“Gentsche Fjieste” from érezée to Nice and all the way to Lake Placid!

“Losers focus on winners, winners focus on winning”, this quote was sent to me by one of our cyclists past week. This rider is out from February till end of June by a stupid accident he had. But his mentality is strong it seems, his point was: ” I Don’t focus on what other cyclists are performing NOW, I am now mentally ready to focus on where I am heading to”. And I can’t say I didn’t like this mentality.
Many athletes/cyclists focus on what other athletes do or perform, but forget to see what they are doing good/wrong, where they come from and don’t know at all where they are aiming at. Aim too high, lose a lot. Aim to low, never be (personal) succesfull! Aim right, train right and get your mentality right. That’s the message, and that’s the people we work with.

Our weekend started with a holiday in Belgium on Friday, for athletes that means OR a good training day OR a raceday! Our athletes raced in various triathlons and cyclingraces!

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Our athletes went out hard on this national holiday, like Dimi in Kapelle!

On Saturday the National Championships Mountainbike were held, with Wim. A Cyclist/MTB ride we are working with and having his first REAL goal of the season.
Wim is someone who was very anxious about training guidance and not being able to combine training with work. But step by step he noticed that it’s just professional coaching that directs you to racingpleasure, trainingpleasure and work-life balance throughout the year. And then, the big week was coming. With good testresults and very good prepraces (also in roadcycling) confidence was there. A for him UNUSUAL taper-off phase came and it’s logical that feels weird. But one thing is for sure, it pays off.
Wim did an excellent race on a very tough racecourse taking the bronze medal home!

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A fresh body in shape is capable of going hard for a long time. In these XC races athletes must be capable of pushing at anaerobic threshold an above all the time.

 

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“The 2 in front of me were simply better, 3rd place was the maximum I could get out and I got it” was Wim’s reaction after the race!

A day later all eyes were set on our athletes racing Ironman Nice (USA) and Ironman Lake Placid (USA), both races have an important % of climbing. In Nice the run is flat, in Lake Placid hilly of course.

Our athletes in Lake Placid, Sam and Cai raced their 2nd IM of the season.
Every Ironman counts as experience and it’s very much possible doing 2-3 Ironman races a year, even as an agegrouper. But plan this right, plan this wise…especially with a 3rd race (in Sam’s case) planned in Hawaï at the end of the season.

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Sam on his way to the fastest AG bikesplit, only 4Pro’s were faster!

Lake Placid definitely was a goal to approach, for both Sam and Cai.
Rolling start in Lake Placid, which makes it more comfortable for the athletes in the first hectometers of the swim. Easier also to focus on your own performance and not being disturbed during the race.
Another good swimming performance of Sam (1h01′) made get in touch of the front of the AG-field early on the bikecourse. Cai also did a good (her PB) swim with 1h17′ and was ready to attack the climbs, her favourite part of the race.

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The Hilly bikecourse in Lake Placid definitely a race that attracks strong cyclists

On the bike Sam moved up to the front very soon on the bikecourse and halfway the bike he was leading his AG. At the same time we noticed that not many athletes were going faster, so he closed down the gap with the overall AG leader on the last climb.
But even more astonishing was the way he cycled in this topfield of PRO-athletes.
With Brent Mc Mahon (who broke the world record in IM Brasil 2016), Andy Potts (7* IM winner, former Olympian, World Champion 70.3,…), Justin Daerr (8*overall IM Podium),  TJ Tollakson (Multiple Ironman winner), Jim Lubinski (Current AG world champion),…

An honest bikecourse in Lake Placid, because of the profile of the race always makes gaps between the athletes. Fun to race these kind of races if you don’t like the drafting in Ironmanraces.

Cai from her side was keen on this bikecourse, and raced perfect. With a 167NP for this Irondoc she moved up to 5th place overall with the podium in sight. A slightly higher poweroutput than planned. But not too high to influence the run! It was going to be a close combat between the AG women.

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Cai with moved up to place 5, cycling the 2nd bikesplit in her AG

On the bike Sam could make speed on this racecourse and realised the 5th overall bikesplit (Behind Tollakson, Mc Mahon, Potts and Daerr) and fastest AG on the bikecourse! With temperatures just above 20degrees Sam forgot to drink from time to time which made him feel slightly dehydrated getting on the bikecourse. At that moment he was leading his AG far ahead and in 13th overall place close to the 1st overall Agegrouper.

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Sam begun the slightly dehydrated and had to refuel seriously during and after the run!

This athlete had a 4th overall running time on this hilly course and finished 6th overall. Feeling a bit dehydrated Sam turned down the pace a bit and kept his rhytm and control in his race to finish 11th overall and win his AG (40-44)!

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Sam running a consistent race and heading to the win in his AG and finishing 11th overall!

For Cai the race on the runcourse went well, it was tough but also on the run she realised perfectly what we planned before the race!
With the performance she did, she would have been on the podium the past 2years. Today a few women were stronger and she finishes on a nice 6th place, with only 2slots in her AG she still goes to Hawaï in Sam’s supportcrew.

 

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It’s nice to see Sam once again in the overall front of an Ironman. With behind him the current AG world champion.

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In Nice our athletes were represented with (I think) the biggest fancrew!

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With good swims our athletes could get on the bike well. It was Bart who could move up in his AG and ride the bikecourse as planned. With an eye on the watch the planned goal was an easy catch! But THE mistake athletes make when they come off the bike well is starting their run way too fast. If you feel good, way to build up your race till the 2nd half of the runcourse and not go faster than the pacingplan!  But a race that goes 95% well is a good race for sure!

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Bart getting stronger year by year, finishing in his 3rd Ironmanrace!

For Wim, Ironman Nice was his 2nd Ironman and with high expectations he came out of the water! Unfortunately a mechanical problem, a broken time trial steer, almost made him not finish the race! But with some McGyver tricks he could put everything together and ‘ok’ for the officials. Despite this bad luck he realised to finish in his Nice among his supportteam!

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Mechanincal problems didn’t stop Wim, the finish was his goal…mission accomplished!

With this weekend being done, the season is far from…there is a lot of racing left with still 2Ironmans this month. In Santa Rosa (29th- USA) and Whistler (30th  – Canada) our athletes will again give the best they can!

From Belgium we got nice news from Robbe, racing GP de Tirelite at Leuze-en-Hainaut, where he could make it in a breakaway with 4 other riders and sprint for victory! Only 1 rider could outsprint him and like this he takes his first podium as a cyclist! Congratulations!

We don’t often talk a lot about our junior/youth athletes, because in our vision youth sports is a process. Not  a goal. And if you re-read the first 10lines of this blog you will realize the process evolves in the good direction 😉

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Robbe (right) getting his firt podium in Leuze!

 

Train Smart, Perform Better,

Jesse

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