Strong results today of our athletes in Ironman Switzerland, 3 athletes racing in Zürich: Tony (AG35) – Steven (AG45) – Cai (AG50)!
The race started with rain and a bit annoying weather conditions, but as the athletes approached their bikes…sun appeared! Tony out of the water in 1h01, Steven 1h02, Cai a bit later in 1h22. Knowing our athletes in Zürich are Pac-Man racers this was a good opener!
Tony immediately appeared moving up strongly and very soon was seen in AG top 10, in the 2nd part of the bikecourse he was able to maintain his rhytm and put down his bike 4th in his AG!
Tony immediately appeared moving up strongly and very soon was seen in AG top 10, in the 2nd part of the bikecourse he was able to maintain his rhytm and put down his bike 4th in his AG!
Steven (AG 45) was keen on a good result, a perfect preparation of him and getting touch with the better athletes in his AG from the beginning. Being just within/just without top 10 in his AG during the whole bikecourse and finally putting down his bike 9th!
Cai from her side was also moving up towards top 10, and could maintain this untill T2! Cai, racing Switzerland only 40days after Ironman Boulder!
Before the running, pacing strategy for Tony was clear, HR XX and not running faster than 4’20-4’30/km. Strategy that worked fine, from start untill finish of the marathon! Running a constant marathon at 4’29/km resulted in maintaining 4th position, for a short moment Tony was in 3rd but a 2h47′ AG runner (!) was simply too fast to get on 3rd spot! This 4th spot, but above all 10th overall agegrouper and 20th with professional athletes included makes Tony confirm again after his strong performance in Kona 2018! The Kona slot he won this year, he leaves for another athlete who will be lucky with the rolldown!
Steven was doing a perfect race untill the marathon, for him this marathon was something to look forward to. Doing a good marathon would mean AG top10! And so he did, starting off probably slightly too hard, but never crashing down and keeping the pace and HR up to finish with a 5’01/km marathon and move up during the marathon towards 7th place in his AG! Stunning performance for Steven and after his strong results in Lanzarote 18 confirming again in Switzerland!
Cai was having a good start of the marathon, and after 15K she moved up from 10th to 9th position! Unfortunately during the run gastroproblems made her go easier in the 2nd part of the marathon, before finishing just outside top10, in 12th position in her AG! With 2 Ironman races in 40days she definitely earns the Iron(wo)man title!
After last weekend with 2 top 10 results in Ironman Vitoria, our athletes confirm again! 7Kona slots were gathered so far this season! 5 athletes will go and Perform!
Our athletes qualified for Kona 19:
Vadim Suraev (Can)
Javier Cepeda (Col)
Alejandro Casado (Spain – involved in a crash today, broken collarbone)
Last weekend of June, time to get racing before holidays a lot of athletes thought 😉 In Ironman Frankfurt a strong Pro field was lined up: Joe Skipper, Frodeno, Kienle, Russel, Lange,…and our Sergio (Spain). Sergio was racing his first Pro Ironman in this field, not easy and temperatures were making it a very hot and tough day! Kurt, Johan and Jelle were our Agegroup athletes racing! For Jelle his first IM.
A non-wetsuit swim, but no athlete should be afraid of this. You train plenty of time without wetsuit in the pool. Why being afraid of swimming without a wetsuit? Okay…some slower time. But times don’t matter in Ironman, that’s partly output of many circumstances. Sergio was having a good swim, coming out of the water in 1h00 and within the Pro pack. Only…at the beginning of the bike he got something in his wheel which made him have to stop and fix it. This made him lose contact with the other athletes who he left T2 with such as Andrej Vistica (Embrunmanwinner and multiple IM podium). This took over 7′ losing and seeing everybody riding away. This meant all Pro athletes were gone before he had to start the bike…solo! Nobody around him anymore and the strongest AG athletes 20′ behind. But he made the click and started his race, slowly but surely moving up…
Our other athletes came out of the water one by one, Johan was the first leaving the lake after 1h08 and getting on his TT! Jelle and Kurt soon after.
Once on the bike, our athletes got in their role and moved up. Moving up moderate and pacing well. Johan did a very good first lap, but in the 2nd lap he was only overtaken by 1 other athlete, overtaking many others! A lot of athletes going into an IM forget the fact that the race is long, the avg performance of the race counts. Not a swimcourse + 45K bike time… Jelle and Kurt both in their pace racing towards T2. Nutrition and drinks were key in the hot conditions of Frankfurt, 37°C.
Sergio, who had to come back from 40th position (far behind) was picking up other pro athletes at halfway the bikecourse. He would move up even towards 29th position, when coming off the bike!
Once on the runcourse Sergio got himself into the rhytm, trying to catch up as many other athletes as possible. And that worked, he could move up towards 20th place in Frankfurt! A race with many toplevel Pro athletes in tough conditions.
Johan and Jelle started their marathon slightly too enthousiastic, feeling fresh and loaded for the run. But being too enthousiastic in the beginning always becomes slightly tougher in the end!
But both athletes did well, succeeded and kept running towards the finisline! Johan takes the finish in 10h49′, Jelle finishes 12′ later in 11h01′, hoping for sub 12h before the race. Kurt had a fight with the heat, but won the fight and finished a bit later in Frankfurt!
In 70.3 Salamanca, Spain Alejandro was ready and loaded for some strong racing and putting down a very good race! After the swim he immediately got into the right rhytm and rode himself within the toppositions! Putting a very strong bikesplit with 290NP ~71kg he prooves once again he’s in topshape!
Unfortunately, a lack of drinking and forgetting to eat…a big big ‘beginners’mistake made him not get in rhytm for running towards the podium finishing just next to it on 5th position! Forgetting to eat may not happen, it’s part of racing and big part of the performance! Even if you are chasing down the leaders! 5th in the end, good shape and ready for Ironman Gdynia (Poland) within a few weeks!
Not only in Frankfurt and Salamanca our athletes were racing today! Also in Belgium our athletes were racing with a lot of top 5 AG results!
In Kanne our athletes raced the 111Triathlon
The town of Gravelines,France hosted the yearly Chtriman race! In this 70.3race our 70.3 athletes and Ironman athletes took part of this big event. Also in this race our athletes realised fast times, and put down personal topperformances!
In the 111duathlon Robby takes 5th overall and feeling very well in his first ever 90K TT experience!
A very nice weekend behind us again, and looking forward now to next weeks with Ironman racing in Vitoria, Zürich, Gdynia,…
One of the most loaded weekends with Long distance triathlon races of the season! A weekend in which our athletes raced in LD triathlons in France, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands, US and Australia! Important weekend also for a couple of our athletes with a World championships dream!
The first to hit the water this weekend was Javier (Colombia), putting huge steps past winter and working very accurate it was clear he was ready to do a personal very good race! There was a Kona dream (haven’t almost all LD triathletes have this…) but also realism. Doing a good race, and see what happens!
A very good swim made him step on the bike after 1h01′! On that bike Javier felt good! Living very high in Bogota, Colombia racing low should do good and it was! During training this sometimes is tough, but if there’s a positive effect on raceday…it’s very much a positive point!
This good swim combined with a fast and very well paced bike made Javier come off the bike within top 10. As Cairns is a continental championship…more slots are to be taken! Top 10 would be a certitude! On the run course Javier had previous bad experiences in IM and wasn’t planning to have this in Cairns! We paced HR wise, which worked out perfectly. The only focus was the focus on himself and a possible place close to IM WC qualification!
Doing a good run and being able to keep the pace in it untill the finishline, temperatures above and around 30°C. In Ironman an athletes must keep going, because the end of the race can be astonishing in all ways. 12th place for Javier and a couple of hours of waiting for the final salvation! Kona qualification was a fact! The day started perfect!
At the moment Javier’s race finished…our athletes in Ironman70.3 Staffordshire, UK hit the water. Not the best racing conditions, which made it a hard race! Both Hannah and Dave are in shape! Hannah could manage some very nice results in Elite cycling races and triathlons earlier this season, Dave prooved himself in his previous 2 triathlons.
A very big step forward was made this year. Balance in training is key, if the balance is not there an athlete falls back to underperformance. Always. Both athletes moved up well during the bikecourse to put down the bike in a position that would be very close to Ironman 70.3 WC qualifcation in Nice, France. And that’s also what happened!
Hannah kept her place within top 10 during the run course and finishes 8th! Dave from his side manages to finish 15th after a stunning race, perfectly paced and strong untill the finishline!
For both good enough to qualify for their first Ironman 70.3 world championships! A dream coming true! 3 world championships qualifiers on 1 day already? I was not dreaming!
In the Netherlands, 70.3 racing in Terheijden! Tony is in his last trainingperiod towards Ironman Vitoria-Gasteiz (Spain), this race would a last test and part of optimalization for him! Tony his weakest spot (if we may say this) is swimming, in Terheijden athletes have to swim 2500m instead of 1900m…perfect in full prep towards his IM.
Tony swam well, and this small ‘recovery’ week dit very well in his current shape! On the bike Tony paces at 320NP within HRzones and puts down the bike at exactly 320NP!
Tony, last year running a very strong marathon off the bike in Kona never disappoints when it comes down to racing!
A very tough challenger when you meet him in the end of the race!Running his half marathon at 3’50/km he keeps moving up untill the finishline and takes 3rd!
In Terheijden also MC takes 6th in the female race, which is very good in her first ever 70.3 race! Our athletes were also involved in 70.3 races in Bonn (Germany), Obernai (France) and Herning (Denmark)!
In Herning the athletes had to conquer cold conditions, rain and wind in the face for the first 50K which made several athletes go into hypothermia! But also racing in Belgium (1/4distance Beernem). Alex and Dimi both are in great shape and probably their best shape ever! 2 big boys who get faster and stronger by their age. ON this part they had a perfect example in Beernem…with Steven finishing 2nd (40+) in the masters race!
And then, late in the afternoon (European Time) our athletes in Boulder, USA were on for a tough race! Watertemperature was quite cold but above all altitude was heavy the first days after arrival! Racing at 1600m above sea level is not for everyone. During their first sessions in Boulder their body clearly needed to adapt. Fortunately Cai, Sam and Vadim had a good preparation trainingwise but also altitude wise with periods of training high or sleeping high! The body surely adapted to racing conditions approaching raceday! In contradiction to previous years where very hot temperatures were measured in Boulder today’s race would be very cold. With temperatures below 10°C. Which is cold for triathlon! Fortunately our athletes could directly warm up on the bike, hitting the watts and going in search of the front of their AG! For Vadim, coming out 6th in AG45 pole position was visible very soon in the race! Sam from his side had a 10′ gap on the leader and Cai got on her bike with the same gap!
Once on the bike endurance, strength and globale shape becomes the most important issue! Our athletes moved up quite fast! Vadim got company from Swiss Mike Schifferle (Pro untill 2018), with his registration for the race…only 2slots would be divided between the rest of the athletes! Vadim and Schifferle in the lead, up to the opponents to chase them down. But these positions were held untill T2!
Vadim was in 2nd, but had chasing athletes close to him before the start of the marathon! With one of the fastest AG bikesplits and faster than a few Pro’s this 46year old Canadian prooved he was ready for a big effort!
Sam was aiming for a ride at 250-260NP , not overdoing it to save energy for the tough run course following! Very soon Sam took his place in the top 5 of his AG, once the athletes passed halfway the bikecourse Sam takes the lead and takes a massive advantage of 15′ when he enters T2!
His bikesplit was good for the 10th overall bikesplit, Pro field included! Without problems Sam was ready to take his slot and qualify for the 10th time for the Ironman World Champs!
On the bike Cai also did great, the bike discipline is definitely her strongest discipline and it made her move up towards 3rd position! In the first half of the race a couple of othere athletes sticked around her but once got further in the race her advantage on 4th and 5th place become bigger! Big enough to come off the bike with podium ambitions!
3 athletes on the podium at the end of the race? It became a possibility…and this ‘crazy’ weekend definitely gave confidence that all is possible! Sam moved up very strongly on the runcourse, the further the run was the more advantage he took in his AG…but he also moved up towards the Pro athletes and a very good overall position was in it!
The runcourse was tough, over 300D+ and a lot of turning combined with altitude didn’t make it an easy job. But he manages to become 14th overall and win his AG by far! Kona qualification was a fact! Packing and flying to Kona for the 10th time in October! When all goes as planned…things seem easy! But things aren’t always as they look like! For Sam also a preparation is full of ups and downs, being capable of dealing with small setbacks is what makes the difference between winners and losers…
For Vadim Schifferle (fastest AG athlete – 13th overall) was out of reach from the beginning of the run course, focus on keepin his top3 spot and Kona qualification! Only 3 slots, so no mistakes to be made! Vadim ran very constantly in the first half of the marathon! But then slowly HR dropped. Not a lot, but by small %. This definitely was caused by his first 40km on the bike, in which he kept a pace slightly to high.
This always comes back to an athlete at a certain point! But, fortunately we are talking about little% and shape, endurance and strength was at 100% before the race. Vadim never dropped a lot of pace keeps fighting untill the finishline, being passed by 1 athlete in the very end he takes podium, 3rd!! What a day! 3athletes qualified for Kona, 2 athletes qualified for Nice…on 1 day! At this point we passed midnight…so maybe I do was dreaming??!
Unfortunately for our sleepquality Cai was in a very close battle for the podium ànd for a slot! Putting down the bike in 3rd position with quite a gap in front of her. Focussing on her own race and not trying to close a 15′ gap was the best she could do! Behind her, a fast running athlete was coming step by step! With only 2,5km to go her advantage dropped to only 1′. Fortunately Sam already recovered a bit and ecouraged her to keep going strong! With success…taking 3rd place and making the race complete! unfortunately only 1slot in this AG which means no qualification but marvellous performance…her name needs to be changed to Le’Suffer’!
All 3 athletes on the podium in Boulder, this clearly lead to a party
This weekend also means that in Kona we will have ‘thé’ AG squad in the world ready to roll!
Qualifiers for the Ironman World Champs, Hawaii so far:
* Pirmin Christen (Switzerland)
*Alejandro Casado (Spain)
*Javier Cepeda (Colombia)
*Vadim Suraev (Canada)
*Sam Gydé (Belgium)
Working with athletes all around the world remains an eye opener, an experience that’s very unique in the world. Our approach towards training, vision and communication is key! Thanks for all these athletes to give the best of themselves…as we give the best from ourselves!
Straight forward and no-nonsense, at your service!
A long gap between Ironman South Africa and the start of the European Ironman season! In South Africa it was Alejandro who amazed with a 3h03′ marathon and taking his World Championships ticket in style! Who will join him? Who can play this role untill the finishline…that was the question of course! Bert…not, simply because this year he made the decision to realize a dream at age 43 and race his first season as a pro athlete! So racing back to back among the pro’s to see what’s possible and measure with the very best in Ironmanracing! Not an easy decision, but a very challenging and respectable decision!
Pirmin? Our swiss athlete who wanted to make the step back towards a high level AG athlete. AG 45, but when Sam Gydé says to me ‘he’s a good athlete, strong,…he can’ then it must be possible! And so it is, a very good built up through autumn and winter and a first test in Cannes (France) finishing 2nd AG.
During the swim, both athletes did a great job. Bert (former swimmer) was clearly in a good stroke and gets out of the water in 53′. Pirmin was swimmin very well on training and confirms this with a 1h00′ swim, directly aiming towards top10 in his AG.
The cyclingpart in Lanzarote is known being the toughest and most difficult in the world. Not only altitude but also the strong winds make it to what it is! Only the strong survive. On this course you need to be a strong cyclist-runner to simply come to the end of the race!
Bert clearly felt good in his new role and moved up during the first half of the bikecourse. Being spotted 12th halfway the bikecourse, with behind him former Full distance winners such as Raña, Vistica,… Normalizing +/-300NP during this part of the race and HR slightly up is risky of course…but in the game trying is no shame! Pirmin, not so far behind, was moving up very strongly and was on his way riding the strongest bikesplit in his AG, by far! He moved up so strongly that once the athletes passed halfway he took the lead and kept making the gap!
In the 2nd part of the bikecourse Bert needed to control the body do not overdo it before the marathon! Delay of lactic acid production of course is critical in longer distance events.
Good to conquer the last climbs a bit more moderat before parking the bike! Pirmin stayed in pace and made a huge gap with his opponents. Not too many slots in Lanzarote, so being top of the ranking is a need if you want to qualify for Kona! There’s no in between.
Off the bike Bert could start running his pace and he was amazed some of the other pro athletes didn’t pass him earlier in the race! At kilometer 32 spotted in 15th position, but with many athletes very close it would be racing ‘full gazz’ untill the finishline! Pirmin was aiming for a 4’50-5’00/km pace to keep control of the body and keep the HR stable! At km 32 Pirmin was still in the lead, BUT 4 athletes came very close and slots would be played ‘life or death’. Pirmin grabbed the chance with both hands, kept faith and pace and ran towards 2nd place! Kona is calling, Pirmin is in after an excellent race! In front of him Bert came in 17th, right in the middle of the Pro field!
Ironman Lanzarote wasn’t the only Triathlon today! In The Netherlands Brouwersdam triathlon 1-80-10 was held, our athletes did a good job in this new ‘crazy format’ triathlon and also prooved that youth is there to step up towards Ironman in a few years? Our youngest triathlete, Rens 19years old, did an excellent race to finish 9th overall among the Dutch (Sub)top on the long distance!
A happy coach, having some exceptional glass of champagne tonight. Some moments you simply need to enjoy 😉
Plenty of races past weekend! With Tour of Kärnten (Austria); Challenge Lisboa (Portugal) and 70.3 Malaga (Spain) the weekend kicked off in Southern Europe! Today we continued the good vibes and had another day of races planned! Cyclingraces in Belgium and Austria! In Austria Anthony (3rd in GC after stage1) felt ready for the Individual Time Trial, with only 1″ of advantage on number 4 in the GC he wanted to keep his 3rd place safe! And so he did, with a 4th place in this 29K ITT he keeps safe his 3rd place and advances number 4 now by 1 minute! Tomorrow another climbing stage with a final that can go all directions…to be followed!
In Spain – Barcelona Sven and Raymond had to start early in the morning.
7am and off they were in the sea! Both athletes had a good swim, Sven (coming from a +40′ swim now for the first time touched the 35′ barrier. With a good bike he moved up already quite a lot on the tough Spanish course and put down the bike with a smile before running a splendid (!) half marathon in 1h22′!! Excellent job done
Raymond, one of our older athletes in AG 55. But each year getting better and better! Raymond did what he had to do in the swim and comes out of the water just below 35′, on the bike he moved up very strongly. On the bike Raymond already showed past winter during the groupsessions that the younger athletes are manageable for him! On this tough racecourse the biker awakens. Putting down his bike good with sight on a top 10position in his AG, which was extremely strong in Barcelona, he started running! With a steady half marathon @4’48/km he finishes 9th in his AG!
A few hours later in Leuven, Belgium, the yearly 70.3 distance was held. Leuven, the most beautifull city of Belgium, has a long triathlon tradition with many good triathletes in its environment. Our athletes feared the cold water temperatures of the lake, but all seemed manageable after all! For most of our athletes racing in Leuven today, this was a race in function of an Ironman race coming! For others this was a main goal! One of our athletes, Wim, lives just at the side of the lake and might consider this as his private swimming pool. So motivation was on top!
Tony, racing IM Zürich 2019, was our first man in the race. The ‘running’ swim start made him look for the right pace in the first 500m, but once warmed up he got into his pace. With a strong bike effort he managed to get himself into the top 20 after T2!
With a strong run off the bike, which is the strength of many of our athletes he runs himself towards 14th place! Next steps: 70.3 racing in The Netherlands and Ironman Switzerland!
David, Diabetic triathlete and to follow on www.neverbackdown.be is aiming to become the 2nd Belgian diabetic – Type1 to become an Ironman finisher! For David this 70.3 race was hyperimportant according to nutrition and keeping control over the body. He did perfectly and did a very consistent race. Next step…full distance! In the masters race it was Steven who amazed, Steven got in contact with us after severe health problems and is now totally back on track. Finishing 26th overall and 5th master is very satisfying!
Our female athlete always are quite tough, and so is Isabelle! With a very good swim and a very strong bike she put down her bike 2nd in her AG, but also top 5 overall! At that moment victory in the masters category seemed unreachable having to chase former PRO Adam. But Adam dropped out and Isabelle kept going and took victory today! A good motivational after some backproblems.
Our Ironman athlete abroad are also getting ready to race! First race today for Vadim (Canada) in his first day off of the Turbo, feeling very good on the swim and bike he moves up towards 3rd AG (45) position to finish 6th and feeling almost ready towards Ironman Boulder!
First weekend of May, the ‘hot’ days are coming! Unfortunately Belgium is in a big cold these days, very cold temperatures, hail and snow in some regions!
This weekend our Elite riders raced in the regional championships, Anthony (West- Vlaanderen) had another strong race. With multiple top 10 results and podium spots this season already he was ready for a strong race this weekend. Finding himself in the lead group that went all the way to the finishline he was capable of sprinting for victory in this 21man group. Anthony takes 13th!
Dries (Vlaams-Brabant) didn’t find himself in the lead group. But having missed this group with legs on fire he decided to give it a go and in the very final he makes the jump to this group before the ‘Bosberg – former deciding climb in legendary editions of Tour of Flanders’. Finishing 8th U23 (21st in general) he can look back to a good race. But also knowing the fact he had to be in the group earlier in the race!
Onwards to next races for these 2 riders, they have nice results coming for sure!!
Our mountainbike riders were looking forward to Roc d’Ardenne for a long time! Bram is in chase of world championships qualification (Elite) in the marathon discipline. To get immediate qualification today he needed to finish 20th! 100K ~ 3000D+(!) and a lot of participants (volume), but also a lot of the best riders in this race. For 90K Bram was convinced to become 20th! But only in the last kilometers his place was attacked and he had to be satisfied with 21st! A pity, but after a good race the positive points may also weigh towards the future! 21st and having to get the ticket on another day!
In the shorter distance marathon (45K) Junior Andres felt good, rode strong and finishes 30th/500!
In Belgium the national championships duathlon long distace were held today and with ambition for the podium in the women’s race! In the male race we had in particular our LD triathletes coming to race, and because of the good date of the race this season the perfect diving board towars the 70.3 and full distance races!
In the female race both Inge (master) and Isabelle master) at the starting line! A fast opening in the first kilometer at 3’45/km for this 10-60-10 duathlon made Inge chose to not explode and wisely gets in her pace towards T2! Very quickly she moved up towards a position with here eyes on the podium at the end of the race! Both Inge and Isabelle moved up strongly, being in the master category they put down 2nd and 5th biketime overall!
In the 2nd run Inge could keep her place and the logical women in front of her were followed quickly by herself! 3rd overall and good for her first AG title on the long distance! For Isabelle the 2nd run would be a real test, and she did well putting down a 2nd run with not much of decay compared with run 1!
Our male duathletes/triathletes made a huge effort in Geluwe today and succeeded well in this race. With very good offbike runs they may look very confident towards their first triathlons!
And then…horror…triathlon veurne, water 13.8°C ‘they say’…but our athletes didn’t hold back and even looked forward to challenge these conditions! And how…Bert was our man in the front today getting out of the water 10th and moving up strongly on the bike towards the first positions…unfortunately PSSSSST…flat tyre and game over for him! Veurne was his last test before Ironman Lanzarote, where he will be racing in PRO category for the very first time!
Our othere athletes were killing it from the start and focussed on the AGcategories! Dimi, going very well in his recent tests and races was in a battle for the podium in AG35. 3 athletes within 30seconds, in the final of the race he moved up from 2nd to first and takes the win by only2seconds!
Hannah from her side, going very hard in her last cyclingraces, didn’t like the cold at all so she tried to race fast and takes 3rd! With other athletes very close to their AG podium the cold weather became a sidestory, the results…were the proof in the hot pudding!
Today another big racing day planned for our athletes! With Ironman70.3 Marbella the day starty early! For Sergio (Pro Licensed this season) a 1’25/100m seaswim made him get on the bike well. In front of him Brownlee, Dreitz, Rundstadler, the Dutch Brons brothers,…a tough field of competitors so determinations must be there! Sergio, not loving to climb a lot, was challenged by the difficult racecourse and did well before putting down the bike! With a strong run he takes 16th in this Pro -field.
Vincent from his side puts down a huge bike effort of 292NP which gives a mental boost and confirmation of his hard and good work of past months! With this bikesplit he takes a top20 overall bike effort!
Strong racing also in Belgium, with Tibo (junior). A 93K bikerace today! Being the engine of an early breakaway in which there was no cooperation at all he didn’t hesitate and kept riding with the wheel’suckers’ behind him! As I always say to my younger riders, don’t hesitate to make the race. Being in the wheels all day long can make you a winner of the day…but not a real winner! Tibo took the lead for 55K of 65K being in the breakaway and finishes 7th today. But 1 day… he wins!
Our elite rider Dries had the 3 BERGENPRIJS – E3 BINCKBANK CLASSIC, this race is one of the classics for Elite/u23 riders in Belgium. With a couple of continental teams at the starting line you know those 142K will go hard! Dries managed well between these riders and found himself sprinting for 6th place in a small group behind the leaders, finishing 29th.
Also our female athletes got involved in some cyclingraces, Hannah raced among the elites, Inge took 7th in another race!
In The Netherlands Jan puts down a huge effort in his 3rd half marathon this season. A Strong wind, tough racing conditions but also a strong mind. Jan his focus is on running this season and it’s clearly he’s taking it serious by accelerating in the last part and taking 3rd place in 1h14′!!
In Spain David race the Madrid Half marathon, hilly course and nice weather! With strong legs he finishes in 1h20′! Ready to come racing in Belgium 🙂
The biggest racing weekend of spring so far for our athletes, races in Germany, USA, Belgium, France, South Africa and Spain! All athletes dying to get into the races, knife between the teeth…
70.3 Sevilla, Spain for Sergio. For Sergio (Pro triathlete) the first big race of the season. After a winter of training looking forward to the races always feels great!
More than ready to get into the race he succeeded a good swim and moved up towards 5th position on the bike. A 5th place which he could keep untill the end of the race! Next up: Marbella 70.3!
Sergio’s race was a good example to look at for our other athletes racing 70.3. David and Georg were racing in Salou (Spain) and put down very strong races. Georg is not a beginner but probably made a huge beginner mistake which he we will never make again…by forgetting his BIBnumber and getting DSQ. Despite that he continued ‘illegal’ and put down a 265NP bikeride followed by a strong run. A pity for him, because he was on his way doing one of his best 70.3 races so far! David, http://www.neverbackdown.be , is diabetic Type-1. Each training, each race is trial and error but more and more he starts to get everything under control. And also today by finishing 70.3 Salou after a steady and well paced bikeride. During the run cramps came up, but he managed to keep all under control and finish well!
In Texas, USA, also a rookie at the starting line. With a running background (years ago), I was pretty sure finishing the race well wouldn’t be a problem. Bart aimed for a sub 6h time. I estimated 5h. Well…it became 4h56′. It may be said once again, a running background is a good background to start triathlon. If you have a bit of power 🙂
And then, Ironman time for Alejandro. A Spanish triathlete living in London and training 80% of his time indoor, between the 4 walls of his appartment. In Kona ’18 we took already quite a stunning performance by finishing in 9h14′ after a strong marathon side by side with Tony (4th in sprintduathlon Geel yesterday).
Stormy conditions in South Africa, a very rough sea swim in which 2 competitors were found dead. ‘A huge mistake of the organizers to risk these swimming conditions’ according to Alejandro. A short swim with slow swimming times in the pro category says enough I think…Alejandro survived…and even did well.
Before the race tactics were clear, an eye on power and the other eye on the pulse. A consistent bike was performed and wattwise we were spot on it. I know Alejandro can ride +/- 280watt on IM distance but then risks to run like a chicken towards the finishline. The loss in speed in some % less watts is almost nothing, the gain in running legs can be exponential. And so it was, moving up to 6th AG positon after the bike with several (+/-20) other athletes still in the game for world champs qualification…his position was perfect. The first 5K of the run he ran the slowest time of all competitors who finished top 10. The last 37K he ran the fastest time of all competitors who finished top10. A consistent HR based pace kept his body under control, never gave him the ‘exploded’ feeling and made him run even faster in the end. With a tough headwind pacing on HR seemed once again the best choice!
Alejandro moved up, came even close to the podium in his AG but finished 4th…and qualified for the World championships in Kona, Hawaii in October. South Africa loves our athletes and our athletes love South Africa…that’s for sure! Astonishing in the overall result:
Alejandro takes 5th AG overall and would have won any other AG
Alejandro takes 5th AG overall and would won any other AG
He beats former Pro athletes (who turn AG to grab the Kona ticket of course)
The fastest marathonrunners also seem to be the fastest overall performers. Running is becoming more and more dominant in the final ranking in highly densified fields.
Season is totally on, and our athletes are back on fire!
Strong results of our cyclists this weekend! All of them playing an important role in the development of the races!
Elite in Florennes, Anthony and Dries both in good shape past weeks and prooving already they have it in them to play for victory. Especially on a tougher racecourse such as today’s! Both riders found themselves in the right breakaway, it looked like this breakaway would go all the way. But misunderstanding let to a peloton that came back to this first group and sprinted for victory! A pity for both riders, especially for Dries who go tackled in the sprint and ended up with a crash!
In Momalle (1.18) Svenne found a racecourse he like, in front of the race he had to chase 2leaders during the whole race. A good race done, the result not showing the effort by finishing 11th! Important 6weeks coming now for him!
Young rider Tibo (Juniors) is having a huge start of the season, each race playing for the win and entering top 10 so far! Today he managed to close a 40″ gap with the leaders all by himself and finishes 6th! It made him got a selection for Tour of Flanders (UCI1.1 Juniors) on April7th!
In Geraardsbergen, Steven takes 14th after missing the 12man breakaway and coming in in a smaller group chasing the leaders!
What to say about Bram in Besonnieux? Mountainbikespecialist and entering his 2nd road race. Always in front, feeling strong and in control of the race! Finally a sprint with the riders left and finishing 12th!
In Brasil, our Brasilian 70.3 athlete Ronaldo, had an important 1/4 triathlon to do! Leading up to the first 70.3 races speed,power and endurance needed to come together! And so it did!
With a strong bikeperformance he confirmed his good swim to put down the bike 6th overall and keep this 6th overall spot at the finishline!
In Belgium a couple of road running races with for example Dendermonde (Dieter 5th) and Essene (Half marathon) In Essene Jan was ready for a good half marathon, with 282D+ this race is quite hilly. A strong performance, finishing this race in 1h16’30” ~ 3’36km and beating several strong athletes! Jan is having a good start of the running season!
The way our athletes are having things under control at the moment is great, season started well with wins in cycling, running and du/triathlons already! April 1st doesn’t look serious, but in sports…then things get very serious!
2018 flew by as it came, fast! But it’s also worth looking back to and remembering the nice performances our athletes could realize!
Hundreds of personal topperformances, personal bests and personal epic achievements. We could recap 2018 in miles, meters of altitude, number or kudos, … like you see nowadays on strava, instagram and other social media. But those things do not matter in sports. What matters in the end is the output, output with an input in which the athlete enjoyed training . How you determine output can’t be defined, for the one it’s becoming world champion…for the other it’s feeling in shape and happy. Working with athletes with over 20 different nationalities is an eye opener in matter of approach, finding solutions and deleting problems,…let’s call it experience, wisdom if I may use this loaded word. Something as a high performance coach you can only learn from and take the benefit from. All information gathered on 1 harddrive, or maybe 2 if you count the one between your ears. Evaluating every season, every step you do as a coach is what makes the results for your athletes in the end. Not evaluating yourself is what will limit performance. Because other athletes will…if you don’t!
Our athletes were once again there, from January 1st untill December 31st. It’s 1 big pleasure to be surprised by athletes beating their PB’s, showing up for the first time on a podium or finishing the impossible looking Ironman or marathon. But as far as I know, limits don’t exist. I have been astonished so many times by my own athletes to believe something is impossible.If you would ask me some numbers of 2018, I would give you these:
149 spots on the podium
7*Ironman World championships qualifiers
13*podium on national championships
4*podium on continental championships
3*podium on world championships
World Championships Ironman: 2nd AG
World Championships Powerman: 1st and 2nd AG
As you can see, an amazing season in which our athletes won UCI professional cyclingraces, elite cyclingraces, countless triathlons and duathlons all over the world.
We see you again in 2019, many suprises will appear…even early in ’19
Because photo’s say more than 1000words, here’s a few 2018 pictures with a lot of story behind!
What an edition of ‘Hel van Kasterlee’, thé multisportevent during winter in Belgium! A racecourse that was fast and dry…untill this night. Snow…which turned in to melting snow and meltwater! The cause of a race that became a survival! Already from the start athletes got cold. Knowing a couple of our athletes simply can’t stand the cold very well…I knew this day would be tricky! Inge was in 2nd position after the first run, before jumping on her beloved mountainbike and chase that 1st position again. But very soon cold entered the body and already early in the race she had to go to the medical service with severe hypothermia! This cold was also there for all other athletes. In the male race number 1 and 2 dropped out due to the weather conditions. One of our male athletes, Jelle, broke his chain and many more athletes suffered from broken gear. With never having an athlete starting in Kasterlee to drop out…this was the very first time it happened and already early in the race! In the 2nd half of the bikecourse hypothermia was there for Kristof, while Stijn also broke his gears and had to DNF. Never seen before….
But the other athletes did survive this race and cold. Only 221athletes/350 starters made it untill the finishline.
Wim was there to defend his title in the masters race. But with 2laps to go on the bike, he couldn’t see well anymore. Falling in the little canals, missing turnings,…it all became worse and worse during these last 2 laps. Losing +/-40′ on his opponents in these last 50K on the bike was pure terror for him. Cold was his master of hi body and later it became clear his retinae were frozen! Despite this he managed to do the unbelievable…putting down the 9th overall running time in the last 30K. With his wife next to him litterally guiding him in the right direction. Maybe not ‘wise’ but this also shows the sportsmanship these athletes have! Finally Wim finishes 30th, 6th master!
Behind Wim it were Wesley and Bart who were close to eachother untill the very end of the race and finish this race nearly together! Bart didn’t get the most easy edition for his first time in Kasterlee but can close his year with a good feeling after an accident with consequences the day before his planned Ironman in Maastricht. Wesley was afraid before the race that shape wasn’t there because of tough months in September/October but he managed to reinstall shape and go all the way! He did it once again!
Our Romanian athlete Lucian was attrackted by the special format Kasterlee has and wanted to enter this race. His stresslevels went higher the last weeks before the race but on the other side he was never in this shape. Ready to finish the race in normal conditions…but today turned out NOT normal and still he made it all the way! Big thumbs up to our athletes entering the race, daring to race but of course most of all to the athletes finishing the race in style 💪
Many athletes sent me messages this weekend that Hel van Kasterlee in these conditions were ‘crazy’. BUT…limits, both mentally and physically are the ones we/you put down on yourselves.
What to say about David, our extreme trailrunner, who was running the ‘Bello-Gallico Trailrun’ . This 160K trailrun started yesterdaymorning and finished this noon for David. During this race in Brabant, Belgium they conquer offroadtrails and hills. Tonight in this region melting snow, under 0°C and real snow were their part. David survived this race well and finished it strongly!!!!
Yesterday Ironman World championships in Kona, Hawaii! Thé race of the year in triathlon. One day that the whole world learns to know what triathlon is about. The performance, the spirit and the lifestyle of sportsmanship.
Simply being able to get to the startingline means you are one of the world’s best athletes in your category.
The race always leaves us with big emotions before, during and after. Getting there demands massive smart preparation, sacrifice and a great willing to simply race in this strong field!
7athletes qualified for Kona ’18, on a rather small traininggroup of triathlons. 4 racing the championships! For years now, our athletes prooved this squad is among the very best AGsquads in the world. This because of training, determination and a good spirit
Before heading to Kona, our athletes all felt great. They picked up shape very well and were ready to travel to the other side of the world to race. Once arriving there, the heat fell down on all athletes but the athletes all managed fine, only Sam. One of or absolute topAG racers felt difficulty on the bike. But ok, still 1 week before the race and overall feeling was good!
Sam was one of the favourites in the AG 40 race, together with Bert and a couple of other Belgian athletes.
At raceday the swim is not unimportant in Kona, massive groups you need to pass if you come out of the water late. So being capable of putting down a good swim can make your cycling effort be more relaxed!
Our athletes came out of the water in +/- the time they needed to come out!
For Tony, his first Ocean race, Alejandro, Bert and Sam already raced in Kona before!
Bert: 54′ – Sam 1h06′ – Alejandro 1h07′ – Tony 1h09′
Most AG athletes participating in Kona, swim +/-5-6′ slower than in their qualifying race, an Ocean will of course never have the same waves or current.
Once on the bike it became clear that Bert was in thé day of his life, moving up and also daring to take the lead within 60K on the bike! Risky of course, but he was in shape and prooved in Vichy and Lanza he can put down the 180K effort on his own.
Sam from his side moved up strongly, Alejandro and Tony followed closely behind!
In Kona there’s always the drafting discussion, that’s why I really want to post the honest pacing of our athletes!
Bert had a very strong ride and put down 273NP ~ 72kg , Tony at 253NP ~71kg, Sam at 241NP ~75kg and Alejandro 72kg ~236NP
273NP ~72kg for Bert, riding himself to a 4h30′ bikesplit in Kona. World class ride!
241NP ~75kg for Sam, not in his best day on the bike and with a big drop in both HR, power when temperature (blue line) mounts to its summit after 2/3 of the bikecourse.
For Alejandro ànd Tony the message was clear, both athletes have a good run in their legs and are athletes who can grow into the race. Steady pacing and only looking at their own HR/watt monitor and ahead should be the best recipe to use their strong run in the end of the race! Both athletes followed the plan correctly, nutrition was spot on it.
Tony puts down the bike with perfect pacing, HR wise a ‘flat’ race in the right zone, powerwise he has a 253NP output for 71kg. The message to wait to the Hawi climb was followed perfectly, experts can get out this climb easily!
Alejandro had a very strong bikeride, and moved up during the whole bikecourse to put down the bike after 4h38′!
At the beginning of the runcourse, Bert (AG40) was followed with 45″ of Bruno Clerbout (a Belgian former Pro Ironman, finishing 12th overall 6years ago). This opponent surely was someone to respect and not to underestimate. For Bert message was clear, running a top top marathon to get on the podium. Clerbout came within 10″ very soon, but a few kilometers further it was Bert who surprisingly accelerated and made a +3′ gap before Energy Lab. Unfortunately it was Clerbout who had something left in his tank and overtook the race with +/- 6km to go and take AG victory, Bert takes a very well earned 2nd place!!
Bert finishing in 8h50′ and taking 2nd AG place in thé race of his life! What a great job and step up last 2years! Age is just a number?
Behind Bert it was Alejandro and Tony who ran very close to eachother during the marathon, but after 20K Tony made the difference and moved up from a spot just outside top100 towards 42nd at the finishline. With a marathontime of 3h15′ tactics worked out fine!
Tony finishing after 9h14′ of playing ‘Pac-Man’ with a 3h15′ marathon time!
For Alejandro, who had a zombie-experience last year in Kona, this also was the tactics and it worked out! A 3h21′ marathon made him move up during the whole marathon to finish 46th and raising the hand high!
Alejandro on his way to finish the Ironman Worlds in 9h16′
Sam from his side put down the bike after 4h41′ and started running with the same feeling as he had on the bike. With a tough marathon ahead of him he litterally stopped his race after 8km…and as we thought Sam was dropping out of the race it was his girlfriend who ‘gave him some slapping to get him to the finishline’, as he described.
Sam is and stays a legend in Ironman, 2018 was not his year in Kona but Texas was with his recordrace! This also is Ironman, and Iron doesn’t bend easily!
I am very satisfied of the results of these athletes, Bert performed extraordinary to take silver in Kona, Tony and Alejandro prooved they own their spot among the very best IMracers in their AG and also that Ironmanracing is made how you get off the bike!
Sam bounced back, finished his 9th race in Kona and with some rest ahead he’ll put down another astonishing race in 2019!
Already looking forward to the following emotions…
🇩🇪️ Anthony keeps fighting today in Rothaus Ridermann. In the final stage he aims for the win, and finally gets 9th! Which also results in 9th in GC!
Niels was also getting stronger by the day to finish with a strong race.
🇷🇴️ Daniel helps his teammate Tvetchov to GC victory in Tour of Romania (UCI 2.2). Today and yesterday he had to keep his good legs under control for winning the race with his team.
🇧🇪️ In Belgium it was Guillaume who really looked forward to some races in bad weather. It separates the men from the boys u know….and he did well…finishing 7th today!
Our triathletes/duathletes with some hunger to season’s dessert did well also in duathlon Langemark yesterday!
🇨🇵️ Séb, our big French triathlete had some offroadvibes last period and show triathletes are not limited to the combination of swim-bike-run but also can perform in heavy trailruns of 30km. Finishing 12th/500 in this strong field!
🇷🇸️ And last but not least, in Slovenia 70.3 it was Hannah who put down a very strong performance by finishing 8th in her AG and claiming interest to try to qualify for the IM70.3 WC! A densified race, finishing only 30″ behind 6th place!!!
Hannah is one of our very strong female athletes 💪💪
The ITU/Powerman world championships duathlon is a race that’s very close to our hearts, a race in which our athletes in the last 7 years got 6x AG silver, 5x AG gold and 4times top 15 in the Pro race (with fulltime amateurs 😉 ).
Today again it were Wim, Jan and Hans entering this race with for Wim and Hans high expectations and dying to simply confirm last year’s race. Showing that was not a 1day result. Jan, after a tough spring showed in his last 70.3 races that shape was getting there, despite some pain in the back.
The race had to change the run and bikecourses this year, so for every athletes the race was slightly unknow. But maybe also a good thing to change the racecourse of world championships from time to time…
During the first run Jan, Wim and Hans sticked close together but all on the right pace and showed already there that they belong to the better AG runners. Well paced and ready for a long day they stepped on their bikes. Jan was the first one, followed by Hans and Wim.
Jan takes it seriously from the start and gets into T1 very fast!
Only 1lap later Hans was already spotted riding very hard and moving up between the pro riders, who started earlier. Jan and Wim kept in battle for AG podium, this during the whole bike course. During this bikecourse Wim could accelerate during the 2nd half of it and put down the bike 3rd in his AG, Jan in 4th and Hans who now was totally in front put down his bike within the top 15 of the race and as first AG athlete. Meanwhile the Belgian Pro athletes unfortunately got DNF behind their names…so Hans also was first Belgian now. This in a discipline that was dominated by Belgians for years! (Vansteelandt brothers, Maris, Woestenborghs and Odeyn later).
A 293NP ride for Hans during these world championships, with a 10K hilly run before and 30K hilly run after the bikecourse! This is what you need to win all AG! Try!
Once of the bike our athletes mostly are on their best, the engine heated up and loaded for a good off bike run! Today this wasn’t anything other! Hans had an excellent run and was in full control of the AG race, he dominated and wins the AG race but above all comes very close towards PRO top10 with an 11th place!
Hans lifting the banner, a beautifull moment in Zofingen!
Behind this Wim and Jan were running very fast off their bike and it was Wim who nearly closed a 10′ gap with the leader in his AG by finishing 2nd…only 30″ behind the winner in his AG! Wim had a FANTASTIC season with the AG Belgian titles on all distances, the AG European title and becoming AG vice world champion!
Jan was in fight with 3rd position in his (and Hans) AG, places were expensive in this AG and for more than 25K Jan and number 3 in his AG were within a 1′ range of eachother! In the end Jan also finishes 4th, only a good 30″ behind number 3!
Wim gets 23rd and Jan 29th in the overall race! All together races to be proud of!!
Wim in search of bronze, then silver and finally finishing at 30″ of gold in his AG! Great racing!
So once again Zofingen left us with a lot of emotions, The Kona for duathletes but then colder and a totally different environment! Results to be proud of, whatever… Well done to all!
Yesterday Jens (3rd in Olympic Distance Köln – Germany) prooved already end of the season is coming and that means A-races are coming also!
Today in Balen Bregt gets 10th, moving up from 15th to 10 on the run!
Bregt with a fast sprintdistance race in Balen today – finishing 10th
Tony had his last preprace towards the Ironman World championships in Kona, Hawaii today…in Köln (Germany). His races turned out perfectly…untill a flat tyre!! His tyre was totalle ruptured but fortunately he found a piece of cardboad to put inside his tyre and fixed the bike! A bit more than 7′ he lost in this action and for sure some energy. But this ‘MacGyver’-mentality made him come back into the race, put down his bike with over 320NP ~ 72kg. But that’s not all, during his run he came back into the top 10 with the 2nd running time to finish the race 10th…only5′ after 3rd position!
Another strong race after his 2nd place in Chtriman 2018!
Next stop: Kona, Hawaii. And this athlete is more than on his place overthere!
Tony swallowing the flat tyre, and pushing through to the finishline!
September has kicked off very well…and we still have 29days left!
70.3 Medina de Rioseco (Spain) was one of David’s 3 A-races this season! An important one because loving to race there! And only 1 week after a trainingcamp in Frankfurt, he felt like he had to go fast!
Another strong performance of David in Medina de Rioseca
A good swim, with one of his faster paces and already rollin’ out of T1 after 33′ he unleashed his legs again! David is a strong biker and on the flatter racecourse he wanted to move up quickly to let the other guys chasing him! Averaging 40,6km/h made him put down his bike in T2 2nd!
David running to AG podium and overall top10 in Spain!
A tough run in the Spanish heat for David but still managing to get into the overall top 10 and becoming 3rd in his AG!
Strong season of our Spanish Bull with the motor of a German car!
In The Netherlands Leiderdorp was the battlescene for our athletes. Adrian and Vincent on the 1/4distance, Jan on the 70.3 distance!
Adrian, coming back from training camp, was more than ready to race at Leiderdorp. Winning here 2years ago…made him one of the favourites before the race of course.
A good swim of Adrian, but also Vincent coming out of the water not so far behind….
Adrian on his way to victory in Leiderdorp!
Both of our athletes moved up very quickly and at the moment Adrian took the lead he felt Vincent flying by…Vincent was busy putting down the best bikesplit today with a huge effort and at that point our athletes were 1 and 2 in the race. Not bad with +/-200 athletes behind them. This was also the order they put their bikes in T2. During the runcourse Vincent ran constantly and was already busy defending his podium, knowing Adrian was coming very strongly, a very consistent race over 3 discplines made him run towards another victory! Vincent defended his spot on the podium very well and realized his best 1/4 effort effort by finishing 3rd!
Adrian 1st, Vincent 3rd…both a athletes with a big smile after a tough race!
The 70.3 distance, with a 2.5K swim, was another LD test for Jan! Already done a good comebackrace to triathlon in Klazienaveen (Netherlands) he was keen on putting down an even better effort today! A good swim for Jan, followed by a slower T1 (dizzy because of the water…u all know the feeling) made him have to work himself forward. No riders overtaking him on the bike and racing very constantly during the 90K on his TTbike.
Despite pain in his lower back on the TT bike, Jan moved up strongly during his bike effort!
Once off the bike it’s Jan’s strongest point: Offbike running. Running several times an overall top10 time off he the bike in the world championships duathlon made this his specialty! In the first lap he had take time for a ‘cioccolato gelato’ but he flew towards top15…and approaching top 10 at the finishline! Finishing 11th just a few seconds behind number 10!
A very fast run again for Jan, just missing top10 at the finishiline…finishing on a nice 11th place!
In La Gileppe, the yearly duathlon was held. A hilly course and quite some strong athletes at the starting line with for example U23 world champion Arnaud Dély. Both Robby (19th) and Wesley (24th) did a very good race and enjoyed racing these fine roads!
Ironman Switzerland, Ironman Germany and Ironman Canada, 3 races on the same day!
In Hamburg the swim was cancelled and replaced by a 6K run!
In Switzerland the water was too hot and there was no wetsuit allowed.
In Switzerland it was Inge who turned her focus on the race into positive energy and came out of the water placed better than expected. 1st…and in pole position! Knowing the bike and run are her strongest points this was a good starting point!
Pushing hard on the bike and making the gap bigger towards T2 made a podium more than possible!
On the runcourse the nearest opponents tried to come back, but never came closer than 4’30. After halfway chances turned and it was Inge making the gap bigger mile by mile and take the AG win in her very first Ironman today!
A dream coming true for most athletes by qualifying for Hawaii, but before the race she already decided not to go. The last thing I heard now was she was reconsidering maybe…
*Inge also broke an exceptionnal record among our athletes, she was the first female athlete ‘chicking’ her husband this season 😜
In Ironman Germany, the no-swim made both Eline and Matthieu slightly nervous. Especially knowing a run before T1 always feels heavier than a smooth swim.
Both athletes got their mission and mounted the bike well, a good and steady pacing during the bike made both athletes put their bike in T2 relatively fresh before running of another 42K towards the finishline!
And how! Steady running and finishing in Hamburg well paced, a good feeling and very nice performance in the end!
Meanwhile our cyclists are working hard towards their next goals, a lot of top10 results this week, but also athletes on trainingcamp or working towards the championships in September/October!
Gravelines (France), a town just across the border that breaths triathlon as soon as you get there. For me it looks like every inhabitant actually is a triathlete…but that’s probably because the people I know there…are 😉
The A-race of the day is the Full distance race (Ironman distance), 2years ago Hans Vandenbuverie could win this beautifull race and that meant a mental step up resulting in a physical step forward also! Today it was Tony who was our man in the front, qualified already for Kona ’18 during his first IM in Wales, in search of experience on the full distance. A perfect preparation was key. The last few weeks before the race are always exciting but no little injuries, fatigue ok and more than race ready.
Tony moving up on the bike and leaving T2 1st!
With this preparation and knowing your athlete we knew that in an honest man to man battle he would play his role! No athlete is born at his strongest, but he grows strong.
After a good swim (1h01′) for this duathlete turned into triathlete he managed to move up so strongly on the bike to finally put his bike 1st in the racks. But with some guys following closely behind.
Tony only focussed on his own race in France and averaging 240NP and a very moderate HR for 71kg he could put down his bike in T2 fast and ‘fresh’ despite the heatwave!
For Tony we agreed on a 4’20 to 4’30 run. Ambitious but a pace Tony has in his legs.
With only 20″ advantage for miles far in the race it’s passed halfway that the later winner would take him back! Tony kept going well and found there were not enough drinks on the racecourse for this heat. ‘Each time I drunk, I wanted to drink again 1km further…’ but no worries, when you pace well and shape is good a crash doesn’t happen. Tony kept going and finishes only 1’30 behind the winner in 9h11′ putting down a 3h08′ marathon.
The final results with Tony taking 2nd place in his 2nd full distance triathlon!
Gravelines also has its 70.3 triathlon and LD duathlon (10-90-10). For our duathletes this certainly is a main goal … as there aren’t any similar events in Belgium/Netherlands.
Our 2 AG vice world champions Jan and Wim went into the race with other goals. For Wim,winning the AG Belgian and European title and in top shape, a race to aim high. For Jan, a race to re-enter racing after serious bacterial infections. And as the body gets healthier the races approach.
Wim is doing a ‘grand cru’ season and after his good spring results today he puts all other athletes strongly behind him to win the race and immediately also win his first overall Long distance. As I remember well, only 4 Belgian athletes won a Long distance duathlon the past 2 years (Odeyn-Pro, and our agegroupers Jan, Hans and now Wim).
Wim heading towards the win in this tough French Duathlon!
Closely behind Wim it was Jan heading towards 4th place in Gravelines (France)
In the 70.3 race it was Bert who took off with a hard swim, unleashing his legs on the bike and cutting down the group! 2 extra kilograms after Ironman Lanzarote didn’t stop him from doing another amazing performance to run towards 2nd place! And we would forget, but also winning the masters race (+40yo)!
Bert going strong in Gravelines, finishing 2nd in this 70.3 race in 4h16′
Not so far behind our other athletes in the top 20 crossed the finishline with Dimi on 17th and Séb on 20th position! Remarkable performance of Séb, after finishing Ironman Nice only 7days ago!
Today Ironman Lanzarote was marked in red! Already awake early in the morning, ready to follow this race for which our athletes prepared themselves for months!
All athletes were really looking forward to this race! With the tough racecourse in Lanzarote also a race we approached with the respect needed for it. Realistic towards raceconditions and what would happen they entered the race!
A strong swim of all our athletes, coming out of the water below 1h06′.
Bert swam with the better pro athletes and entered T1 in 52′. Johan, Steven and Hans got out in 1h02 and Sem followed only 4′ later in 1h06. A good idea, of not being in the water too long :-)!
Bert left T1 after 55’59, leading his AG and soon took 1st overall AG place on the bike!
Once on the bike our athletes could unleash their builded stamina and power, correct pacing would be necessary and so they kept an eye on powermeter/Hr monitor.
For Bert, in the flow of the race in front not easy to keep the gazzz button under control, but after 80K he understood that with the marathon coming…he better kept control.
Hans from his side was moving up like #LaMachine always does, but controlled and not overpacing. As you can see in both files Bert (277NP) and Hans (279NP) had a similar NP, with that difference that Bert took off very hard and got regular in the 2nd half of the race, Hans builded up and kept a straight line in his poweroutput.
Hans had a regular bikeride, with a higher NP on the climbs, a bit lower in the downhills but steady all race long!
Bert took off hard, risky even, but he turned the button to cruise control after 80K to take no risks for the run!
A lonely ride for Hans, ‘An honest bikecourse where the best get to the front in the cycling part’ he said afterwards!
But not only B&H were moving up, Steven and Johan…who left T2 with Hans were also moving up and doing a wise race! Sem, who couldn’t run for weeks because of achillesproblems paced conservatively but moved up and was heading towards T2 not sure if he would run or not!
First I thought Johan had an injured thumb, but afterwards it seemed he had a good ride in Lanzarote
Coming into T2 is the easy part in the Ironman races it seems, many Pro athletes who had a DNF after the race. But about the DNF’s there said already more than worth it. So let’s talk about the finishers…
On the run course we were quite confident that if our athletes kept their pacing correct from the start that the run would be good. Everybody was in shape, ready to run long and medium hard. Going too fast in the beginning is a killer, and that’s an awareness every athlete should have. An off bike marathon is not a regular sunday run. In the end, thre strong and the smart racers will survive.
With Hans and Bert within the top3 of their agegroup starting the run we had 2 athletes racing for the podium. Hans started at the planned pace, Bert slightly faster…faster also than his PB. A bit tricky at that point, but afterwards we saw HR was perfectly under control.
A steady run HR/pacing wise also for Bert who put his limits to a new height breaking his PR
Hans took off at 4’30/km, and finished at 4’42/km. With a planned run at 4’30-4’40/km he aimed correctly.
Both athletes had a steady run (HR & Pace), Bert was flying and killed his PB in an Ironman run to finish after 3h08′ in this heavy race before finishing 2nd AG, 26th Pro’s included. Hans had a 3h16′ run but never really fell back and also ran steady. Finishing the line in the right position (7th AG) after an honest race. You don’t choose your agegroup in the end, finishing 30th (14Pro athletes in front) and 7th in your AG says a lot about the strength of the opponents also.
While Hans and Bert raced for the first places in their AG Steven, Johan and Hans were still at the run course. And how!!? Each of these athletes amazed in something. Johan and Steven in Consistency and patience to pace well and ‘keep the engine running’ as we say. Pacing correctly always works, both athletes took it further than we could expect even!
Steven also killed his marathon PB in this heavy race and moved up strong towards 12th place in his AG!
Steven puts down his marathon PB in Lanzarote and finishes very strong on 12th place (AG)!
Johan, in his first Ironman…not the easiest one, was patient on the bike. He kept down the HR and cruised towards T2 to finish of with a good run. Finishing in 11h03′ in Lanzarote is fast!
Johan had a perfect race in his first IM!
And then there was Sem, as we agreed on not running to not take risks on his achilles I switched off the tracker…but all of a sudden the eye felt on Sem again…and we noticed he was running…after several weeks of not running not easy! But after passing halfway all athlete minds know you can’t quit the race! He kept going and finishes the race in a very decent time of 12h21. For sure there was even more in it. But Sem showed us in the end where Ironman and triathlon in all disciplines is about. About perseverance, defeating yourself, having pleasure while racing and the satisfaction afterwards! Nice job Sem!
🇦🇱️ Tour of Albania (UCI2.2): Daniel in the first group yesterday with a good advantage on the 2nd group. This placed him 20th in GC, today he tried to break away in the last part of the 190K long stage. Finally it became a massive sprint in which he finishes 14th. Moving up in the GC to 15th and 3 stages coming!
🇪🇦️ Emakumeem Bira (UCI WT): The best female cyclists in the world currently race in Spain. Yesterday a tough 1st stage with Demi finishing 31st, today Time trial in which he kept some reserve for upcoming races. Astonishing win of Van Vleuten averaging 46,9km/h for 27K. 2stages to come!
🇦🇹️Tour of Kärnten (Austria): Anthony had a good ITT yesterday, finishing 11th. Today first stage with a lot of climbing in it. Anthony sent me a message yesterday in which he said he felt good. I know this rider only does this when he really feels good! And so it was, sprinting for the win with 9riders and finishing 4th. After today’s stage he’s 4th in GC…but a lot to come and a lot can happen in a 6day stage race!.
🇧🇪️ Dries (UCI1.12) had a virus a month ago but that didn’t avoid him from working hard towards upcoming races! With a very competitive race in which he threw himself into the battle he finishes 6th!
Svenne (UCI1.18 ) had the nice opportunity to race on a super nice location and racecourse in Jemeppe-Sur-Sambre. Breaking away with 2other riders he sprinted for victory and finishes 3rd. Good to know the national champs within 4weeks are close to this racecourse…
🇹🇭️ The great Mekong Bike ride was a success for our riders WTT and W2W team! In the 2nd stage a great succes for Phonthep, with a helping hand of his teammate Olé who put in massive training efforts past winter and now harvests the fruits of his hard work. Congratulations!
Many triathlons also in Belgium with 70.3distance in Leuven!
Happy athletes before and after the race, which was nice to hear!
But next to this, the results were there also!
Tony, in full preparation for Chtriman2018, had his first longer triathlon of the season and managed perfectly. With 5′ behind on the lead he started cycling to put down the bike in 14th and move up during the run towards 9th place!
Looking at the cyclingtimes and swimmingtimes of Leuven it seems to be right that there was quite some ‘legal drafting…’
Our other athletes at the starting line are all in preparation of Ionger distance racing!
Also triathletes racing in the shorter distance races in Koksijde, Sente and Seneffe. For some athletes the first race of the season, always exciting to look forward to. The fact that all athletes were happy with their results shows the self-knowledge of these athletes but also the honest result of training smart and enjoying it!
Next week Ironman time in Lanzarote and national Long distance championships!
This weekend was ‘championshipsweekend’, with the Northern American Ironman championships in Texas (USA) for Cai and Sam, the French duathlon championships on the long distance for Hans, Séb, Steven and Inge and the national sprintduathlon championships for Wim adrenaline would rush through the veins. For sure!
The good about these sports are that if you are prepared well, you are ready for racing! With dedication to the raceplan (and nutrition) the rest follows normally! If it’s hot (30-35°C in Texas) or cold (8°C in France and cold rain all race long) that doesn’t matter. Shape decides what will happen, all the rest are sidestories.
In Texas, both Sam and Cai took off well during the swimstart. Somehow Cai found herself closed in a bit during the swim but despite that both athletes got on their bikes in +/- the time that was planned. And then, the race starts for real!
On the bike Sam had to close down a 10′ gap with his opponents in the M40. With topathletes such as Dan Stubleski, Mosley and others it would a nice race to follow.
39Pro athletes also at the starting line, many points to gather for the KPR-ranking, important to get to Kona! This strong field and perfect weather conditions (as in almost no wind) would lead to a legendary race with several records broken! Matt Hanson for example ran the off bike marathon (42.1km) in 2h34′ after 3.8K swim and 180K bike. This day in Texas will be remembered. But not only by the toprange of Pro athletes racing it.
Soon it became clear that Sam was moving up in his race, of course this is a well known fact in Ironman, but you still have to do it! With the flat and straight roads it was a good race to pace very consistent.
Despite the groups Sam had to overtake, which made him push a bit harder of course, he felt great on his bike and never found himself into trouble.
Sam’s bike effort of 278NP-4h18′ , was good for the fastest bikesplit in Texas!
In the very end of the race Sam was clearly going a bit harder than his nearest opponents, of which a few just behind him. So it would also become a tactical race, once off the bike! After 4h18′ the bike was put in T2. A quick calculation made us already dream of a very fast time. But as everyone knows, in a LD triathlon you better don’t dream. You have to do it.
Cai from her side was asked to pace at 150watts and keep her HR around 145BPM. She did what she had to do and also felt very good on the bike, enjoying her race she moved up A LOT untill she got on 8th place in her AG in the end of the bikecourse.
With 10women within 3′ in this AG all would be played during the run!
Excellent pacing of Cai and putting down the bike in 8th positon in T2!
One of the ‘Houston rockets’ in action! Without a beard 😉
A lot of questions about the fast bikesplits in Texas, but the answer on the real bike length is simple. 176km (as in many Ironman races), no wind…and unfortunately indeed no referees controlling the ‘bunch’ of athletes. The better cyclists of course have no benefit of this. The ‘bunch’ has. A pity! It made many athletes come off the bike close together. But as Sam said this morning. Once you start running…’the masks fall off’.
The first kilometers of the run Sam started in a good pace, despite that he was passed by a couple of athletes who were running at 2h45′ pace. Wise decision of Sam not to follow but follow his own pace. Once the athletes were approaching halfway the runcourse it became clear that race opponents of Sam were the guys that were predicted. The athletes starting too fast were left behind. Stubleski in first place, Caron and Mosley were the guys who would be there untill the finishline. And no one to underestimate of course.
At kilometer 35 Sam had a 3′ gap behind Stubleski, at that point…it seemed that 2nd place was the highest possible thing to achieve and still ready to finish below 8h30′ with a fast marathon!
That marathon was fast, and in the last kilometers Sam went all out and closed down the gap to 30″ at 40.1km! 30″ behind with 2K to go…Stubleski and Sam in a nice battle, with the last 2km of Sam pushing it all the way he finished….9″ before Stubleski!
Sam with a fantastic marathon at the end of the race, 2h53′ and with 9″ ahead just enough for the AG win!
Sam never ran in 1st position during the whole race untill the very end…how nice is that! But also a big thumb up to Stubleski, making the race hard during the marathon. Athletes can lift eachother to a higher level during a clean battle!
For the 3rd year in a row he gets sub 3h on the marathon, in Texas he even broke his fastest marathontime in an Ironman!
A result to be very proud of, this will be printed and put on my wall today!
The result of Sam is the result of a real AG athlete with a full-time job, thinking no-nonsense, enjoying it all and putting in the effort where needed. That sub8h30′ was just a matter of time.
We would almost forget to say, but Sam did qualify for Hawaii of course. Where he will race for the 9th!! time! But first, rest!
In Kona he will join Van, Bert and Tony, our other athlete who already qualified earlier!
Sam crossing the finishline in Texas, no words needed!
In the female race it was Cai who ran a good marathon and was able to finish her race in 11h10′! Finishing 10th in her AG was a very honest result. The female AG’s don’t have the quantity of slots that the male athletes have. With only 1-3 slots divided in the Ironmans it’s not easy to get one but still chances to go!
In France, all eyes on the national championships long distance duathlon (10-80-10). With 4of our athletes, the race was one of the maingoals of this spring for these athletes.
Hans won the race in Douai already, but now it had the championship label…and that’s what you could notice from the start! A very fast start with several athletes running the first 10K in 30-32′ here. With Hans heading towards transition in 17th position, Séb and Steven ran a bit further and Inge in 8th position in the female race they entered T1.
Hans picking up one of the female athletes, who started 5′ earlier, during the first run!
The bikecourse in Douai is full with roundabouts, turnings, ‘faux plats’ and wind…always wind! Today there was some extra with rain all day long 🙂 Well, if you come from Flanders…that must give wings!
On the bike Hans decided not take risks on these dangerous roads, but halfway the first lap…the speaker already noticed he moved up towards 13th position. At that point it was only Jean Eudes Demaret (Former Cofidis pro cyclist and 2016 Elite national champion triathlon) who rode slightly harder. Behind that it was Hans who had to face 2 little groups. Strong as he is, the further the athletes went in the race … the more he moved forward. To finally put down his bike in 7th position! Excellent! A top 10 in this field would have been a great job!
Séb came back to Steven on the bike and both athletes moved up well during this bikecourse. Inge from her side, a bit afraid of the weather before the race, had strong legs and after the bikecourse she put down the bike 3rd! Very close to number 2 and with a good gap behind her.
314NP for Hans his bikeride, unfortunately the last 5-6km towards the race location (each lap) athletes had to be very carefull with slippery roundabouts and cars blocking the roads.
In this type of LD duathlons the places are not divided in the first run, not on the bike…but during the 2nd run…with Hans putting down the bike 7th and a 1’30” -3′ gap on the faster runners of Run1 it seemed impossible to still move up places. But from the first kilometers Hans had a good pace. His running style looked relaxed and with a 2′ gap behind him he only had to look in front of him! In front of the field a couple of athletes were crashing as usually on the long distance.
Hans in 7th, only 20″ and 1’20 behind on 5 and 6. With this pace 5th pace would be possible!
After 5km Hans still was 7th, but in those last 5km a lot happened in front of the race and suddenly Hans appeared very close to number 5 and 6, which he overtook in the last kilometer. Jean Eudes Demaret crashed totally in the last 5K and his 4′ advantage melted down fast! With only 7″ left at the finishline Hans finishes 5th today in this field!
Hans never dropped the pace during his off bike run! Which made him move up in the field and finish strong!
Steven had some bad luck today and got a drafting penalty, missed the turning for the 2nd loop and because of this he ran an extra 800m.
A good looking Steven on the racecourse, but the weatherconditions made the race more chaotic than planned!
Séb from his side did an excellent race, he builded up from behind and finishes 45th after an excellent 2nd run. Ready for the LD triathlons coming now!
‘La Machine’ and Le Nord….rain or sunny, he eats it!
In the female race Inge never looked giving back her 3rd place at another competitor. A focussed 2nd run in which she has to learn to be confident. If there’s suffering, everyone is suffering! Finishing 3rd on these national championships is another step she made! With Ironman Zurich in July she has her first Full distance triathlon coming! If you can do this today, the Ironman will be peanuts ;-)!
A last word with Inge, clear language.
After France, back to Belgium…in which the national sprint duathlon championship was held. Normally I don’t like sending athletes to this format. Because of the lottery aspect in it. But with Wim, we have a very particular athlete. A fast and steady runner with more and more cycling experience also. In the master category this was his only medal missing in Belgium after 2years of duathlon! And once again this strong master showed his fast legs by getting into T1 first. But with his opponents not changing shoes he missed the train towards T2. It made him chase the leaders on the bike, but with not enough cooperation it was the bronze medal that was the highest possible to get! And he did! First maingoal of the season for Wim accomplished! Now full focus on the European long distance championships, which will be followed by the nationals in May!
Wim, bronze in the national championships sprint duathlon! Excellent performance and ready for the Europeans!