Dirksmeier & Pedersen new ETU European Champions

Tuesday 13 June 2017
Saturday was a truly spectacular day in Denmark as the ETU European Middle Distance Triathlon Championships took place in a sunny and festive atmosphere in the “Sports Capital of Denmark”, Herning. The many spectators witnessed a truly excited, and even slightly surprised, Patrick Dirksmeier from Germany take the European title in the PRO Men’s race. And to top it all off for the organisers, the local triathlon darling Camilla Pedersen took the PRO Women’s European title by a convincing margin.

“This is just incredible. It’s just amazing to be racing on home soil and with this amazing atmosphere,” said the newly crowned ETU European Middle Distance Champion, Camilla Pedersen from Denmark.

Even though, she had suffered a minor bike crash a couple of weeks ago and didn’t have the best preparations coming into the race, she won by a 3:04 minute margin down to her immediate follower, Laura Siddall (GBR), who did, however, not compete in the European Championship but in the Open Race, leaving today’s 3rd place to Maja Stage Nielsen, who is then, for the second executive year, the ETU European runner-up, as she also finished 2nd in Poznan last year at the ETU Long Distance Championship.

Dirksmeier: “The greatest moment EVER, EVER, EVER!”

On the PRO Men’s side, everything was set for the German Andreas Dreitz to defend his title from last year’s Challenge Herning, but on the bike, which is his usual superpower skill, he suffered from pains in his neck and had to abandon the race, leaving the Danish surprise of the race, Anders Christensen, in the lead going into the run with fellow Dane Kristian Høgenhaug and German Patrick Dirksmeier right behind him.

However, 33-year-old Dirksmeier finished off with a great 4-loop run under the cheers of happy crowds in the heart of the city and eventually took the European title with 2:43 min down to the Danish runner-up Anders Kristensen and 3:13 min down to the Danish sprint champion Miki Taagholt, who finished 3rd in his first ever half-distance race.

“It’s incredible. Am I really the European Champion now? I can’t believe it. I thought Andi would be the strongest athlete, but I he didn’t have a good day, so I had to take the chance. I was definitely going for the podium today, but I didn’t know I would be able to take the win. This is the greatest moment EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER! The course had perfect roads and rolling hills, but the legs hurt, because there are so many good athletes here,” said the new European Champion after the race.

PRO Women’s Top 5:
Camilla Pedersen (DEN), 4:15:01
Maja Stage Nielsen (DEN), 4:21:10
Sarah Lewis (GBR), 4:21:35
Michelle Vesterby (DEN), 4:25:21
Hanna Maksimava (BLR), 4:33:25

PRO Men’s Top 5:
Patrick Dirksmeier (GER), 3:49:27
Anders Christensen (DEN), 3:52:09
Miki Taagholt (DEN), 3:52:39
Thomas Strange (DEN), 3:54:02
Kristian Høgenhaug (DEN), 3:55:35
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