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Emma-Kate Lidbury 2nd at Ironman Mallorca
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Monday 28th September 2015

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Podium finish for Emma-Kate Lidbury in debut Ironman start

Great Britain's Emma-Kate Lidbury returned to the scene of her first Ironman 70.3 title in 2011, to take second place in her first outing over the distance at Ironman Mallorca on Saturday.

Richie Nicholls finished fifth with the fastest run split of the day (2:48:18), while Harry Wiltshire was a DNF around the midpoint of the run, having spent much of the day towards the front of the race. He plans to race again next week in Barcelona.

Race report below courtesy of Volker Boch /

Bracht uses experience to take the win

Timo Bracht put a tremendous race up on stage in Alcudia. Although he was a little bit behind in the water, he concentrated on his race and focused on his main goal: the title. While Spain’s Carlos Lopez hammered away on the first of two swim laps in the Bay of Alcudia leading a group of seven, Bracht was placed well in the second group. Next to South African James Cunnama, the 40-year old German exited the water in 49:57, just 1:35 behind Lopez.

On the bike, another German attacked soon together with Lopez and Harry Wiltshire (GBR): Johann Ackermann. Those three made their way on the first half of the tough bike course before Bracht made his move to the front. The eight-time IRONMAN champion from Germany really pushed his gears during a long climb in the Tramuntana Mountains and partnered with Ackermann and Wiltshire for some kilometers.

On the final kilometers, including some tricky rolling hills, Bracht then opened up a gap. When he reached T2 with the best bike split, Cunnama was in runner-up position 2:05 behind the lead. Lopez jumped off the bike in third (+4:25) ahead of Wiltshire (+6:17), but they got dropped by Italian IRONMAN Lanzarote champion Alessandro Degasperi early on the run.

Cunnama downsized the gap on the marathon course step by step to take over the lead from Bracht after about 16 kilometers. The South African quickly put a minute on his opponent, but Bracht never quit. With 12 kilometers to go, the German started to fight himself back into the mix. Both athletes battled hard, but the extremely experienced IRONMAN champion took it. Equipped with the perfect mindset for this tough day, Bracht made the final pass 10 kilometers away from the finish line. He ran to his ninth IRONMAN victory, but Cunnama had a great finish in Alcudia, too, holding off Degasperi who had another fast run onto the podium.

Saemmler celebrates milestone race

British IRONMAN rookie Emma-Kate Lidbury started great into her first attempt on the long-distance. She led the field on the swim course from the get-go, together with Germany’s IRONMAN 70.3 Ruegen champion Natascha Schmitt. Two-time IRONMAN 70.3 Mallorca winner Lidbury exited the water in 55:11 ahead of her German shadow Schmitt (55:18), but already a nice 2:48 in front of the strong biker and co-favorite Daniela Saemmler (GER).

Saemmler was runner-up at the inaugural IRONMAN Copenhagen in 2013, and she stormed onto the demanding bike course absolutely committed to taking the lead. Through 40 kilometers of the course, Schmitt was setting the pace at the front 35 seconds ahead of her fellow countrywoman and Lidbury. Thirty-five kilometers later, Saemmler was leading the race a few seconds in front of a group of four including Lidbury and Schmitt. For a short time, Germany’s Nina Kuhn took over first place, but eventually it was Saemmler again leading the women’s field into the second transition.

Saemmler got off the bike with an advantage of a minute over Lidbury, with third-place pro athlete Alexandra Tondeur from Belgium already 10:09 behind. After 12 kilometers of the run, Saemmler had extended her lead over Lidbury up to 2:19. Thanks to a very consistent run pace the 27-year old mother of a four-year-old son got to celebrate a milestone result of her career. Saemmler took the win ahead of a smiling IRONMAN rookie Lidbury and third-place Tondeur.

IRONMAN Mallorca - Saturday 26th September 2015
3.8km / 180km / 42.2km

Top 5 Men

1. Timo Bracht (GER) 00:49:57 04:32:16 02:50:59 - 08:17:22
2. James Cunnama (RSA) 00:49:54 04:34:14 02:50:52 - 08:19:36
3. Alessandro Degasperi (ITA) 00:51:43 04:37:40 02:49:41 - 08:23:56
4. Gwenael Ouilleres (FRA) 00:51:46 04:44:47 02:49:57 - 08:31:22
5. Ritchie Nicholls (GBR) 00:51:49 04:47:49 02:48:18 - 08:32:47

Top 5 Women

1. Daniela Saemmler (GER) 00:57:29 05:06:28 03:14:44 - 09:24:48
2. Emma-Kate Lidbury (GBR) 00:55:11 05:09:30 03:21:11 - 09:31:49
3. Alexandra Tondeur (BEL) 00:58:47 05:14:35 03:14:17 - 09:34:32
4. Katharina Grohmann (GER) 01:08:03 05:11:36 03:12:26 - 09:37:07
5. Corina Hengartner (SUI) 01:02:53 05:11:42 03:20:08 - 09:40:01

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