An incredible day of racing for the BMC Pro Triathlon Team. Patrik Nilsson put together an exceptional performance in Frankfurt to crown himself the new Ironman European Champion. Nilsson overtook team mate Kristian Hogenhaug in the closing stages of the marathon to run to the biggest victory in his career in a finishing time of 7:59:21. BMC team mate Hogenhaug who had been dominating the bike leg, put up a fantastic fight to hang on for second (DEN; 8:00:18). David McNamee (GBR; 8:02:29) completed the podium.
World class performances
Nilsson started the day with an excellent swim, exiting the water in 1st place. Hogenhaug trailed the front group of 9 by 25" as he came out of the water in 10th place. On the bike Nilsson rode attentively in the front of the first group. Early on Heemeryck broke away from the group and build up an advantage of 4' to the chase group of 9 athletes. Hogenhaug had made the connection with the chasing pack and waited patiently to unleash his power in the second half of the bike leg. The Danish athlete was on fire and overtook Heemeryck for the lead at the 125K mark. The BMC athlete put together a monster ride and continued to build on his advantage. Nilsson was still riding well in the first chase group. An astonishing bike performance saw Hogenhaug enter transition with an 8 minute lead on the chase group of seven.
Hogenhaug immediately settled in a very solid running pace and continued to lead the race. Behind him team mate Nilsson was setting the pace. It was only McNamee who was able to keep up with the Swedish athlete. Nilsson was running a blistering tempo and was closing the gap on leader Hogenhaug. Halfway Hogenhaug was leading with a 3'40 bonus on Nilsson in second and McNamee following 20" further. Kristian continued to fight for every meter. But Nilsson was unstoppable. The BMC athlete put in a final surge and caught up with his team mate with 5K to go. Nilsson went up and over and there was no looking back. Patrik kept running a tremendous pace and extended his lead in the closing kilometers. Patrik Nilsson enjoyed his big moment on the red carpet to run to the European Ironman title. Behind, team mate Hogenhaug put up an enormous fight to hang on to second. An incredible one and two for the BMC Pro Triathlon Team. With his victory Nilsson secured his qualification for the Ironman World Championship and joins team mates Leiferman, Matthews, Neumann and Hogenhaug in Kona.
"That was a great day", Nilsson reflected. "Amazing. I don't think my legs have ever been that tired. But to be on the podium with Kristian as team mates was incredibly special. I have never experienced anything like it. It was the perfect day for me from start to finish". It is great to be able to put together such a performance and race again at a world class level".
Team mate Kristian added: "Second place overall, Patrik in first, really happy for him, fantastic to share the podium with a good friend and team mate. Overall I had a very good day, I suffered a bit in the swim and lost the lead group. I had a great bike and could finish it off with a decent run. I couldn't keep Patrik behind who was running a blistering sub 2'40 marathon. Tough day, but really happy with my performance and to hang on for second.