Jenson Button’s presence almost eclipsed that of the professional athletes at Challenge Fuerteventura as the Formula One former world champion received plenty of attention from fans around the course who had travelled to see him compete.
Button left the water amongst the pros; then finished the 90km bike leg with no problems, but on the run course he retired from the race due to muscle problems in his leg.
The driver arrived on the island on Tuesday to compete in the Challenge with his triathlon team, Ichiban, because he said that the island “is beautiful” and the course is “tough but spectacular.”
Camilla Pedersen (DEN) and Andreas Dreitz (GER) took the race titles for the pros.
Pedersen led from the start, exiting the water in 25:42 and also posted the fastest bike split in 2:36:39. Her run was seven minutes slower than second place Eimear Mullan (IRE) who ran a 1:20:29 but was still quick enough to post a convincing win in 4:30:13.
Pedersen celebrated her win with an emphatic, “I’m back!”
In the men’s race, Jens Toft (DEN) was first pro out of the water with Dreitz back in fourteenth, but the fastest bike split of the day – 2:19:42 – followed but the fastest half marathon in 1:16:43 put Dreitz at the top of the podium in 4:01:47
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