Jörn and Brunnée crowned LD Duathlon World Champions in Zofingen
Denmark’s Simon Jörn Hansen and Germany’s Merle Brunnée were crowned the 2023 Powerman World Triathlon Long Distance Champions this Sunday. The 39th edition of the race, one of the oldest on the international circuit, had last year’s winner Melanie Maurer (SUI) taking silver and Belgium’s Lotte Claes claiming bronze, while on the men’s race second place was for Emile Blondel-Hermant (FRA) and third for Fabian Holbach (GER).
“It’s a dream come true. I can’t believe it yet”, said world champion Simon Jörn Hausen shortly after he crossed the finish line first in Zofingen. For the 32-year-old Dane this is his first victory here,after a fifth place two years ago. A triumph that was indeed hard-earned. On the bike course, it was four athletes riding close together for most part of the race: Jörn Hansen, Fabian Holbach, Émile Blondel-Hermant (FRA) and Ondrej Kubo (SLO). It was Simon Jörn Hansen who dismounted the bike in first place, but shortly on the run Jörn Hansen took the lead until, with only a few kilometers to go on the run, the Dane moved to the first place again and never looked back.
He finally crossed the finish line in a new record time of less than six hours. In addition to the good race conditions, the new course with fewer metres of altitude certainly made this dream time possible. Frenchman Émile Blondel-Hermant came in second place, while Fabian Holbach made it to the podium in third place, after his second place last year. Ondrej Kubo crossed the finish line in fourth place, while the Powerman winner in 2021, Seppe Odeyn (BEL), rounded the top five.
The women’s race was a thrilling duel between the winners of the last two years, Merle Brunnée and Melanie Maurer. Brunnée took the lead after changing to the bike. During the entire 150-kilometre bike course, Maurer stayed on the heels of the German, only a few seconds behind. The two athletes tackled the final run together, and it was on the last meters of the run where Brunnée was able to distance herself from her Swiss opponent to cross the finish line in first place.
For the 30-year-old German, this is the second World Championship gold in Zofingen, after her victory in 2021. “I don’t know what to say. I have trained so hard in the last weeks and months, that it now pays off with the World Championship title is unbelievable”, she explained. “It was a neck-and-neck race with Melanie Maurer all day, and that made it really exciting for myself. I’m overwhelmed with how it turned out”, she said.
Belgian Lotte Claes crossed the finish line in third place, which made the same three women on the podium as last year - just in a different order.