Here you have one happy coach, the biggest tri-weekend of the season…with many athletes getting involved in races! We knew our athletes are in great shape, but every raceresult depends on how an athlete gets up and goes into the race!
With big races coming we mentally load to the race and look really forward to what’s going to happen. You win some, you lose some…but winning some sure is much nicer.
Saturdaymorning I was in Holland and could witness the raise of Tony (Young duathlete transforming to triathlete) who was able to do a very good swim followed by a super 40K TT and 10K cruising @3’30/k pace to finish the day. He won with >5’advantage on his concurrents. He won his first ever triathlon and confirms the Half distance results of Leuven and Bonn! Great to see the development of this athlete.
A bit further in Holland the Run-Bike-Run series in Amsterdam were held, Jan was invited there to do this race and he did great finishing just before former European Champion Vandersmissen! Building towards the World Championships now for Jan!
Saturdayafternoon we heard some of our athletes who messaged or called, with lots of energy to go into the race. Every athlete has its own mental approach, but I felt concentration and willing to do well everywhere.
Early in the morning on sunday the Ironmen were ready to enter the water in France and Austria! Meanwhile I went off doing a short spin to get down my stresslevels…I was out with somebody and said: “who knows, maybe 2 sub9’ers…if that happens it would be great!”
In France Hans swam a good race and could enter transition with a reasonable gap on the fastest swimmers! It was one of our athletes Seb, who lives on the racecourse, who messaged us that at Watten (K35) Hans had only 26″ behind the first athlete. At that moment I knew he would get into the lead. For a good cyclist that’s an advantage. Especially in a race like Chtriman where you don’t have pelotons (you do have these in IMlabels). Being in the lead also means you’re in control of the race and don’t have to accelerate to catch groups or ‘legal-drafters’.
The advantage on Julien Boulain (Fr) seemed to be growing fastly in this man-to-man battle. Hans never could be sure, because Boulain his status and former IM results. But this was no Ironmanlabel, so the cyclingpart only got more important. Pacing was done on exactly the wattage we talked about before the race, so if nutrition was ok…
Again I am not posting any wattagefiles of Hans, just because I want to express the great swim and run he did!
He sure should be capable of battling for the win by doing a good marathon. And he did!
His last kilometers must have been great, he kept on running and found his best legs to close the marathon after 3h05′!
Our first Irondistance overall winner of 2016 is Hans! Knowing he did the racecourse in 9h07′ with a 186k bikeride…it seems he has the legs for finishing sub 9h in a full soloday!
In Ironman Austria we had Cai and Sam and 2 rookies (Jorn and Peter) starting the race! Bad weather also was predicted so some tension was felt there.
Bad luck for Jorn before the start, going to the toilet and not finding back the guys with his wetsuit. Some panic before the start, but above all he had to get into a starting box that was too slow for him. The whole swim long he had to make his way through the field, but still entered T1 after 1h00! Sam followed close behind him, while Cai and Peter also came out of the water shortly behind each other. At that moment Cai was already in 11th position in her AG!
Once on the bike everybody got his recommendations to follow…
During this Ironmanrace you have a totally other impression about the cyclingpart than u have in Chtriman. Ironman is too much loaded with athletes and strong cyclists don’t get the full benefit out of it (especially in AG-racing). I was already disgusted, really disgusted after seeing IM70.3 Lux racepics.
Well, in Austria you have a rolling bikecourse which is perfect for moderate cyclists to cheat. Groups of >20 in front of the AG race, wheel to wheel….that’s not nice. The speed is hard and the watts are low. The guys pushing their own pace should be respected. I say: Ironman, stop acting this way but give more penalties, for the love of this sport!
But ok, that said…back to the games, Jorn and Sam went out there very fast and it was Sam who moved up during the bikeride towards 21st overall and came off of the bike in 1st position (AG). Perfect circumstances to get his Ironman Hawaii qualification!
Jorn got into T2 a bit later and was on track to be another surprise today!
At the moment Sam came off of the bike, I calculated that with a good run he would be capable of finishing sub9h! What happened then…nobody could predict. He realised his fastest Ironman ever and reached the finishline in 8h42′ after a 2h57’marathon!
Sam is not racing a lot, but within the last 14 months he took 3 AG victories, and now breaking his speedrecord! He took his qualification for the Ironman World Champs in Hawaii and can join Pierre (Bel) and Heather (Can) in Kona!
A nice fact to know is Sam could beat the powerrecord on a full distance among our athletes, I think he was stimulated by Hans setting the new Half distance record in Troyes ;-)! But once again, I won’t post the powerfile, just because you wouldn’t believe it…
Behind Sam, it was Jorn who did everything to finish sub9h30. From the moment he saw it was possible he pushed his body to the limit and ran his last km sub 3’50/km which was his fastest of the race! If you pace well, you are capable of growing during the race! Super glad for this athlete who was involved in an accident exactle 7days ago, his bike was totally wrecked so had to ride on the bike of a friend!
Cai did a perfectly paced bikecourse, and ran a good marathon. It made her move up towards 5th place in her AG and just missing a ticket to Hawaii. This 51-year old lady finished twice top5 in an Ironman within 10weeks!
Peter was the most unknown factor in the race, how would his body react on this long effort. Clearly he was ready and the taste of reachint the finishline is sweet! Becoming an Ironman deserves the deepest respect!
How much inspiration did our other athletes need to compete later that day? Not much more I think!
In the half Irondistance at Gravelines (France) it was Raphael who was extremely motivated to get into the top 10 of this regional championship half irondistance!
He went out hard on the swim course, but just missed the 2 main groups. So it would be 93K solo against the wind. Raphael got stronger past years, and I was sure he could manage his own race! He did, he raced 90K solo and kept the gap around the same! But he moved up to 11th and then his strong offbike long run came! It had been a tough race for all athletes and some totally were knocked down, while Raphael moved up! He finishes 4th! And that was even better than we hoped for! Also in the top20 overall Steven also got 4th in the masters race! Our other athletes all had a good race and fun, Wim for example was very proud on the fact that Hans (winning Chtriman) supported him during his race! Working with these athletes I can only be happy that our athletes have this kind of spirit! Healthy positivity is what an athlete needs!
In the female Half Irondistance at Gravelines Inge surprised,by circumstances not sure being able to compete in this race earlier this week, she got out of the water in 5thposition. Once on the bike she moved up to first place and she won her first Half Irondistance! One more race to go now for her before a short and well earned resting period!
And then the night fell…so the Canadians woke up… and started in their first triathlon of the year! Corey was very keen on the Inguish triathlon, he wanted to win this edition and went out very hard! But it was Andreas who seemed to be the runner-up in this race!
Andreas did better than his Swiss national soccer team the day before and kept his 2nd place till the end! Corey took the win with much determination!
In the sprintdistance we had Allan, who had a light muscle rupture earlier that week…by doing something he promissed never doing again!!! A wise decision to switch towards the sprint race, and with his current shape he was able to win and take his first triathlonvictory! More about this on his website!
Now looking forward to next weekend with the European champs Ironman at Frankfurt and the National Champs team time trial! It’s fun being on the run!
These athletes performing now are just enjoying the efforts they put in months ago!
This was an extraordinary weekend, with many races. Our youngsters and older athletes performed like bosses!
Train smart, perform better!