Today the first of several world championships in multisportsracing was coming up!
With the ITU world championships duathlon in Zofingen (Switzerland) this day was marked in red already months ago! With Jan (defending and multiple) AG world champion, always keen on performing in Zofingen. But this year our newborn duathlete Wim and du/tri/cyclatlete Hans we also had some other wolves in the battle!
Goals were set, both Jan and Hans their focus was on trying to get on the AG podium and take a medal. Easy said, not easy done. Wim from his side was convinced by his coach with the words ‘You will be capable of getting close to the podium, don’t let your chances get wasted’ and he registered. No way back!
10K run – 150K bike and 30K run, that are the distances on the menu, hilly…. together these distances reached the running distance of what our Roumanian athlete Ciprian did in Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc :-), and he had no bike!
Confidence was there for our athletes, Hans had a super Challenge Roth (Germany-8h44), Jan got the win in LD duathlon Gravelines (France) and got 3rd last week while Wim won the SD in Gravelines (France) and got 3rd in La Gileppe duathlon (Belgium).
The first run was directly clear, our athletes ran for what they were worth and held some fuel in the tank. After the run all 3 were close to the podium in their AG and Jan was already among the Pro athletes mounting his bike 1st in his AG.
On the 150K hilly bikecourse it was Hans ‘La Machine’ that immediately took the AG lead (35-39) before Jan. In AG 40-44 Wim kept contact with the podium and was spotted 4th for a long time. During this bikecourse it became more and more clear that Hans was taking the overall AG lead. Slowly but surely he moved up in the profield also and got close to the top10. Jan from his side kept the podium in his sight putting down the bike, as well as Wim did. In the final end of the cycling course Wim joined Jan and they could start running close to eachother.
And than that run…Zofingen is also about running fast of the bike. If you can’t run fast off the bike you can’t win…and so they ran fast! Hans did what some sideliners (and they are called ‘sideliners’ because they belong there of course) didn’t expect him to do and that’s surviving and winning the overall AG race in Zofingen on the running course!
The overall 2nd AG athlete after the cycling part took the lead on the run, but Hans…took him back in the end! With a 13th (pro included) place and 1st (AG 35-39) he can call himself the AG world champion. Tot spijt van wie het benijdt!
Jan from his side is a fighter as we described him a few days ago and he fought himself from 4th to 3rd…and from 3rd to 2nd! With a 6th (!) overall running split he takes silver in his AG (35-39) and joins Hans on the podium! His words after the race ‘I get my results because I never give up, they can knock me down…but I will never give up, I wanted that 2nd place and that was the highest possible goal. Hans was outstanding.’ Great words of Jan!
In the AG 40-44 Wim was on his way to 4th place for a very long time, but then again. Winning is something you always do on the run…Wim moved up to 3rd place and even to 2nd place! Before the race I told him:’ focus on the podium, Laurent Martinou (France) is too strong, he is an overall top 15 athlete. Don’t focus on him!’ But then…Martinou collapses and Wim came close in the end finishes only 1′ behind Martinou…getting 2nd in his AG (40-44)! Or how things can evolve sometimes!
After losing his 3rd place in the European championships in the last kilometer, Wim learned a lot when it comes to racing strategy and nutrition 😉 Well earned silver for him!
With 3 athletes in this World championship and taking 1*Gold and 2*Silver home, all athletes within the top 28 (Profield included) we can’t say anything else than we’re proud! Zofingen and our athletes have a commitment since years, with several top 15 and even top 8 places overall, 4*AG gold and 3*AG silver we are keen on performing in this ‘mother of all duathlons’ every year! CU next year ;-)!
Next few days these athletes can, may and must relax and have a bit of rest!
But this is not all what happened this weekend, our athletes inspire eachother. That’s clear!
After Bert’s 2nd place in Ironman Vichy last week I thought: ” well THIS was a great summer”… but the summer lasts untill September 21st it seems!
Today Wim and Bjorn raced Flanders Cup in Langdorp,
Wim, currently leading this classification got 3rd, only 5″ away from first place…and will need to finish at least top 3 in the next race to keep the lead in this GC! Winning this GC makes him Flemish champion XC 2017! Björn took 8th, and is ready for the World championships Firemen next week!
Belman triathlon, probably the toughest racecourse in a triathlon in Belgium (1,9K swim – 90K Bike – 21K run) was Bart’s last goal of the season, after Ironman Nice he put all effort on this race and with success! An astonishing result even, finishing 9th overall !
A nice way to end your season and start looking forward!
In La Charly Gaulle (Luxemburg) Niels and Anthony were both in the race to perform at their very best. In preparation of the Rothaus Ridermann (Germany) for both.
Anthony, who got hit by a car yesterday, was a bit sore at the beginning but still managed to be in the right breakaway in Luxemburg. 4th place in the end in La Charly Gaulle, but still feeling super well and in shape. Anthony is on a very high level since March (winning already at the beginning of the season) and feels ready for the upcoming races!
Train smart, perform better!