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Schildknecht makes it six in Zurich
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Monday 16th July 2012


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Scotland's Bella Bayliss just keeps on racking up the podium finishes. The 15-time iron-distance winner returned to racing earlier this year at the (half) Challenge Fuerteventura after the birth of baby Charlie.

It wasn't long until she was back at her favoured Ironman distance with a second place at Ironman Lanzarote, and now she has added another, with a close second at Ironman Switzerland.

Home favourite Ronnie Schildknecht equalled the achievment of Marino Vanhoenacker (at Ironman Austria, 2011) by winning six consecutive Ironman races at one race in Zurich.

The Schildknecht swim is a relative weakness in his triathlon aresenal and he gave up close on six minutes to Jan Van Berkel, who until very recently was competing on the ITU circuit and previously the 'short course' member of Team Abu Dhabi, winning the 'short' race at the inaugural Abu Dhabi International Triathlon in 2010.

Things changed on the bike though as the powerful Schildknecht, a member of the sub-8 club, smashed his way to a 4:27:42 split which was 15 minutes faster than all but Reto Stutz, who was still close on 10 minutes slower. Add on a 2:51 marathon, and your opposition has no chance - Swiss win number six in the bag and 15 minutes to wait until Van Berkel took second. Will he back in 2013 to make it seven? Probably!

A much closer ladies race saw Erica Csomor (who raced at Ironman Austria - second place - two weeks ago), Bella, Simone Brändli, Regula Rohrbach and Nikki Butterfield in close order through the swim and bike, that trio separated by just three minutes at T2, Brändli first out on to the run course.

Despite her racing schedule, Csomor - wo has represented Hungary at the World Half Marathon Champs previously - won the day with a 3:11:37 marathon to get the better of Bayliss (3:16:50) with Brändli completing the podium.

I suspect we will be seeing a lot more of Bella over the iron-distance, including a UK appearance at Challenge Henley in September. Csomor meanwhile - if previous trends are followed - will head to Powerman Zofingen in September for the ITU Powerman Long Distance World Championships. Duracell Bunny Lucy Gossage will be waiting for her...

Pos Men Women
1st Ronnie Schildknecht (SUI) 8:17:13 Erika Csomor (HUN) 9:20:16
2nd Jan Van Berkel (NED/SUI) 8:32:27 Bella Bayliss (GBR) 9:25:54
3rd Matthias Hecht (SUI) 8:42:08 Simone Brändli (SUI) 9:30:58
4th Sergio Marques (POR) 8:43:12 Regula Rohrbach (SUI) 9:35:10
5th Scott DeFillipis (USA) 8:46:42 Monique Grossrieder (SUI) 9:55:40

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