Patrik Nilsson and Sarah Lewis decided to get their 2019 season underway at IM70.3 Dubai and both athletes delivered straight away. Nilsson took home 2nd place in a time of 3:42:50 as Lewis crossed the line in 3rd in 4:09:39. The men's winner in Dubai was Adam Bowden (GBR; 3:40:11) as Sébastien Fraysse (FRA; 3:47:05) rounded out the podium. The women’s race was won by Holly Lawrence (USA; 4:00:04) with Anna Haug finishing 2nd (GER; 4:01:42).
Excellent second place
Patrik Nilsson was right there from the start as he exited the water in 5th place, trailing the lead by only 7 seconds. In the first part of the bike leg, Patrik settled in the first chase group and passed the halfway mark in 4th position. The deficit had run up to 1’ at that point of the race, but a different story at the back end of the bike leg. The small chase group of 4 athletes caught up with leader Fraysse as they entered T2 together. Nilsson used his time in the transition to deal with upcoming cramps. But once he left T2, he was on a mission. In the first 4k the BMC-Vifit athlete moved his way up to 3rd place, trailing 2nd by less than 20”. 2k later he charged past Ackermann to take over 2nd place. From that point onwards, Patrik kept his pace high, posting the 2nd fastest running split of the day (1:12:44) and crossing the finish line as runner-up in a time of 3:42:50.
Afterwards Patrik Nilsson reflected on his performance: “I had a strong swim and I felt really good on the bike today. Unfortunately towards the end of the bike leg though I started to suffer from cramps. I decided to take my time in transition and the first kilometers on the run. I began to feel better and better and was able to pick up my pace 2k in. From there, I had a solid run and was able to take over 2nd place and maintain that position throughout the remainder of the race. I am very pleased to start the season on the podium and take second today".
Sarah Lewis runs her way to third
In the women’s race Sarah Lewis played things smart. She entered T1 in 4th place ater the swim. On the bike Lewis managed to ride well as part of the first chase group. Back in T2, she was trailing Langridge in 3rd by a minute. 4k later the BMC-Vifit athlete caught up with her compatriot. As Sarah clearly had the faster pace she opened up a gap immediately. The 3rd fastest running split saw her taking home 3rd place in a time of 4:09:39.
Sarah Lewis looked back at her first podium in BMC-Vifit colours: "I’m pleased to have started the season on a world class podium. It was a good opportunity to test myself this early in the season. I’m looking forward to build on this performance over the next couple of months in training and prepare for a strong and successful season as part of the BMC-Vifit team.”