Brits Tom Bishop and Lucy Byram have taken victories at Bci Challenge Puerto Varas in 03:45:01 and 04:15:52 respectively, both beating the course records set at last year’s inaugural event.
After the swim in Lago Llanquihue, Bishop was second best in the water, behind local Vicente Trewhela who was first out of the water in 23:16, but managed to quickly work his way up to first place on the bike where he stayed for the remainder of the 90km bike.
The Brit entered the transition zone on the run with a large lead over second place Mitch Cunningham of Australia and managed to maintain his dominance all the way to the finish line. Bishop set a new course best in 3:45:01, knocking more than three minutes off Sam Long’s inaugural winning time of 3:48:48.
The 21km run defined the podium. American Matt Hanson (also second last year) moved up seven places from eighth in T2 with the fastest run of the day (1:11:56) to take second with a time of 3:50:49. Cunningham rounded out the podium with 3:52:33.
Argentina’s Luciano Taccone (3:53:02) and Chile’s Martin Ulloa (3:54:07) were the best South Americans to complete the top five.
Bishop said he really enjoyed the day and the course, “I loved it, it was amazing, I’ve been here all week and I couldn’t wait to race the course today. The swim was fantastic, the bike was really fast, the roads are really smooth. I had to go hard at the start to try and get a gap and I came off the bike with a decent lead and I just wanted to hold on and people all around were pushing me to go as hard as I could so really wanted to get some good points for the PTO and I’m really happy with the day!”
In the women’s race, Lucy Byram took the win in record time of 4:15:52, knocking more than 14 minutes off the course record set by Haley Chura last year and in the process, relegating Chura to second place overall today after the American clocked 4:19:33. Chura improved her time from last year (4:30:29), however, she was unable to hold on to the big lead she started with after an incredible 24:51 swim and was overtaken by the new queen of Puerto Varas at the half way point of the bike. Byram became uncatchable on the very tough run and pulled almost four minutes ahead of Chura to take the crown in the lakeside city.
Third place was taken by fellow Brit, Laura Siddall (4:21:29) and Chilean star Barbara Riveros (4:35:47) took fourth place followed by her compatriot, the surprising Francisca Garrido (4:36:49) to complete the elite women’s top five.
Byram said it was a tough race, “It’s amazing to take the win but it was a really hard race, I was chasing Haley all the way on the first half of the bike and she made it a really hard race! I tried to gap her on the way back to try and get a bit of a gap for the run which I managed to do and then held the gap on the run.”
Full race results are available at https://results.sporthive.com/events/7042627784530419712