Maja Stage Nielsen wins Ocean Lava
Opdateret: mar. 29
By Ben Powell
In tough windy conditions HF Triathlon Coaching athlete Maja Stage Nielsen retains her Ocean Lava title and draws a close to her 2013 race season.
Commonly known as one of the toughest half-distance triathlon events in Europe, Ocean Lava is held in the touristic region of Puerto Del Carmen, Lanzarote. The event, like the island of Lanzarote attracts some big names of the triathlon world every year. Former participants have included IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion Sebastian Kienle, Denmark’s Michelle Vesterby, IRONMAN legend Thomas Hellriegel and most recently Marino Vanhoenacker.
As a former resident of Lanzarote and the reigning Ocean Lava champion, no athlete knows the island better than Maja. It has been a very tough year for Maja with a long struggle with injury in the early parts but very typical of Maja she has got the work done and returned to fantastic racing form in the latter stages of 2013. Wins at TriSmile Estonia 111, Go-Epic Kronborg and record runs over 5km (17:17) and 21.1km (1:21:17), Maja went into Ocean Lava confident, well conditioned all be it ‘slightly’ stressed. Combining exams, hampered travelling due to the Danish storm and an all round cramped schedule Maja was very much looking forward to stepping foot on the start line.
Maja was up against some tough opposition with recently ‘retired’ Team TBB professional Bella Bayliss and ‘professional’ Spanish triathlete Saleta Castro the two established challengers towards the race day victory. Harder than normal wind conditions and the always non-forgiving terrain of Lanzarote meant athletes were really going to be up against it from the start.
Gradually improving her swim under the guidance of Tri Team SDU and Odense Triatlon Klub Maja exited the 1.9km swim in a time of 36:41, trailing Bella Bayliss by just over 2 minutes (34:21) and over 3 minutes to female race leader, Saleta Castro (33:31). In typical Maja Stage fashion she kept her composure and got to work on bringing in those girls who were further up the road.
Executing a female race best of bike split of 2:50:08 for the challenging 90km route, Maja entered T2 as the female race leader. An exceptionally talented runner it was always going to be Maja’s race to loose once at the front. In the hot climate of Lanzarote Maja ran strong extending her lead to over 5 minutes on 2nd placed athlete Bella Bayliss entering the finish shoot. Maja’s race winning time of 5:00:45, proved to be over 16 minutes slower than her record winning time of 2012 and a strong indicator of the tougher than average conditions on race day.
Top 5 Female
Maja Stage Nielsen 5:00:45 Bella Bayliss 5:05:59 Nicole Woysch 5:17:08 Saleta Castro 5:26:53 Tamar Gonzales Suarez 5:39:27
Marino Vanhoenacker took the male victory in an overall time of 4:22:35.
Maja with triathlon legend and Team TBB coach/athlete Bella Bayliss
Maja now enters her official off-season period with an extended holiday on the island of Lanzarote. From the entire HF Triathlon Coaching group athletes and coaches we send our biggest congratulations to Maja.
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