IRONMAN® Vitoria-Gasteiz took place this weekend, with 2,500 athletes enjoying the spectacular course and atmosphere. The race was won by the Australian triathlete Nick Kastelein. The capital, Alava, and its residents, was enthusiastically involved in this historic event throughout the weekend.
90% of the participants were competing for the first time in Vitoria-Gasteiz, 43% of whom were taking part in their first ever IRONMAN® event. A race with an international stamp, with 65% of foreign participants from 65 countries, and with an increase in the percentage of women registered. More than 300 people, including staff, safety motorcyclists, canoeists, judges, medical staff and police, and more than 250 volunteers ensured that everything went smoothly.
Australian triathlete, Nick Kastelein, won the race, with a record time of 7 hours and 52 minutes. Kastelein was first out of the water of the Ullibarre-Gamboa lake leading a group of four athletes, but he dropped several positions on the bike. It was during the run that he tightened the screws to end up overtaking his opponents and winning the champion’s txapela.
In second place was, Cameron Wurf, who made the most of his status as a cyclist of the professional INEOS team and arrived at T2, in Vitoria, almost ten minutes ahead of the second at that moment, the Dane Tobias Dahl Thomsen. In the marathon, Wurf suffered more and his rivals cut him down, although in the end the only one who beat him, by only 30 seconds, was Kastelein.
German Dominik Sowieja closed the podium three minutes behind the winner after a race that went from strength to strength. The first Spanish triathlete was the double Spanish Long Distance champion, Víctor Arroyo, who took advantage of the 42 kilometres through the streets of Vitoria-Gasteiz to recover positions and cross the finish line seventh in the general classification.
Kastelein, overcome with emotion, reminisced about the time when he lived in Vitoria: “10 years ago I was having a coffee in Plaza España while watching the triathlon, and now I’ve won the IRONMAN® here, I really can’t believe it”.To be able to do an IRONMAN® in this city, with all the people screaming and cheering, is completely different. Vitoria has something close to my heart, I have no words to express what this victory means to me.”
With this victory, Kastelein earned his slot for Kona, a well-deserved prize for the triathlete, who has made a good recovery after fracturing his pelvis in 2020. When asked about the Supersapiens IRONMAN® World Championship pass, he was thrilled, saying “I wasn’t thinking about the slot at the beginning, but I’m really looking forward to it – I’ll have to find a hotel in Kona!”
Wurf, happy with his result, said: “At some moments I thought that the race was over for me, but the encouragement of the people, who were shouting my name and saying that I was going to win, made me say ‘I can’t give up’. If I got here it was 100% thanks to the enthusiasm of the people of Vitoria”.
Race director, Eduardo Martínez, considered this “the best edition of the IRONMAN® Vitoria-Gasteiz so far”. Martínez added: “We have beaten the record number of participants, a record for the race and the atmosphere along the entire course has been unbeatable”. He also pointed out that “despite the heat, the organisers’ organisation was up to the task and it was a resounding success.”
The regional director of The IRONMAN Group in Andorra, Spain, Italy and Portugal, Agustí Pérez, said: “Coming back to this city with the great number of people who love this sport is worth all the effort we really make”. In this sense, he thanked “all the institutions, volunteers and staff who make this event possible so that more than 2,000 people have achieved their dream.”
Men (Provisional Results)
Nick Kastelein (AUS), 07:52:50
Cameron Wurf (AUS), 07:53:29
Dominik Sowieja (GER), 07:54:21
Tobias Dahl Thomsen (DEN), 08:05:43
Evert Scheltinga (NED), 08:06:25