambitions by pushing hard and going solo after a while. Meanwhile, Cameron Wurf, a former professional cyclist known as a really fast biker, was gradually closing his gap. After 90 kilometers it was Scheltinga still in the lead though. At this point of the race it was Kovacic as second one minute behind, followed by Wurf only seconds behind.

Evert Scheltinga in the lead at Challenge Almere-Amsterdam. (Foto: André Kwakernaat)

Great women’s race

Debbie Greig (GBR) was the first woman to come out of the water. She finished the swim in 57:59. With this she had a nice gab on Els Visser and Yvonne van Vlerken which came out of the water together after 1:00:29. The two Dutch women, however, had cleared their two minutes after about 45 kilometers of biking and immediately they took over the lead together. This was the moment Van Vlerken shows her dedication to win. She pushed hard and created a gap on Visser. Halfway Visser was in second position almost two minutes behind and Debbie Greig followed a few seconds behind as third.

The first men are expected to finish around 15:30 hours. The women will follow in the next hour.