A long year is almost behind us, our athletes performed like bosses, from January till the end of December the one performance after the other was made!
This year was a year that personally wasn’t my easiest, with the loss of out mother. But as we learned to stand tall in difficult times…we kept going….and stood up again. Personally I must/will thank all the people who gave even the smallest word of support. Without the small or bigger supports maybe 2017 wouldn’t have been like it became…at sportslevel!
In January our athletes just drunk their last glass of champagne and the first races were there already, our athletes were involved in some road running races with for example the half marathons where we had 6 of our athletes crushing the 1h20′ and even some guys below 1h15, that already was a good sign towards the season. At that point our athletes hadn’t had any hard sessions yet. Base was good, strength was good…and then you can be already at 90% of your PB…if you approach training with a good periodisation. Laziness is never rewarded in sports, being creative and being a silent worker is!
Klaas, our cyclocrossrider even took an unexpected podium on the regional championships cyclocross!
our Canadians woke up and the first road races (running) were held overthere, with the Boularderie half marathon for example where Corey, Allan and Andreas took an exceptional clean sweep!
In Belgium the tough Sandman duathlon was held, with the win of Inge and very strong Hans in the male race. Both, at this point, were far from peaking period. With the results we knew in spring there would happen something…and it did!
Meanwhile the French speaking part of Belgium had its championships duathlon. There also our athletes got podium and even won the masters race.
At the end of this month our cyclists turned their engines on, immediately followed by big results! There was Svenne who already got podium and Anthony who was on for a S U P E R – Season who got 4th in his first race in Lens-Saint-Rémy.
March traditionally is the month where all sports cross eachother…road cycling, mountainbike, duathlon, triathlon, marathons,…but it’s also the month where you show what you’ve been up during winter.
March began with a duathlon win in Ashford (United Kingdom), Anthony who rode himself from the one podium to the other and wins in Tournai (Belgium). There also was the resurrection of Guillaume, who turned back into cycling and came back…stronger than he ever was before! There was also the trailrun on Ballon d’Alsace (France) where Arne got an unexpected podium and of course the duathlon in Hilversum (Netherlands) which closed the month!
In April the cycling season continued with wins in Couvin (Belgium), Mariembourg (Belgium) and Frankfurt (Germany). While our duathletes won races in the Netherlands (Ter Idzard), Germany (Eschweiler) and France (Douai). In Douai it was Hans who was able to put down an extraordinary result by beating former Pro world champion Koen Maris. Not so far behind it was Jan who, with the fastest 2nd run, could move closely to the front! In Spain it was David who did a great race in Orihuela early in the season and in Florida (USA) Allan won his race!
A bit more to the South Ironman South Africa was the first Ironman planned, with Pierre, Cai and Sam we had 3 athletes being capable of qualifying for Kona.
What happened there went just perfect! Pierre realised his best ever race and qualified for Kona for the 2nd year in a row, while Cai (5th in her AG) just missed the slot but managed to do a race perfectly as planned.
Sam from his part, once again took an IM podium by finishing 2nd AG overall (after former PRO Godart) and ran for the 4th time in his career a sub 3h marathon! Also his ticket was in his Bioracer-suit pocket!
Yes, April was the first peak for some of our athletes…and it was spot on it!
For the others…May became the first peaking period … and that promissed to be at least as surprising as April!
May was the month of duathlon championships,
with Jan becoming AG European champion and Wim losing his 3rd AG spot in the last kilometer we had success and learning in 1 race towards the world championships in September! Only 6 days after the EC the Belgian national championships were held in…Holland. In Almere Jan took top 10 overall and Wim managed himself to get his first medal on a national championships and got 3rd (masters).
In Mallorca (Spain) Adrian raced his first main goal of the season and in the 70.3 raced he not only got 2nd (AG), but also took a nice overall ranking and qualified for the 70.3 world championships.
Next to these races our athletes also managed to perform in Belgium and Canada in several cycling and triathlon races
Of course after a period like April and May, in which many outstanding performances were set by our athletes a coach silently hopes this can inspire the other athletes to perform at their verrrry best in the rest of the season. And it did!
In June this list of podium spots were reached:
- SWIKE Harelbeke: 3rd
- Half Irondistance Troyes (France): 2nd
- Rev3 70.3 Quassy (Canada): 2nd
- Half Irondistance Terheijden (Netherlands): 3rd
- Duathlon Baddeck (Canada): 1st
- Duathlon Baddeck (Canada): 2nd
- Duathlon Baddeck (Canada): 3rd
- Ironman 70.3Luxemburg: 1st AG Inge
- Ironman70.3 Luxemburg: 3rd AG Steven
- Cyclingrace Zomergem: 2nd Guillaume
- Mamer Duathlon (Luxembourg): 3rd Jan
- Cyclingrace Zottegem: 2nd Guillaume
- Time trial Zolder: 3rd Jef
Next to these results, multiple top10 races were made by our athletes!
In the triathlonraces of Meer, L’eau d’Heure, Oud-gastel, Couvin, Alpsman…our athletes performed very well.
In Ironman Klagenfurt (Austria) we saw our athletes stepping up a level with athletes going sub 10h and sub 9h30 for the very first time!
Unfortunately for Bert in Challenge Poznan (Poland), he was sent the wrong direction…being in 2nd position and having to quit the race. Bert was approaching the leader at that point and ready to take a full distance win! This made him keen on performing at least as hard later on this season…
July, the first month of summer…traditionally a loaded month with Ironman races in Frankfurt (Germany), Zürich (Switzerland), Santa Rosa (USA), Lake Placid (USA), Nice (France) and Whistler (Canada), but also the full distance races of Gravelines (France) and Challenge Roth (Germany). In all of these races our athletes gave the best of themselves with some extraordinary results in the end!
Each Irondistance also is a learning process, that’s what a few of our athletes experienced. The way you enter the race is crucial!
In Roth for example, Hans was our 2nd AG athlete getting SUB 8h45! With a win in his AG and a top overall ranking this was certainly his best full distance ever!
In Lake Placid (USA) Cai came very close again to qualifying for the World champs after a strong race on this tough racecourse, while Same managed an 11th place (overall) and another AG win!
A very strong performance again, and much more to say and reflect about it then just ‘eating chicken soup’ ;-)!
In Aarschot it was Bert who took his 2nd masters victory of the season, Inge who took the AG win in Xterra France, Anthony just outsprinted for the win in Rad am Ring (Germany), Corey getting 3rd in 70.3 Saint-Andrews, Allan winning the Aylesford triathlon (Canada) and Robbe (junior-cyclist) getting his first ever podium!
Next to all of these races it was Jan who was the 2nd Belgian in 2017 winning a Long distance duathlon (only 2 will win a LD road duathlon in 2017) in Gravelines (France)!
August is known as harvest period in Europe, the end of the road seasons approach and time for those who built a good base to finetune towards the last races!
Our athletes wer on the pdoim tri/duathlonraces and multiple cyclingraces in Belgium The Netherlands and Roumania, while in Spain David got himself on the podium in Medina de Rioseco (Spain).
In Belgium it was Bart who astonished in the tough Belman race by finishing 9th, where he found a racecourse that fitted him perfectly!
But Augustus also was a month of quite some Ironman racing!
With 70.3 races like Zell-Am-See (Austria) and Vichy (France), where our athletes performed very well. On the full distance in Maastricht (The Netherlands) Tim got 21st overall, and missed his slot by 1place after a 3h00 marathon which was the 6th overall (Pro incl) running time! Later that month our athletes also raced in Ironman MT where Allan got very close to a slot, Ironman Kopenhagen(Denmark) and then we had the Ironman in Vichy!
A magical day for one of our athletes, who flew and was in the lead of the race for a very long time!! Bert came through on the bike as 2nd very soon, with nobody around him and chasing groups behind him. With the rolling start it’s difficult to see where you are in the race, and the packs behind him of course were not easy to manage. With a fast bikesplit he put down his bike and started on the run course! Soon it was clear that former Pro and strong performing Clerbout came closer and approached him (timewise) . But nobody could avoid that it was Bert crossing the finishline 2nd!
A magical moment for our athletes to have one of our athletes crossing the Ironmanfinish like this! In the end it was Clerbout who won (faster time by +/-5′). Bert was our 3rd amateur athlete within a year who finished in 8h45 or faster! A performance to remember, and to be very proud of!
Only 1 week after the adrenalinerush in Vichy, our athletes registered for the World championships duathlon in Zofingen (Switzerland) were ready…to rumble!
Hans, Jan and Wim had their chances on the AG podium and were keen to get on it!
For all 3 of them the race turned into something fantastic, Hans (1st AG 35-39), Jan (2nd AG 35-39) and Wim (2nd AG 40-44) found themselves on the podium after the race!
With Hans who became first overall amateur and Jan who became 3rd overall amateur our athletes had their place between the Pro’s!
Only 2weeks after his 2nd place in Ironman Vichy it was time for Bert to enter the 70.3 world championships! With our well known Dan Stubleski at place number 1, Bert his 5th place was well earned! What a season for him!
Later in September we had 2 athletes ready to qualify for Kona 18 with Tony, strong as always and approaching his first Ironman in Wales! In Wales he got the company of Stijn, also racing his first Ironman! Both athletes did great and on this tough and very cold racecourse, where pro-athletes like Romain Guillaume had to leave the race because of the cold, Tony was capable of qualifying himself for the Ironman World championships 2018 in Kona, Hawaii!
In Chattanooga (USA) it was Van, our Californian trailrunner/Ironman athlete…with a super fast run of the bike he won the AG (45-49) and got 15th (!!) overall in his Ironman! With his slot in the pocket he is flying into 2018!
With several races like Gerardmer XL, Knokke, Damme (with another OUTSTANDING win for Inge) , the national duathlon title (masters) for Wim and victory for Andreas in Canada (Fiddlers half marathon) road season was topped off!
At this point our cyclocrossriders already had don their first races again!
October approached and Kona 17 came closer!
But first there were the Ironman race in Barcelona(Spain), where Jens was on his way to go Sub9 and take a Kona-ticket also! Only in the last kilometers his race got really tough finishing 4th(AG) and just not enough for the AG podium! But a magnificent race for one of our younger athletes in the Ironman circuit! Jens did a super season with quite some races all the way in the front of the race and finally closing his season with a fast race in Barcelona!
Also in Barcelona was Sem, a big step forward for him….finishing the race just above 9h30!
In Ironman70.3 Turkey Adrian astonished once again by getting another Ironman top10! Another good season for him this year with some nice goals to look forward to!
But not only Ironman has races in October, Vincent and Arne went to Empuriabrava to race their half irondistance and finished 21st and 22nd in this beautifull race in the north of Spain!
Of course there’s only 1 ‘all-eyes-on’ race in October and that’s the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii! With Sam and Pierre racing this year we hoped for the very best! And all was going perfectly, with both athletes having a good swim and immediately heading forward on the bike…untill Sam got a penalty…5′ of STOP for him!
Despite this penalty he went as hard as before the penalty for the rest of the racecourse and managed to STILL have the fastest AG 40-44 bikesplit and the 4th overall time….how fast were his legs! On the runcourse Sam couldn’t make the difference anymore and after being in the battle for the podium untill almost the end he finally got 7th! Pierre finished a bit later and completed his 2nd Kona-race!
The week after Kona our athletes already came together to have our first groupsession, a relaxed fartlek run and groupride were on the menu :-). The begin of a good season is where the past season ends!
In November it was clear that our cyclocrossriders got stronger and stronger, with Klaas getting several podiumplaces and move up towards 3rd overall in the Cyclocrosscup!
Kevin from his side amazed by getting the 2nd place in the regional championships, a nice step up in his comeback year!
December, the last month of the year and also a month in which many athletes enter their first prepraces towards ’18 with nice results in Run and Bikes, Offroadduathlons, trailruns and the continuation of our cyclocrossmen in a season full of suspense! Also a crucial month for training towards spring season!
But above all…there’s Kasterlee. A LD duathlon only known in Flanders, BUT with a great atmosphere and something special about it! A main goal for a couple of our athletes!
A main goal that was more exciting even than predicted, and finally one of our athletes won the race. Inge dreamt about winning it and she did! After mechanical problems she fought herself back into the race and won! That’s the mentality you need as an athlete, never give up!
In the masters race it was Wim who won, with his 11th overall place and super fast run off the bike! Marvellous season they both had!
In Thailand the riders of the WTT/W2W are also keen on starting their season and already in December the first races ar on there! With 4podiumplaces and 1 victory they immediately show what’s possible if you work smart!
Extra goalsets for the next year are simple – evaluation within 12months:
- getting our 10th world championships medal
- win a continental championship
- win a pro cycling race (UCI)
- At least 5 selections for the Ironman World Championships 2018, Hawaii
- win our 5th Irondistance race
- selection for UCI Gran Fondo world championships Varese (Italy)
- selection for the European championships cycling (UCI-PRO)
- Selection for the 70.3 World champs in Nice 2019
- Get a 100% ratio start/finish in all Ironmans
- Race with a lot of determination and beat yourselves physically and/or mentally during each race.
- Train smart, perform better (in real-life races, not on Strava, Zwift or on other Instagrams ;-))!
The page of the book of 2017 will be turned on December 31st, then we only look forward again! First date to meet…January 21st, group session ‘Jessevnsportscoaching-classic’. Be there, or be square!
Have a good party!
*The full list of podium places in ’17 , but with 3days to go and knowing our athletes this can still change!