Markus Fachbach and Kathrin Walther won the Challenge Almere-Amsterdam today, after very exciting races in the polders of Flevoland. The German Fachbach was followed closely by Dutch favorite Mark Oude Bennink during nearly the entire race. Walther (GER) as well continually switched position with French Camille Deligny. Irene Kinnegim eventually became second after a blood-curdling end of the race. Oude Bennink and Kinnegim became 2015’s Dutch Champions.
Side by side
After a fast swim course, Fachbach and Oude Bennink started the run course together. The Hungarian Attila Szábo initially also was part of the leaders, but had to let the German and Dutch athletes pass him soon. Behind them, Erik-Simon Strijk (NED) quickly took third place in the race, which he wouldn’t give up. Even though fast runners like Gerrit Schellens (BEL) and Dirk Wijnalda (NED) tried to overtake him. Fachbach and Oude Bennink continued running side by side, but eventually the athlete from Oldenzaal needed to give up the fight. Fachbach prolonged his title from last year, when he became European Champion in Almere. This year he improved his time with 16 minutes and finished in 8:12:24. Afterwards, the German confessed that he had a difficult race against Oude Bennink, but explainy he making an analogy with football: Germans strike home at the end of the race. The silver on the Dutch Championship was awarded to Strijk, and the bronze went to Dirk Wijnalda. Best athlete from Almere was novice Tjardo Visser, who surprised everyone by finishing well within 9 hours.
Linda van Bemmel, novice in Almere today, led the race from the first meters during the swim. The athlete from Nijkerk took a couple of minutes lead and was overtaken by Walther on the bike after 40 kilometers. Deligny as well passed her shortly after. Deligny slowly but steadily advanced on Walther, and overtook her near the finish of the bike course. Walther had the fastest transition and gained on Deligny again, after which Deligny started her pursuit and overtook Walther after 3 kilometers of running. Meanwhile, Irene Kinnegim started an impressive race to catch up on Walther and Deligny. But the former winner had to let Walther win with 1 minute difference. The athlete from South-Holland won the Dutch Championship title, Carla van Rooijen became second and Grada Boschker third. Deligny became third in the overall race.
Oldest triathlon of Europe
This year, the long distance triathlon was organized for the 35th time in the Netherlands. Sinds 1983, the start and finish take place in Almere. Challenge Almere-Amsterdam is the oldest triathlon in Europe. This weekend, over 2500 athletes compete in several races, which makes the Challenge Almere-Amsterdam 2015 the largest triathlon event in Dutch history.
Temporary results: http://nl.mylaps.com/evenementen/uitslagen/2015/sep/12/almere/TussenLD.html