Will Clarke clinched the 2nd place in Challenge Fuerteventura after a long battle. With a time of 3:59:35 he finished the race only 24 seconds behind winner Andi Boecherer (GER; 3:59:09). Timo Bracht (GER; 4:00:56) completed the podium.
As Ironman Brazil is Will’s first main goal this season, Challenge Fuerteventura was the perfect last preparation race. With some very tough competition and arduous bike course it promised to be a hard race, but ideal to check the condition towards Brazil.
Will had an excellent swim. He exited the water in 3rd place, just a few seconds behind leader Van Lierde. After a quick transition, Will took off for the 90k bike course. After 38k he managed to keep his 3rd position. Will entered T2 in 4th place, trailing Dreitz for second by just 9sec. After 10k into the run, Will was still in 4th place. But he managed to reduce the gap towards leader Boecherer. 4k later, that difference was only 30 seconds and Will already moved up to 3rd at that point. With only a few kilometers to go, Will stepped up his pace and managed to pass Dreitz for 2nd. So after a hard battle for the podium spots, Will finished 2nd only 24 seconds behind winner Boecherer.
Will couldn’t be happier with such a satisfying result. ‘I am really stoked with my performance today. It is great to be back at this level and to be able to ride with some of the best athletes in the world. I had a tough year last year and this really feels like I turned the corner. The swim was perfect today. On the bike I rode by myself for the first hour. It was incredible hard and fast today. I managed to enter T2 together with Boecherer and Dreitz. The race went perfect for me until that stage. Unfortunately I felt I missed some specific race fitness and had a bad patch on the run around the half way mark. But then it clicked and I managed to pull back a few athletes ahead of me and to run to second place. Just not enough to take the win today, but I am extremely pleased. I want to thank everybody for the amazing support over the last year, especially my family, the entire supports team of BMC-Etixx p/b Uplace and my coach Luc Van Lierde. It is a great feeling to be back and I really look forward to the rest of the season.’