Nicola Spirig comes, sees and conquers at Challenge Gran Canaria

After an almost perfect race, Switzerland’s Nicola Spirig has just won ANFI CHALLENGEMOGAN-GRANCANARIA after 4:05:52 hr. She was in the lead almost from start to finish and therefore triumphed quite comfortably. The silver and bronze were for the Dutch Sarissa de Vries (+5:25) and Swedish Lisa Nordén (+5:51).

During the swim it was Spanish Sara Perez Sala who – just like during CHALLENGEMIAMI – showed to be extremely fast in the water and so the Spanish athlete was first back on dry ground: she needed 24:55 minutes for her 1.9 kilometer swim. Yet she did not make a big difference, because Nicola Spirig and the Dutch Sarissa de Vries followed at ten seconds, showing their swimming skills as well.

On the bike, Spirig immediately showed that she had only traveled to Spain to win, as she not only took over the lead, but she also immediately opened a gap on her direct competitors. Meanwhile, Lisa Nordén started to catch up and rode on the hilly course to a second position. Behind her Sarissa de Vries managed to keep her position for the time being and Perez Sala dropped back to fourth position.

While De Vries soon caught up with Nordén and the two ladies were able to chase Spirig, it was yet the Swiss favourite who managed to increase her lead. With about 25 kilometers to go, Spirig had already extended her lead to one and a half minutes and with that she seemed to be in an excellent position for the win.

During the final kilometers on the bike, that lead even increased a bit and so the Swiss favorite could start the final half marathon quite comfortable. It was a different story for Nordén and De Vries, who returned to the transition zone at nearly the same time and therefore had to give their all for the best possible classification.

While Spirig did not see her lead shrink during the run, De Vries and Nordén occasionally exchanged positions, but did not get away from each other. Until the last kilometers, because then it was De Vries who proved to be the stronger of the two and could eventually run away from Nordén. When Spirig crossed the finish line and took the win after 4:05:52hr, De Vries had to continue for a bit, but her second place was no longer in danger when she finished in 4:11:17hr. Nordén eventually finished third after 4:11:41hr.

Final standings:

1. Nicola Spirig             4:05:52
2. Sarissa de Vries       4:11:17
3. Lisa Norden             4:11:13
4. Katrina Matthews  4:14:06
5. Judith Corachan    4.20.22
6 Sara Perez Sala       4.23.52