Pooley and Le Bellec are top again

E. Pooley, G. LeBellec

Emma Pooley, the British lady living in Hausen am Albis in the canton Zurich and the French Gaël Le Bellec won on Sunday at the 27th Powerman Zofingen the 2015 ITU Powerman Long Distance Duathlon World Championships. Both athletes could defend their title from last year. There was no new track record this year. Second became Julia Viellehner from Germany who celebrated on the race day her 30th birthday, third became Susanne Svendsen from Denmark who stepped on the podium for the first time in Zofingen. In the men’s race the Belgian Seppe Odeyn jumped fort he first time on the podium getting second. Third after 2012 and last year for the third time became Søren Bystrup from Denmark. Over all there where more than 1‘400 competitors over the whole Powerman Zofingen weekend.

Text/Fotos: Raphael Galliker

Emma Pooley dominanted the women’s race over the Longdistance from the start to the end. The British lady living in the canton Zurich who’s getting 33 years old on the 3rd of October was only after the 10 running km a few seconds behind the German Julia Viellehner. Because she had forgotten her sun glaces she had to go back a few metres. «I just wanted to do my best, I wanted to enjoy the race, but I felt some pressure this time», said Pooley who had to suffer on the last few running kilometers. «It looks a bit strange when I’m just walking and not running but I was already looking forward to next week’s Ironman Wales.» She was completely satisfied that she could defend her title. «The victory was much more important than a new track record.»

Viellehner again second

On the first running section Pooley was pushed by Julia Viellehner. «On the cycling part I didn’t have a chance against Pooley even if I was going as fast as I could», made the German clear that she was very pleased with second place, the same position as in 2013. «For me this second is the best present for my today’s 30th birthday.»

Fort he first time in Zofingen on the podium landed Susanne Svendsen wo had won the Powerman Austria two weeks ago. «Finally I could step on the podium in Zofingen because I was doing my own race.»

Bad luck

A lot of women had bad luck. Because of an injury Eva Nyström from Sweden had to give forfait a few days before the Powerman Zofingen. The Swiss Jubilee Club member Maja Jacober got ill the day before the race. Martina Krähenbühl was starting very good, was on top of the race before she fell down on the second cycling round and was injured. Nina Brenn the winner of this year’s Gigathlon 2015-Siegerin became fifth but had lost around ten minutes because she got off the track. In the morning Petra Eggenschwiler had to visit the bike doctor because her breaks on the bikes made problems. Dispite that fact she got sixth.

Le Bellec was the best

As Pooley the Frenchman Gaël Le Bellec could defend his title in Zofingen. The 27-year-old after the 10 kilometers running was just close behind the Belgian Pieter Rijnders who got finally fourth. On the cyling track Le Bellec was too fast for all the others and after a quite good performance on the last 30 running kilometers he could save 4 minutes to the finishing line. «I came to have fun, sport is my hobby and I had nothing to loose and nobody to prove anything.» It went perfect for him having not a real goal. «I still have a lot of time to improve myself.»

Second place went to Seppe Odeyn who was fourth at his first appearance in Zofingen last year. The 28-year-old Belgian was going faster and faster towards the end of the race and had the fastest last running section of all the competitors. «I’m very pleased and it all went very, Le Bellec was already too far away from everyone to be catched again.»

Half a minute behind him Søren Bystrup from Denmark became third as he was already in 2012 and 2014. «Normally I’m faster on the bike but today I can be pleased with the third place.»

More than 1‘400 participants

Since 2006 the number of participants at the Powerman Zofingen increased from 700 up to 1‘480 (2013). This year in all the categories (PowerKids, CHARITY, Short-/ Langdistanz relays included) there were 1‘417 participants which was about 10 % more than last year. In the years 2014, 2012 and 2011 there were around 1‘300 participants.

«I’m very pleased with that», said Stefan Ruf, the President of the Powerman Zofingen. «Especially over the Shortdistance the duathlon sport in Switzerland is getting more and more popular. Over the Longdistance we have a top quality. It was only a pitty that because of illness and injuries in the women’s elite race only eight women went to the starting line.» The feedback of the athletes was very positive, said Ruf. «So far we don’t have a single complaint from the athletes.»

ITU is very pleased

Very pleased with the Powerman Zofingen 2015 as well was John Raadschelders. «This was once again a top event and the atmosphere was fantastic.» This is exactly the reason why all the athletes come back to Zofingen every year. «Only the goal to keep up this high level is very demanding.» The President of the IPA (International Powerman Associtation) predicted the two winners of this year’s Powerman Zofingen in advance. Paul Groves, the Technical Delegate of the International Triathlon Union (ITU): «We will have the ITU Long Distance Duathlon World Championships 2016 again here in Zofingen and this decision says all about the high quality of the race in Zofingen.»

Results 27. Powerman Zofingen, 2015 Zofingen ITU Powerman Long Distance Duathlon World Championships (10 km running/150 km cycling/30 km running)

1. Gaël Le Bellec (FRA) 6:20.36. 2. Seppe Odeyn (BEL) 6:24:59. 3. Søren Bystrup (DEN) 6:25.35. 4. Pieter Rijnders (BEL) 6:32.28. 5. Julian Lings (GBR) 6:40.10. 6. Stefan Wrzaczek (AUT) 6:41.06. 7. Marc Widmer (SUI/Wädenswil) 6:43.27. 8. Anthony Le Duey (FRA) 6:45.18. 9. Diego Van Looy (BEL) 6:46.13. 10. Fabian Zehnder (SUI/Wädenswil) 6:54.39. 11. Tony Orvain (FRA) 6:55.14. 12. Manuel Wyss (SUI/Horgen) 6:57.18. 13. Ryan Rau (USA) 6:57.55. 14. Sébastian Stalder (FRA) 7:02.46. 15. Grigoris Skoularikis (GRC) 7:13.58. 16. Michael Wetzel (GER) 7:16.25. 17. Andreas Kälin (SUI/Wollerau) 7:25.06. 18. Sebastian Retzlaff (GER) 7:27.11. 19. August Benedicto (PHI) 7:27.29. 21. Peter Mong (RSA) 8:31.35. no more!

1. Emma Pooley (GBR) 7:01.49. 2. Julia Viellehner (GER) 7:12.24. 3. Susanne Svendsen (DEN) 7:20.33. 4. Katrin Esefeld (GER) 7:29.35. 5. Nina Brenn (SUI/Flims/Waldhaus) 7:39.04. 6. Petra Eggenschwiler (SUI/Laupersdorf) 7:44.54. 7. Helene Repesse (FRA) 8:26.50. no more!

Short Distance, (10 Km running, 50 Km cycling, 5 Km running)

1. Rob Woestenborghs (BEL) 2:10.58. 2. Severin Widmer (SUI/Reiden) 2:14.20. 3. Nicolas Iten (SUI/Reiden) 02:14.50.

More results on: services.datasport.com/2015/tri/zofingen/RANG204.HTM

1. Kathrin Götz (SUI/Bellach) 2:32.11. 2. Barbara Schwarz (SUI/Horgen) 2:32.53. 3. Esther Haller (SUI/Kilchberg ZH) 2:34.04.

More results on: services.datasport.com/2015/tri/zofingen/RANG203.HTM

More results in general, see:

Nr. 1: The winner of the 2015 ITU Powerman Long Distance Duathlon World Championships Emma Pooley (GBR) and Gaël Le Bellec (FRA).


Nr. 2: The men’s podium of the Powerman Zofingen 2015, from the left: Seppe Odeyn (BEL/2.), Gaël Le Bellec (FRA/1.), Søren Bystrup (DEN/3.).


Nr. 3: The women’s podium of the Powerman Zofingen 2015, from the left: Julia Viellehner (GER/2.), Emma Pooley (GBR/1.), Susanne Svendsen (DEN/3.).


Fr. 4: Rob Woestenborghs (BEL) won the shortdistance race and got a special Powerman award on his goodbye tour.

Pictures: Fotoclub Blende 8.5 Zofingen und Raphael Galliker