Baekkegard, Langridge Claim IRONMAN Western Australia Titles

Monday 04 December 2023

Daniel Bækkegård and Fenella Langridge have claimed victory on a historic day at GWM IRONMAN Western Australia in Busselton.
 
Bækkegård and Langridge both set new course best times on their way to victory, impressing across the 3.8km swim, 180km ride and 42.2km run.
 
Denmark’s Daniel Bækkegård crossed the line in 7:34:23, almost 11 minutes ahead of the previous quickest time, with favourable wind conditions making for an incredibly fast bike leg.
 
Bækkegård crossed the line six minutes clear of Perth’s Matt Burton, with fellow West Australian Nick Thompson rounding out the podium in just his second IRONMAN.
 
While the quick times made for a shorter day than usual on course the race certainly took its toll on Bækkegård.
 
“I’m feeling pretty terrible to be honest, it’s IRONMAN, it’s not supposed to feel good. Seriously though, the crowds here, the whole course and everything, it was just spectacular to race,” said Bækkegård. “It’s definitely a bucket list race to do and in some weird way I actually appreciated every second of it.”
 
The pace was on from the start, with the top seven men exiting the water together and then they lifted the tempo even further on the bike.
 
“The guys took it out pretty quick on the swim so I decided to save some energy there, and then we just went from the gun basically also on the bike. It was pretty big group we had leading out and I decided 60k in to put the hammer down and try to separate the group a little bit, I think that worked pretty well and from there it was just basically racing,” said Bækkegård. “From there, 120k in I found myself in the lead alone and in the last couple of k’s Matt Burton came around me and went first into the transition and it was just awesome to see how everyone was cheering for a home favourite, it was amazing to watch and to witness. He’s such a good guy, I really like him and he deserves every credit because he’s an absolute beast.
 
“On the run I just took off, basically I just ran as fast as I could and I had a little bit of an eye on the record here, I know Ali (Brownlee) has it and he’s kind of an icon in the sport and Maxxy (Neumann) was one second away from it last year so definitely wanted to beat it here and I think I did an ok job doing that,” he said. “It’s been absolute dream to be here, Australia is one of my favourite countries. I love the people here, I love the vibe, I love the fact that it’s actually ok to have fun while being active and everybody is so supportive about it. I love the food culture here, I love the people, the smiles, everything. If it wasn’t because I’d just bought a house in Switzerland I would move here. It’s definitely not the last time I’ll be here, Busselton has so much to offer so seriously everybody watching along out there come to Busselton to race, it’s amazing.”
 
Great Britain’s Fenella Langridge took the win in 8:29:43, three minutes clear of Sweden’s Lisa Norden, with Dutch athlete Lotte Wilms third.
 
For Langridge, Sunday’s win was the first time she has stood on the top step of an IRONMAN podium, and she also smashed nine minutes off the previous course best time on her way to victory.
 
“I’m absolutely stoked, it was one of the best days ever. The race panned out pretty much perfectly where I led out of the swim, just, I was swimming with Lotte the whole way and I went to work on the bike, I knew I had to be patient and a flat course can often really bite you in the bum right at the end so I stayed patient,” said Langridge. “I tried to stick to more speed over power and just rode my own race knowing Lisa did an absolutely phenomenal bike and got the bike world record, which is absolutely insane, well done Lisa.
 
“Then I had to stay patient on the run and know that hopefully Lisa over-biked and that I’d be able to catch her, and I did with one lap to go,” she said. “You never know you’ve got that win until that last 20 metres, until you’re running down that chute.”
 
The win, and the support out on course, made for a day to remember for Langridge.
 
“You never forget your first IRONMAN win, they’re harder to get these days with fields getting even more competitive so it’s nothing to take for granted and I’ll remember it for the rest of my life, it was amazing,” she said. “The support was incredible, I’ve loved my Australian trip. It was my first time here and it definitely won’t be my last. It’s a beautiful country with amazing people that really light up the course and really gave me encouragement throughout the day. It was packed, fellow athletes from the age groupers to pros, it was a really solid, amazing day.”
 
Athletes will continue to cross the finish line on the Busselton Foreshore until approximately 12.30am, with more than 3,000 athletes taking part in either IRONMAN Western Australia or IRONMAN 70.3 Western Australia.
 
GWM IRONMAN WESTERN AUSTRALIA FINAL RESULTS
 
PRO MEN
1. Daniel Bækkegård – 7:34:23
2. Matt Burton – 7:40:28
3. Nick Thompson – 7:48:23
4. Steve McKenna – 7:54:32
5. Scott Steenberg – 7:56:34
6. Aichlinn O’Reilly – 7:59:04
7. Caleb Noble – 8:06:31
8. Kaito Tohara – 8:11:39
9. Jack Sosinski – 8:16:31
10. Harry Sinclair – 8:17:14
 
PRO WOMEN
1. Fenella Langridge – 8:29:43
2. Lisa Norden – 8:33:02
3. Lotte Wilms – 8:40:59
4. Els Visser – 8:50:13
5. Chloe Lane – 8:55:04
6. Maki Takahashi – 9:28:20
7. Camille Deligny – 9:35:05
8. Marion Tuin – 10:00:20

For more on GWM IRONMAN Western Australia visit https://www.ironman.com/im-western-australia

IRONMAN Triathlon (Photo: Korupt Vision)


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