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Onlookers celebrate spectacle: These are the winners of Bonn’s triathlon

Onlookers celebrate spectacle : These are the winners of Bonn’s triathlon

Many athletes met in Bonn for the 29th Bonn Triathlon on Sunday. A total of 1362 participants took part in the event. The two athletes who won were competing in the former federal capital for the first time.

With bright sunshine and thousands of spectators lining the course, Leonie Konczalla from the “Kaifu Tri Team” in Hamburg won the women’s race. Ruben Zepuntke from the Düsseldorf Triathlon Team prevailed in the men’s competition. It was a first appearance for both triathletes at the 29th SWB Energie und Wasser Bonn Triathlon, organised again by the Police Sports Association (PSV) Bonn. And their victories were not necessarily expected before the start.

The sporting event started – as usual in spectacular fashion – on a ferry on the Rhine below the Kameha Grand Hotel. At 9.15am, the top starters in the men’s race entered the cool water and women started ten minutes later. A total of seven groups started. Dressed in wetsuits for the 3.8 kilometres and with a strong current behind them, the participants went down the Rhine until just before the Kennedy Bridge on the Beuel bank. Düsseldorfer Ruben Zepuntke completed the swim section fastest in the men’s race and reached the bank in 24:24 minutes. Martijn Dekker from the Netherlands left the water only four seconds later followed by Luca Heerdt 22 seconds behind.

In the women’s race, there was a somewhat larger one minute gap between the leader, Beatrice Weiss from Austria and the two chasers, Sonja Bettge and Sara Baumann. Leonie Konczalla was one and a half minutes behind after the swim and only in seventh place.

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After getting rid of the wetsuits and putting on bicycle helmets and cycling shoes, it was then on to the 60 kilometre bike section, Ruben Zepuntke’s absolute specialist discipline. Zepuntke went on the offensive from the start and increased his lead over his rivals metre by metre in the hilly Siebengebirge. Sascha Hubbert fought his way into second place and Luca Heerdt maintained third position. But after the bike leg, the two chasers were well over six minutes behind.

Leader Beatrice Weiss, on the other hand, lost most of her lead over rival Leonie Konczalla. Of the 1:32 minute cushion after the swimming, only 35 seconds remained before the run. Last year’s winner Verena Walter had fought her way up to third place. In the run, Heerdt overtook Hubbert, who was only slightly ahead of him, after only a few metres and also made good ground on Zepuntke. However, when Zepuntke’s lead before the final five-kilometre lap was still 4:45 minutes, the winner of the Bonn Triathlon 2019 was certain.

With a final time of 2:45 hours, the exultant Zepuntke reached the finish and could be congratulated by the numerous spectators. Luca Heerdt defended his second place and Julian Fritzenschaft finished third on the podium. In the women’s race, Leonie Konczalla seemed to follow the motto “full attack” from the start in the run section. She had soon overtaken Beatrice Weiss and ran at high speed towards her victory, which she completed after 3:03 hours. Beatrice Weiss was second and Verena Walter came third.

Organiser Joachim Sommershof was very positive about the 29th triathlon in Bonn: “It was a great experience for the athletes and spectators. I have to compliment the 330 helpers without whom this event would not have been possible.”

(Original text: Johannes Thielen. Translation: kc)