While the bottles of champagne are getting uncorked, glasses get filled…it’s time to have a look to what pas season brought to us!
Evaluation is key to succces, looking in the mirror and being honest for you and the surrounding people to get to the best results. The hours athletes train must not be occupational therapy but results-oriented. Whether this reflects in personal growth, feeling good as performance wise.
2019 kicked of with victories and podiums in some runningraces in prep or as A-races for our athletes. Also our crossduathletes, mountainbikeriders and cyclocrossriders were under steam from the moment January and February began, victories in both disciplines confirmed this.
Of course our annual after NY groupsession also was reflecting on the way our athletes were going to enter spring season.
When February came to an end, our road athletes and cyclists could show their power for the first time! With immediately strong results in cycling of Anthony, Dries, Tibo and Svenne who played a role for the podium from day 1 untill 9months later in the last races of the season!
In Triathlon the early season races such as Tenerife (1st AG, 9th Pro incl) gave a good insight in the way our athletes were going to perform later that season. With victories in several crossduathlons an trailruns in the beginning of spring the season couldn’t start better.
From April on all roadcyclists and triathletes were ready to go!
With in triathlon Kona qualification in Ironman South Africa, 3rd in place in the duathlon nationals (and 1st master) and winning the regional championships Time Trial our athletes aimed very well towards the first series of championships.
In triathlon, podiumplaces in Belgium, The Netherlands and France were earned. In cycling our athletes kept winning and taking podiumplaces, from juniors untill elite riders. For Bram a frustrating period by missing qualification for the Elite world championships mountainbike twice…by 1 spot! But perseverance kept him going and a few months later was capable of taking this qualification with both hands! In junior category Andres takes several podiums in the MTB marathons.
May traditionally is the launch of the Ironmanraces, with Bert (Pro) and Pirmin (AG) our athletes performed great from the start of the IM season with Pirmin taking the Hawaii slot. An example followed later that month by Javier (IM Cairns), Vadim and Sam (IM Boulder). These athletes, together with Alejandro (2nd AG IM South Africa) were going to race Ironman Hawaii 2019. Pirmin (3rd), Vadim (3rd) and Sam (1st) also could mount the podium in their qualifying races. In Bould it was Cai, getting on the podium but missing her slot by a hair.
But not only the Full distance world championships in Kona were a main goal for our athletes. Hannah and Dave succeeded in qualifying for the Ironman 70.3 worlds in Nice, France by putting down a remarkable race in Staffordshire, UK.
As the season continued and in both cycling and triathlon our athletes kept going strong and win races.
Our youngest triathlete Rens mounted on the podium in his first 70.3 race in Lahti, Finland, while our professional triathletes took top 10 in Ironman Vitoria-Gasteiz ( Sergio 9th, Bert 10th).
July was a busy racing period in Ironman with many races such as Frankfurt, Klagenfurt, Zürich, Hamburg, Vichy!
In Zürich Steven and Tony put down a smashing result. Tony realised to finish 21st overall in this Ironman classic!
Summer also is the moment elite riders take part in several stage races followed by some (pro)kermesse races. Our elite riders could battle within the first places of the peloton in those races.
In the same period Bram finally got himself qualified for the UCI Mountainbike world championships, where he was going to race against the best ever riders such as Nino Schürter.
And what to say about Svenne, taking 3rd in the UCI world championships for Masters after breaking his femoral head. A very tough preparation on the Turbo and off the turbo, with almost no races and a coach saying: ‘Pain is French bread’ but also joining the man in his first race with the healed hip…is not only a physical but also mentally TOPperformance ;-)!
Another comeback-man this season was Hans, for most people he never was away…but somewhere he was involved in an ‘impingement’ and had to slowly build his way back. In his first race of the season the performance was already very good…but what he realised furthermore in Jabbeke and in his main goal this season Ironlakes was EXCELLENT!
Ironlakes, a full distance triathlon with over 2000D+ on the bike and 380D+ on the run was going the be the race to see if Hans was back already or net yet totally…it seems he was! He won by far in this tough race and also won his 2nd full distance triathlon in his career. Who has?
Winning Ironlakes was excellent, the 6th full distance win so far for our athletes…but this inspired with excellent performances in the Ironman70.3 world champs of Hannah And Dave and more 70.3 races in autumn, our athletes kept performing well untill the last 70.3 races of the season in Lanzarote and Turkey!
Only 3 weeks after the win of Hans in Belgium, it was Ironman Pro athlete Sergio who took his first full distance win in his career in Guadiana, Spain!
This in the same style of Hans, leading and dominating the race!
In Ironman Barcelona our athletes did very well, our agegroupers were all heading towards a PB race and Bert, starting in the Pro race. Was on for his 3rd(!) Ironman this season and how! Another time confirming his place in the mid-field of the prorace with another fast time as result!
Traditionally the Ironman World championships are held only 1 week after Barcelona!
Our 5 athletes Pirmin (Swi), Sam (Bel), Javier (Col), Alejandro (Spain) and Vadim (Can) did their best from start untill finish. Going into the race in Kona always brings a bit of stress and uncertain factors. But the results were satisfying with top 10 place for Sam, but also a sick Alejandro who vomited from Km 1 on the bike but maintained and could make the stomach work again at the end of the bike to finish with a 3h15 marathon. Javier learned a lot in his first race in Kona about humidity and travelling. While Pirmin and Vadim, 2 experienced racers had the time of their life and know what their working points are approaching Kona again.
For Vadim this was a seesaw to Kona 2020, because only 6weeks later he realised the impossible by finishing 4th in Ironman Arizona (US) and taking his slot 1 year in front!
In autumn cyclocross restarted, crossduathlons restarted and our athletes took podium in several races such as Wetteren, Damme, Malonne, Maldegem,…
In ‘Hel van Kasterlee’, (15K run – 110K MTB – 30K run) our athletes were alive in the race and at the sideline! We saw Stijn, Bart, Lucian and Hans black and full of mud all day, but at the finishline we could somehow still recognize a big smile 🙂
With the groupsessions of last months we can say 100% sure that in 2020 the motivation, consistency and spirit is burning more than ever! Now it’s up to our athletes to ‘Train smart, perform better’!
CU all in 2020, winners will be winners!