Halfway through bike course Challenge Almere-Amsterdam: favorites look at each other, Sarissa de Vries strong and solo in the lead

Thomas Steger, Matthew Trautman, Kristian Hogenhaug, Sven Strijk, Tomas Renc: these five men ride together after ninety kilometres on the bike during Challenge Almere-Amsterdam. At the womens race it’s Sarissa de Vries dominating so far. She was by far the strongest women at the swim, got a gap on everybody and managed to defend it so far.

At the men’s race, it was Kieran Lindars who managed to finish the swim, under perfect conditions, as fastest athlete. The British climbed back on solid ground after 46:51 minutes, with Georgii Kaurov at 1:17 minutes behind, Aliaksandr Vasilevich at 1:18 minutes behind and Tomas Renc at 1:56 minutes behind. Dutch favorite Evert Scheltinga followed at 1:56 minute.

On the bike Scheltinga quickly took the initiative in the chasing group, but not much later he needs to have a break thanks to a flat tire. While Lindars was quickly caught up, Scheltinga lost connection with the leading group. It were strong cyclists Thomas Steger, Matthew Trautman, Kristian Hogenhaug, Tomas Renc and Sven Strijk who took the lead halfway through the bike part. Favorites like Olesen and Scheltinga were just minutes behind. Scheltinga decided to quit the race just some moments later because of a second flat tire.

The women’s race is very different so far. Sarissa de Vries immediately took the lead while swimming and came out of the water after a very fast time of 51:29 minutes. With this she was only half a minute above the race swimming record that dates from 1993. Nevertheless she managed to create a gap on everybody, including defending champion Yvonne van Vlerken who lost almost eight minutes in the water.

As expected it’s Sarissa de Vries who is able to maintain her leading position so far. After 70 kilometers she had an advantage of 7:37 minutes on Van Vlerken and 9:39 minutes on local favorite Ilona Eversdijk. It’s not sure if Van Vlerken still is giving it all, because she is waiving to the croud and seems to enjoying every meter.