In its various incarnations over the last decade, the middle distance event in Lisbon, now Challenge Lisboa, has been a popular early season event for the British. While the ever expanding calendar and a slight move in dates mean it is no longer seen as the first European ‘Half’ of the year, its speedy course and easy access always attract a good quality field.
Two weeks ago Lucy Charles was part of a thrilling finish at Challenge Gran Canaria, coming up just six seconds short in a battle to the line with fellow Brit, Emma Pallant. Today she would finish one place higher – and do so by six minutes, not six seconds.
Charles, of course, was first out of the water… and would be first off the bike and first to finish too. Impressive work. Second place went to ITU Hall of Fame athlete, Vanessa Fernandes, the 2008 Olympic Silver medalist who is on the comeback trail after spending several years as an Elite marathon runner. That is a nice scalp to have and proves, once again, Lucy has stepped up her level another notch in 2017. Set to race IRONMAN Lanzarote in two weeks (where her swim lead will be magnified further), it will be interesting to see if she can improve on her third place in what was her first Pro race 12 months ago.
Line Thams (DEN) completed the podium, keeping Alice Hector in fourth a minute further back. Sixth place went to another Brit, Corinne Abraham, who should take away some positives. Her third race in three weeks, she was way off the pace in Gran Canaria two weeks ago and the Volcano Triathlon last week saw her finish ten minutes behind Alice. But, Corinne tends to show her best over the full distance – and the fact that she’s been physically able to race on three consecutive weekends is likely a first in her injury-impacted career – so she has another two weeks to step up again at IRONMAN Lanzarote. A winner of Championship races in Melbourne and Frankfurt, she’s a big race athlete. Things appear to moving in the right direction.
Challenge Lisboa, Portugal
Sunday 7th May 2017
1.9km / 90km / 21.1km
1st – Lucy Charles (GBR) – 4:07:24
2nd – Vanessa Fernandes (POR) – 4:13:58
3rd – Line Thams (DEN) – 4:18:20
4th – Alice Hector (GBR) – 4:19:21
5th – Sofie Goos (BEL) – 4:20:37
6th – Corinne Abraham (GBR) – 4:20:55
1st – Joao Pereira (POR) – 3:41:23
2nd – Christian Kemp (AUS) – 3:44:53
3rd – Patrick Dirksmeier (GER) – 3:45:11
4th – Bruno Pais (POR) – 3:45:17
5th – Jaroslav Kavocic (SLO) – 3:45:18
6th – Justin Metzler (USA) – 3:46:53
Fastest Age-Grouper overall, Chris Standidge (GBR) 3:57:38 (14th overall)
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