First racing in a while for Alejandro (Spain) today! Not having a WC ticket yet for 2022 was playing in his mind, ready to set back and grab it on a powerful way. A pity for all triathletes and also Alejandro when IM announced the swim was cancelled. Mental strength in these cases work of course, raceday = raceday. And so it happened. With the current IM AG world champion in this continental championship it was clearly to become a tough race! With a strong bike ride Alejandro put himself in front after the bike course, 262NP for this 69kg athlete before his marathon!
As the stomach is one of the most importants part of an athlete’s body…Alejandro had a bad food experience and had to vomit during the run course. This made him slow down and lose some time. But finally he kept on his pace and could maintain his 2nd place in the AG, 6th AG athlete overall, 21st Pro field included.
Alejandro will join our already strong squad in the Ironman World championships 2022 in Kona Hawaii! Alejandro is one of our athletes who trains 80-90%of all sessions indoor, spot on. Easy is easy, hard is hard…after all smart work, to perform better!
In Salou (Spain), the Challenge 70.3 race was held! A tough field of athletes at the starting line…first international race in Europe in 2022. After 2 years of Covid athletes were definitely keen on suffer modus! Thibaud (Switzerland) and Lucas (France) were racing today! Lucas had an excellent start and got on the bike first, during the bike he kept pace and could put down his bike in 5th position…this position he maintained untill he had to quit the race with 5K to go. Missing the necessary gels on the bike and getting a hypo was not the plan. But sometimes you learn from small failures.
Thibaud from his side had a very steady race and positioned himself in top 10 from the beginning of the race. During the whole race he kept on being between 4th and 10th place to finally run a 3’58/km half marathon after his 310NP bike split! Thibaud is in full prep towards the Ironman World Championships 2021, that will happen in May 2022, in Saint-George USA. Race ready!
Today we als had the last stage of Triptyque des Monts et Chateaux (UCI2.2), one of the value meters in the international U23 peloton. The first 2stages made already very clear which riders were on and those who were off. Lars could manage himself daily in the front of first group, just behind the riders who got stage victory. Today the ITT started quited well, an early start and not getting the HR totally up, fatigue of the past 2days and starting early will sure have played a role within. Despite that, the power output will have been strongly enough…taking 31st and maintaining his GC spot just outside top 20.
With the afternoon race of 130K and a tough final there were opportunities to take top20 in GC. Lars gave what he was worth among these strong riders and succeeded in this goalset by taking 19th in GC in the end! RESULTS Another good performance and a short time for recovery and focus on Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Arden Challenge and much more!
Onwards to next weekend with for example European championships duathlon, regional champs cycling,…
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’!
Ironman Hawaii, the race all triathletes are or following or
dream about competing in it!
Well for Vadim (Can), Pirmin (Sui), Javier
(Col), Alejandro (Esp) and Sam(Bel) it was hard reality!
4 out of 5 who qualified by geting on the podium
in their qualifying race!
Preparations were going very well, except for
Alejandro who crashed and broke his collarbone but was on his bike after 2days
Only 4 weeks before the race Sam got injured in
the hamstringtendon. First we thought a muscular issue but later it became
clear the tendon was damaged because of the saddle that was slightly too high
on his new fast bike (Ceepo). Above this he got sick 7 days before the race,
but fortunately athletes recover fast. No running untill the last 4 days before
the race, which made it unclear of finishing would be an option.
Our athletes took a good dive in the Ocean and
had good swims: Javier (1h02), Pirmin (1h03), Vadim (1h04), Sam (1h07) and
During the bikecourse it was in first place Pirmin (AG45) who moved up very strongly, he was chasing (former) professionals such as Alexandre Vinokourov and Mike Schifferle. Riding in top 10 untill T2. Vadim (AG 45) followed closely behind and positioned 13th before entering T2.
Earlier in the bikecourse our AG35 athlete Alejandro got sick, immediately on the bike it was impossible to eat and hydrate well. In a world championship in hot conditions that of course has a big impact on your race. But Alejandro kept going and at the end of the bike he started moving up again. Feeling in shape but not being able to eat and drink properly is frustrating of course.
In AG 40 Javier came out of the water first, but fast Sam was once again going fast on the bike. This year Sam suffered from a sudden injury on the hamstring tendon in the last 4 weeks and being insure if running would go a (slightly more) conservative pacing was followed than normal. With 257NP in the first half of the race and 256NP in T2 he did what was planned. And was ready to try running. For Javier Ironman World Championships was a new thing, on the bike first everything seemed to go well but abdominal pains started to play a role.
On the run course heat appears, and that’s the same for all athletes…every year! It starts around Hawi on the bike and then it never gets cooler again. Pirmin didn’t have his best day with pain in his back, and had to adapt his ambitions today. Or as he describes ‘Fitness was supreme today, and DNF was NEVER an option’! That shows the mental capabilities of an athlete and still finishing in 10h13′!
Vadim, 13th off the bike has the run as his weakest link in triathlon! Warmth and the marathon wasn’t his best friend today but he still manages to finish in 10h40′! Even at age 46 progression is to be made!
Sam (AG40) was uncertain how his hamstring would react on running a bit faster for the first time in a month. Adaptations in planning with a lot of ellipticalsessions and some aquajogging are good of course but never replace the whole run. Sam his plan was to start at 4’35/km and so he did, kilometer by kilometer and he moved up slowly. Halfway he positions himself 18th. but he and Olivier Godart (Lux) were the only 2 athletes not slowing down. The hamstring felt doable and pace was taken to a higher speed. So he moved up, towards 12 and with 5K to go a top 10 didn’t seem impossible. His wife Cai cheered on him and could tell him a top 10 was still in it. Fighting untill the finishline made Sam finish in 9th position! Another top 10 in the World Championships in his 10th year qualifying in a row.
Javier from his side suffered on the runcourse, abdominal pains and hamstring didn’t feel well but he maintained the drive towards the finishline in his first World Championships. In Kona many athletes crack down because of raceday facts, as we saw in the pro field with Lange, Ryf,…but Javier kept going and finishes his first world championships in Kona in 12h! Being there was a real dream for Javier. A dream he made come true!
In AG 35 Alejandro, uncapable of eating/drinking properly on the bike, was doubtfull approaching T2. DNF or trying to run and see what happens. We wouldn’t expect anything less than the 2nd idea of course! Alejandro started running a 3hà3h05 time schedule for the marathon. With a little drop of pace in the 2nd half of the race this perseverance was rewarded with a 3h15′ run, finishing in 9h27′!
A nice weekend behind us with athletes daring to race hard! Well deserved rest now and loading mind and body for Kona 2020? 🙂
Upcoming saturday, October 12th, our athletes will appear at the starting line of the Ironman World Championships! Getting at this starting line is the silent (or loud :-)) dream of most triathletes! In Kona, the physical format and psyche of the sport was born. Without Kona, there would be no triathlon as we know it today.
To get there once hard work, talent and dedication is key. And even then, there’s no guarantee on success. Our squad of athletes is known as the very best in Belgium, with a large % of athletes being able to qualify and to perform. This season 7 of our athlete qualified for Kona, 3 got very close and one day will get there (again). Perseverance is key in endurance sports. Not 1 of our athletes racing this saturday got it all served on a golden plate!
This year we have a very international group of athletes racing, since we began coaching setting up an international approach has been one of our missions. The composition of this squad confirms we approached that mission.
Our 5 athletes racing on saturday are almost ready to go, motivated and meanwhile tanned. To make sure they don’t burn theirselves raceday may come now 😉
We have no glass bowl of course, and I hate pre-race talking about results. Let’s hit the race, be focussed and dig deep! Work is done now and I have full confidence in this strong and motivated squad!
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!
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…