It was a home win in the men’s field at Garmin CHALLENGEHERNING with Thor Benix Madsen taking the win a clear two minutes ahead of main rival, Boris Stein of Germany. In the women’s race it was a much closer battle with Lisa Gerss just 30 seconds ahead of Julie Aspesletten of Norway.
The men’s race was fast from beginning to end with Bendix Madsen taking the win in 3:39:48. Germany’s Jesse Hinrichs posted the fastest swim in 23:09 and Bendix Madsen was just 16 seconds behind him with Stein a further 1:20 back. Bendix Madsen quickly took the lead on the bike and maintained it for the rest of the race, despite pressure from Stein who although he biked faster just couldn’t close the gap from that swim deficit. Stein crossed the line 2:10 down on Bendix Madsen while Dahl Thomsen rounded out the podium 44 seconds later.
“It was amazing to race in Herning. It is a nice course, and it is just so nice to be back on track,” said Bendix Madsen, who won the race after a year full of injuries.
In the early stages of the women’s race it seemed Denmark’s Shiva Leisner was the one to beat. Exiting the water in second, 1:53 down on Australia’s Caris Dempster who posted the fastest swim time in 26:47, she took the lead early on in the bike until the 13k mark in the run when she started to face and Gerss, who had been steadily gaining on Leisner, saw her opportunity. By 17km Leisner had dropped to third with Julie Aspesletten running into second and so the women’s podium was decided. Gerss crossed the line in 4:18:58, just 31 seconds ahead of Aspesletten with Leisner in third, 2:40 down from the winning time.