Jörn Hansen and Brunnée Clinch Duathlon World Championship Gold

Denmark's Simon Jörn Hansen and Germany's Merle Brunnée clinch gold, setting new records in a thrilling duathlon championship.

Jörn Hansen and Brunnée Clinch Duathlon World Championship Gold

Denmark's Simon Jörn Hansen and Germany's Merle Brunnée emerged victorious at Powerman Zofingen 2023, capturing the duathlon world championship title over the long distance. With perfect weather and a modified course featuring fewer altitude changes, the race was set up for thrilling finishes.

Last year's champion, Wikon native Melanie Maurer, claimed the World Championship silver. In a surprising turn, the men's defending champion Matthieu Bourgeois of France and Jens-Michael Gossauer of Switzerland withdrew from the race.

"Realizing this dream is surreal," expressed the elated Simon Jörn Hansen, experiencing his first championship win after landing fifth two years prior. Throughout the race, Hansen's performance was marked by resilience and strategic brilliance. Despite a temporary setback when he dropped and retrieved his visor, Hansen soon regained the lead. His stamina during the run enabled him to surge ahead of competitors Émile Blondel-Hermant and Fabian Holbach. Completing the race in under six hours, a new record was set, assisted by the course's reduced altitude meters. Blondel-Hermant and Holbach followed in second and third respectively.

Women's Race Sees Epic Showdown

A riveting face-off between previous winners Merle Brunnée and Melanie Maurer defined the women's race. With Maurer closely tailing Brunnée throughout the 150-kilometer bike segment, both entered the final run side-by-side. Brunnée eventually gained ground and secured her second World Championship gold in Zofingen since 2021. "Training diligently has paid off," an ecstatic Brunnée remarked, reflecting on the tight competition with Maurer. Meanwhile, Maurer admitted to the challenges, stating, "The race was 90% endurance and only 10% strategy. I couldn’t surpass Merle's pace." Belgium's Lotte Claes secured third, replicating last year's podium but with a reshuffled order.

Challenges for Favourites

Defending champion Matthieu Bourgeois faced difficulties, gradually falling behind and eventually pulling out during the second bike lap. Similarly, Switzerland's Jens-Michael Gossauer exited due to a persistent strain, expressing his disappointment. Petra Eggenschwiler, Switzerland's top contender, withdrew because of sudden stomach issues.

Short Distance Race Dominated by German and Swiss

On the short-distance front, Germany's Julian Zenke dominated, finishing a significant 10 minutes ahead of Swiss duo Valentin Gutknecht and Marc Widmer. For the women, Switzerland's Olivia Keiser reigned supreme, followed by Poland's Kinga Bazan and Switzerland's Cindy Pennaforte.

Stellar Conditions and Increased Participation

The 34th Powerman Zofingen experienced warm weather with temperatures reaching 27°C. OC President Stefan Ruf applauded the event's success, noting the positive reception of the new start-finish area and course alterations. The recent course modifications seem to promise heightened excitement in future races. Participation saw a spike, with approximately 800 athletes, surpassing the previous year's count.