Høgenhaug kicks off season with excellent 2nd place at Challenge Gran Canaria

BMC |Høgenhaug 2nd place at Challenge Gran Canaria

Kristian Høgenhaug narrowly missed out on victory in his season opener at Challenge Gran Canaria. The BMC athlete secured 2nd place in his season debut, displaying an excellent swim and taking the lead during the latter half of the bike leg, only to be overtaken in the final 6k of the run. Crossing the line with a time of 3:45:29, he fell short by just 35 seconds behind the winner, Iestyn Harrett (GBR; 3:44:54), while Ugarte Ramos Mikel (ESP; 3:46:26) rounded out the podium.

Dominant Bike Performance

Kristian Høgenhaug had dedicated significant effort to improving his swim during the winter, and this investment immediately paid dividends in his first race of the season. Emerging from the water in 11th place, a mere 15 seconds behind the leaders, he faced a minute deficit after T1. Negotiating the technical terrain of the bike course, comprised of four laps, Høgenhaug steadily narrowed the gap to the front. By the halfway mark, he had joined the leading pack. Despite the exertion of catching up, the Danish athlete comfortably settled into the forefront of the race. Seizing control with 20k remaining, Kristian surged ahead, establishing a considerable lead in the final stages of the bike leg.

BMC | Høgenhaug 2nd place at Challenge Gran Canaria

Clocking a bike split of 2:03:33, he transitioned to the run with a 1’20 advantage over his competitors. Throughout the five out-and-back laps of the run course, Høgenhaug maintained a solid pace, albeit seeing his lead diminish to 20 seconds midway through. Despite his determined effort, he couldn't stave off Harrett's surge for 1st place with 6k remaining. Nevertheless, at that point, Høgenhaug held a lead of over a minute over the 3rd place contender. Crossing the finish line in 3:45:29, Kristian secured 2nd place, a mere 35 seconds behind the winner.

A Promising Prelude to May

Reflecting on his performance, Kristian Høgenhaug expressed satisfaction: “I came here aiming for a solid performance to shake off the rust from last year. Today served as a tough test before my main objectives in May. Despite a challenging start in the water, I managed to work my way to the front and integrate into the lead group. The second loop of the swim proved chaotic with the presence of age groupers, causing me to lose touch with the front pack momentarily.

BMC | Høgenhaug 2nd place at Challenge Gran Canaria

Transitioning to the bike leg, I maintained a controlled yet aggressive pace to rejoin the leading group. Sensing the opportunity, I launched my attack on the final lap, pushing hard on the climbs. While this effort possibly impacted my run, I attempted to conserve energy in the closing kilometers of the bike leg. Although my run performance may have fallen slightly short of expectations, I recognize the need to incorporate more speedwork into my training regimen. Overall, securing 2nd place is a positive outcome, providing a solid foundation for the upcoming season, particularly as I look forward to competing in two IM70.3 events in May, culminating with a memorable run.”