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European Championships: Jelle Geens signs a crazy rise to the Top 5!

Saluting the crowd on the finish straight, Jelle Geens looked pleased with his fifth-place finish in the Olympic distance triathlon event (1.5km swim, 40km bike, 10km walk ). But no one knows what would have happened if the Limburger had not completely missed his first swimming lap, during which he lost around fifty seconds (over 750 m).

“It was really a fight until the first buoy. And since I’m not one of the best swimmers, I admit that it was very hard… But that’s how it is.”

Out of the water in 47th position (with Erwin Vanderplancke while Noah Servais was in 14th place…), more than a minute behind the Hungarian Devay, accompanied by a French trio composed of Bergère, Le Corre and Coninx, Jelle led a long bicycle hunt. Behind a leading group with twelve triathletes, the Limburger found himself in a third peloton. But he struggled to make the junction with the second before chasing the leaders, which he then clocked in at 0:54.

“Faced with the three Frenchmen, who regularly took turns up front, I had little chance of making up time. But I had to give everything to not regret anything.”

At the end of the 40 km on the bike, the gap was 0:45. Up front, the three Frenchmen spun with the Hungarian Lehmann to offer themselves a historic hat-trick. 12th after the first lap of 2.5 km on foot, at 0:38, Jelle Geens began his crazy comeback, moving up to 8th place, then to 7th and, finally, to 5th, just 0:30 behind Leo Bergère, new European champion, successor to… Pierre Le Corre.

In the Belgian clan, Erwin Vanderplancke ranked 38th and Noah Servais, 50th… Erwin’s reaction: “This course, winding on the bike and hilly on foot, did not benefit me. I’m happy to have finished because it was hard.”

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