Hammers on the performance block! Ironman Vichy (France) and more!

A weekend to remember with our athletes going strong, going strong from January 1st till December 31st! Last weekend of August and a big racing weekend for our cyclists and triathletes!

The weekend started perfect with one of our cyclists who went in the breakaway in ‘La Velomediane’. After 165k Anthony took 3rd place in this tough Ardennes cycling race.!
Anthony is doing a massive season (again)! Taking enough rest, pushing enough load at the right time results in performance on D-Days.
With a month to go there’s still something left in his tank this season!

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Anthony 3rd in La Velomediane

In Zoetermeer (Holland) the best MTB’riders of Belgium, Netherlands and Luxemburg raced eachother in another stage of the Beneluxcup. For Wim a race to defend his 2nd place in the GC. Finishing 4th he defends his 2nd spot and is now ready to attack the Flemish championships.

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Wim 2nd in Beneluxcup and currently 1st in Flemish Cup!

 

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Austria is Anil’s 2nd homeground and for that he raced 70.3 Zell-Am-See today, finishing his first 70.3. Leading up to…

Borne (Netherlands) was racing territory for the duathletes. Current Dutch long distance champion Alexander Picard won the race, Jan got third only a few seconds away from 2nd position!. Who had a first short taper off phase after a big block of training leading up to the World Championships Duathlon of next weekin Switzerland!

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Jan 3rd in one of his favourite sprintraces in the Netherlands!

In Vichy (France) our triathletes raced the 70.3 race in warm conditions but enjoyed it. Our oldest athlete finished the race as he hoped for and Kenneth put down 4h44′ in his 1st half triathlon. This race was lead-up event towards the full Ironman event on sunday!
With 2 athletes in this race we were looking forward to it!

 

Bert and Bart went into this Ironman with different expectations. Bert was chasing a good race ànd a slot to qualify for Kona 2018, Bart was chasing a sub11!
The non-wetsuit swim didn’t play in Bart’s cards as swimming is not his favourite discipline. But for Bert, steady over the 3 disciplines and a good swimmer, this could make an early gap. And so it went. Very early in the race Bert was in the front of the field. He got out of T2 in 5th position after a 56′ swim. With a rolling start, you don’t really have a view on the athletes who start later in the bunch. Rolling starts are definitely becoming a solution for the drafting. But also may play another tactical role in the future, more about this in a later blog. For Bert this race was also a revenge race for Challenge Poznan, where he was sent in the wrong direction in2nd position.
The hard training period he had last months would pay off…that was the purpose.

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Bert didn’t miss the start on the bike and moved up to 2nd position after a couple of kilometers into the bikecourse.

With a low extensive steady HR and an avg speed of +/-40km/h Bert could finish the bikecourse with quite fresh legs. Ready for a good run under the sun. With 36°C a hot day in France, hoping heat wouldn’t affect performance too much.

Putting down the bike 2nd overall in T2 gave wings to Bert and soon he moved up towards 1st overall position! Behind him, a few athletes (of which former PRO Bruno Clerbout – multiple Ironman top5 results) who started the race a bit later in the bunch were chasing Bert and the livetracker and positions in the race were a bit misleading.
Halfway the bikecourse it was clear quite some athletes were getting close and were catching up on him. Clerbout took the lead, to never give it back again and crossed the finishline of an IM first for the first time in his career.

Bert from his side had a good run, a steady run and was capable after losing his 2nd place to fight himself back into the race for silver and took it with style! 2nd place in 8h45′!

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With a 3h15′ run Bert paces towards the 2nd place in Vichy, qualifying Kona happens after hard work!

Bert is our 3rd AG athlete in 1year who finishes in 8h45 or faster in an Ironman!
For him this also means he has his qualification to Hawaï 18 in the pocket! And I am very curious to see which one of our athletes could already join him…let’s see ;-)!
A challenging next 2weeks for Bert despite his rocket-race, within 2 weeks he races the IM70.3 World championships.

Bert Verbeke

The overall podium in Vichy was conquered by Belgians, with Bert as a proud 2nd in 8h45′

A bit later Bart who put down his bike in 5h15 was on schedule for his sub 11 and he did. With a well paced run he finishes in 10h58′! Mission accomplished and 2 weeks of  100% rest coming 😉

Next week our athletes wil race the World Championships duathlon in Zofingen and the Swimrun World Championships in Sweden. Later this week we will present you our athletes heading in to these 2 races!

 

Ciao and have a cold drink, our day was hot today 😉

 

 

Jesse

Not just an ordinary weekend!

Not an ordinary weekend past weekend, a few races planned…and this resulted in much more than ever expected!

It was yesterdaymorning Jan went to Holland for the Duathlon in Ter Idzard! A race which is dominated by wind and wind. 10-40-5 distances, so a high intensity race, with no time to waste from the beginning. Jan had a good period behind him with 3rd place in Hoorn (Netherlands) and a trainingcamp in the Italian mountains where he stays in his appartment on high altitude. The perfect recipe towards this race it seemed, with a nice win as a result!

In the afternoon Svenne was ready to race hard in Mariembourg (UCI1.18), a bike course which fitted his TT-qualities well. The only difficulty of course is to get rid of the peloton…Svenne isn’t someone with a hard sprint at the end and needs to get rid of his concurrents earlier by making the race as hard as possible. This time it worked!

Svenne wins his first road race of the season after multiple top10results!

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Tough racecourse and the first win of the season for Svenne in Mariembourg!

The weekend only had begun, because today our athletes were race-ready in Germany, Spain, Canada and Belgium!

David was the one to get up first, start in Orihuela (Spain-70.3 Triathlon) was early at 8.30 am!
At the Costa Blanca the athletes had to swim a one way 1.9K distance in choppy water.

Knowing the pro field was quite high-level with for example the current ITU world champion Sylvain Sudrie (France) at the starting line.

A good swim for David made him mount the bike within touch of the concurrents in his AG (30th AG). On the bike the racecours was quite difficult with 1300D+ for 90km. David unleashes his legs and is capable of riding full of energy towards T2. With a 275NP he moves up quite a lot and puts down the bike…2nd AG and 22nd (Pro included).

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Quite a tough bike course in Orihuela (Spain), perfect to get rid of the ‘legal-drafters’, David puts the bike in T2 2nd in his AG.

Time to run now and David manages well, with a 4’15/km in the first half of his race and 4’28/km in the 2nd half of his race he paces quite regular. As this race is being the first of his season we might say we didn’t miss the start of it!

Results Orihueal

The top5 of the race was amazing, with current ITU world champion Sudrie on 4!

Till the last 2K David is in battle for the 3rd spot in his AG but the other concurrents played smart and could take him back just before the finishline…David thought they had 1lap behind… A good lesson to keep racing till the end, if u need to run multiple loops on the run course.

Well done, Spanish bull!

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David didn’t miss his start and ends up 6th in his AG – 40th overall!

In Germany (Göttingen) Anthony was ready to ride the first race of the season for his German team. With already quite some top10, a win and Arden Challenge in his legs we knew he was ready to race hard in Göttingen. Anthony tried several times to get rid of the other riders and ended up in the main group. The last kilometers towards the finisline this group stayed together and sprinted for victory. Anthony got 5th and once again comes close to victory!

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Anthony is in good shape these days, today again he gets 5th in Germany!

Our athletes weren’t only racing outside of Belgium. Also in Zaventem (Triathlon) and Spa (Offroad Triathlon) our athletes did well!

For Steven Spa meant his 3rd podium on 3 du/triathlons this season and astonishes himself! In the female race it’s Hannah who takes 2nd place, which must be a mental boost toward her first Ironman in August! On thursday she got some working points after her lactate test…and obviously she took this very well 😉

Later today our triathletes Tim and Allan both go succesfull in Zandvliet, Belgium (10miles) and Canada (8K) in runningraces! Allan currently is getting the one podium after the other…Tim is getting strong towards his first tri in Seneffe within 4weeks and wins the 10miles.

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Tim averages 3’36/km in his 10miles and takes the win on this race with 50% offroad course.

This was not just a weekend, April is grand cru already…and isn’t done yet!

Ciao
Jesse

Guillaume grabs the win in Couvin – GP du Fond de l’eau, the resurrection of a cyclist on easter!

How can you celebrate easter by not eating too much chocolate?
Well, by winning a race…in Couvin (Belgium) GP du fond de l’eau UCI 1.18 was held today. A cyclingrace for climbers with a +10% climb each lap. Food for Svenne, food for Guillaume!
These types of races are difficult to approach, being in the front all the time and not letting get away strong riders…every breakaway can be the right one. So what was said to both riders was easy “Ride with an offensive mind and try to have a tiny bit left for the last 15K to give it your all”. Those words came out easy, but our cyclists played the game perfectly!

Guillaume takes his first win in years after avery offensive race in which he made the right breakaway and could manage to finish…solo!! Great victory of one of our young riders!
Svenne found himself in a difficult situation and tried to pull his cards out. After a good race he finishes 5th on a race course which pleased him a lot! Svenne is having a good leg – period and that’s seen by his colleagues of course.

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Guillaume with a 20″ gap on the chasing group behind him!

In Arden Challenge stage 4 Anthony still is among the better riders in the peloton. Tomorrow the last and maybe toughest stage is planned, let’s see if Anthony still has some fire left in his legs!
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Mouscron is the yearly season opener of the French speaking Belgian triathlon league, Mouscron had some of our athletes at the starting line and they did well! Everybody could look back happy to this warming-up race!

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Raphael opens 2017 with a 4th spot in Mouscron behind Baelde – Béthencourt and Dillies

In the front of the field it were Raphael and… Alex,who picked up a serious boost in his performance level past year and closed the gap with to best athletes.
Raphael had a difficult period in January, but despite that period, he could pick up a good level from then till today and finish 4th, Alex was the 2nd best swimmer in the pack and finished 8th! Our other athletes finished just a little further in this sprint triathlon with 260 participants.

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In Mouscron our athletes got a nice bikecourse from the easterbunny, Raph pushed out a very consistent bike to finish off with a fast run!

Not only Mouscron was racelocation, Nico had the opportunity to challenge some world class athletes as Kienle, Raelert, Diemunsch,…in the Cannes triathlon (France). Nico had a 6′ faster swim than last year and moved up 130spots on the bike and run course which made him finish satisfied in his season-opener!

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Maybe the best densified half triathlon in Europe during spring….triathlon Cannes (Fr) with a very high level of athletes racing it! Nico was part of it!

Yesterday it was in Holland the easter bunny came too early!

Hans rode a very good first Individual Time Trial of the season, finishing 3rd (same time as 2nd place) behind Dutch Grasman and German

Ciao

Jesse

Surprising results in cycling and duathlon!

A weekend full of surprises!
With races in Germany, Holland and Belgium this weekend would be full of lactic acid…the national championships Xduathlon were marked in our agenda. Tony (Elite) and Wim (Masters) started with ambitions. Unfortenately for Tony the race lasted only 20m, tackled in the start he fell and done was his race. His concurrents of last week all ended within top 10…not fun, but more to come upcoming months!
Wim from his side came into T2 in the battle for the podium and win in the master’s race. New in this technical discipline het lost a lot of time in the more technical part of the race and had to let go the podium. Finishing with a splendid 2nd run he shows in road-season they will have to take count of him…let’s see.
In the same race Wesley finished his first national champs in a positive way!

In Eschweiler (Germany – Half Marathon), Dendermonde (Bel – 10K) and Cadzand (Holland – Half Marathon) our triathletes showed themselves to be ready for tri-season. In Germany Jens got 4th overall and is improving towards a steady – strong athlete. To be followed in 2017. In Cadzand our athletes got the honour to fight the wind, 5Beaufort in the face made them ‘work’ towards the finishline!

Our cyclists are having a great start of the season and Anthony today put the cherry on the first month of racing already by winning in Doornik/Tournai after another race in the front! With the last kilometer solo he could ‘enjoy’ this victory a lot.

 

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In The Netherlands, the national duathlonseries were held in Hilversum, Jan competes in one of these topseries-teams this season, and could help his team to 6th overall place despite a litte search to his shoes in T2 in which he lost quite some time.
Adrian surprises again…by not only doing a good race, but even finishing 2nd in the open

race in Hilversum! Another podium for Adrian who slowly but surely is becoming a collector of metal!

A good and honest weekend, with honest and satisfying results!
#trainsmartperformbetter.com

A weekend with ups and downs!

Past weekend began great, but it had a big down also….

but first the positive news!

On friday our athletes had the right feeling and were  capable of racing for the medals!

In Lommel (UCI1.18) Jef was the first to go into a breakaway, the peloton didn’t let them go and so it was Svenne who once again went in the breakaway! They were off and averaged almost 44km/h on  this 85K criterium. In the last loop it was Svenne who went for the win, but some of his concurrents came back and so he was outsprinted and got 4th in this fast race! Hans and Tony, both in full preparation for  the national triathlon championships did a short preprace. Hans got 2nd in the Lakeparadise triathlon with his team and Tony raced for the win in duathlon Herentals and finally got 4th.  Meanwhile Gwendolyn became 2nd in Wenduine 10miles!

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On Saturday Germany was the place to be,
Joeri did a very good race in the XTERRA German tour, Schalkenmehren by getting 11th overall!

Anthony was riding on the Nurnburgring (Rad am Ring) and was out for a topperformance…till he flatted and had to chase the main groupe. After a soloride of 100K he managed a 26th place! Now getting ready for the Tour de Namur (UCI 2.12 – stagerace)!

GuydbOur young cyclists also had fire in the legs today!
Dries (U23) could ride the post-Tour criterium and was outsprinted by John Degenkolb (Ger) and Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita)http://uitslagen.dewielerbond.be/Kalender_Uit…/Uitslag.aspx…

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Robbe and Quinten (Juniors) have both made a long way already to where they find themselves right now. Both were in the breakaways and dared to‪#‎attack‬. Robbe was in the right breakaway and finished 7th in Tourinnes, Quinten was in a little group behind the leaders and took 16th! Both are first year juniors! Already looking forward to next season!

Meanwhile our oldest male athlete Guy realised again another Ironman70.3 finish! In Hungary he was capable to get his revenge for the flat tyres in Ironman Luxembourg! Now looking forward to Ironman Vichy and Turkey!

Sunday had to become another beautifull day, and it was…only it ended with an accident…

Our athletes are hammering hard, we  get used to it…despite that, we don’t forget it’s no evidence! Dedicated and hard work comes before the output and visibility!
In Ironman Maastricht (Holland) Patrick (25 AG – 10h02), Pieter (18AG – 10h14) and Toon (12h05) realised each for themselves their best IM result ever! The road towards a long race is also something to remember and be proud of!

In Bridgetown (Canada) it was Heather who astonished on the olympic distance by coming into T1 as first overall athlete, she left all male athletes behind her! Heather could hold her spot on the bike and during the run and took the win back home!

On the long course (Half Iron) Corey advanced Allan during the swim and they both came out of the water in the front. The swimcourse was in a river into the current!

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Corey and Allan both did what they had to do today and paced the race well. The weather was not easy as it was a warm day and drinks were not always easy to grab 😉!
On the run course our athletes are fast enough to fight till the end!
Corey won the party, and it was Allan making the day complete by finishing 2nd and once again confirms his high level he’s on for the moment!

 

In Oostende (Time Trial) Jan did 2 races, first he did the 13K ITT with racebike and later that day he rode the 26K ITT with Time Trial Bike! It resulted in a 3rd and 8th spot in the Masters race!

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After all these great results we checked our phone and saw less prettier news…Hans was involved in a frontal accident during a Timetrial…a broken shoulder has ended his 2016 season. Once again it makes us realise we must enjoy every moment of training and racing. Also the tough ones, also the flat tyres,….always look forward and fast forward!

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www.trainsmartperformbetter.com

Jesse

Not just à weekend, but a week of joy and being fast on and off the bike!

Some weekends I remember forever, past weekend is a weekend that will be such a week !

Let’s begin with Ocean Lava Aranjuéz (Spain), David Tovar  is doing a great season and in his 3rd A-race of the race he amazed  everybody by getting a 3rd overall spot!

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With a good swim, a well dosed bikecourse he ran himself towards a spot on the podium!

A little confusion by girls in bikini in the last K made him make an extra loop and loosing 2nd spot by 1second! (Focus David!!!)

Later that day we had Jan racing in racing the national Championships Long distance Duathlon in Holland, and everybody who knows Jan…knows he can do special things. Well, this first. If did his race a bit slower he now had a son with Dutch nationality…

Jan did a superrace and on a flat race course he could limit the gap with the TTbikes and discwheels. Jan races with a froadframe and no aerowheels. It’s no coincidence his former employer is named Eddy Merckx. In true flandrienstyle he put the bike in T2 and runs the best 2nd run split and becomes 3rd! His  3rd duatlonpodium this spring! Now a short competitionbreak till summer because…his pregnant girlfriend, who went with him to Holland gave birth to a son 12hours later! Congratulations to (J)an!

Belgium got its first triathlon ‘fun-event’ with a Swim-Bike/finish in Harelbeke. Not yet a great succes when it comes to participants but certainly this can be a good intensive workout! A few athletes tested this event and liked it except for the ‘no rules, everything allowed policy’ during the race.

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If you balance right between intensity, strength and endurance you get high performance. With 363NP at the end of load block someone is ready to shine at least once.

While in Canada tri-season is slowly starting up our athletes are getting ready another podium for Corey and Allan on a road race and looking forward to their first tri overthere!

 

I would be happy if the weekend stopped there, but then there was sunday. While some athletes suffered in Almere (Holland), L’eau d’Heure, Jona-Rapperswill (Switzerland) and Meer we had athletes racing in Troyes (France) who did a fantastic race. Hans finished 9th in a strong field of athletes, while Inge…became 2nd behind French Pro Isabelle Ferrer. Being first year of Master, she is stronger than ever!

Her husband Steven did behind them a very good race finishing 34th and is now getting closer and closer to Norsemann!

I just could post the powerfile of Hans, knowing he’s a strong biker. But I won’t, because he ran fantastic! The focus for Hans is on Long distance (non-drafting) triathlon and if you can’t run, you’re done.In Douai (France) he prooved to run fast off the back and  in Troyes once again he realised his performance by putting down his bike strong…but he ran to his 9th spot. Triathlon ends with running, if you can’t run…you can’t get big results!

The only thing I can say about his powerfile is that he has beaten the Half Iron power record of our athletes.

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In Germany and Luxemburg it was time for some cyclingraces! Anthony is doing a very nice season, but getting on the podium wasn’t too easy till now! In Schleiz (Germany), there was the next manche of the German Cycling cup. He didn’t miss the right breakaway and sprinted for victory, finishing 3rd we can be very happy with his result!

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Anthony finishes 3rd in Schleiz (Germany) and is ready for more!

In Longchamps Svenne raced the way we talked about the day before. It was very simple, the bike course was super tough with a lot of climbing…so tactics were “Attack at the starting line”. He did , and it was the right breakaway. Svenne finishes 3rd! No further comment 😉

Our female athletes run fast off the bike, but even faster without a bike. Pas  sunday regional Championships Half marathon were held in Ieper. Gwendolyn went for the podium and got back home with a podium! The winner was outstanding, and Gwen got 2nd in 1h21′!

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Gwendolyn running with a lot of determination towards 2nd place in 1h21!

Last but definitely not least, Ironman Nice (France) was a big challenge for Bart and Bjorn! Both followed tactics, and finished within their dreamgoals and had a super experience.

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The bike check-inn, no way back…but Bjorn could happily check out after the race!

Train smart, perform better!

Jesse

Thriller….in France and Spain!

If you have been in my car you know only CD’s of Michael Jackson and Kaatje Tralalaatje can be found in my car. Because I was alone in my car this morning, I chose for the first…a few hours later I can only say this song was no coincidence . Well done Michael, you don’t only bring some rhytm into an early morning but also predict the outcome of races!

In Douai we had 5 athletes racing, it was Séb who took off first in 3degrees, rain and melting snow during the sprint race! He started off well and once on  the bike he took his chances to move up! In the 2nd run he kept his place and finished just outside of the top10 (11th).

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Sebzenneger working his way to the front in very bad weather conditions. On the bike  roads were slippery and it lasted for half a day to get warm again!

Next to kick off were Stijn, Peter, Jan and Hans!

Unfortenately we got a phonecall of Jan he had to go to the hospital because of an accident on his stairs the day before.

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Just before the race Jan calls he was at the hospital, he sure would have been a tough guy to beat for the other favourites and could have influenced the race! Hopefully a quick recovery to battle next week at Luxemburg! Sébastien calling to the local pizzeria to deliver pizza on the racelocation to warm up!

The race started with 2 outspoken favourites Maris (BEL) and Van Looy (Bel). Next to them there was  Vaillant (FRA) who defended his title. Hans was an outsider, but somewhere I knew Hans was in shape  and the bikecourse was definitely in his benefit. The start went well, Hans, Peter and Stijn passed us where we expected them. Not blowing up in that first run to have full power during the bikecourse always is the best tactics. Places are earned in the last 30′ of the race. Hans got out of transitions 2’30 behind leaders Van Looy/Maris. But it was a strong Vaillant who took hem both back and absolutely outcycled them. After 40K it was Maris 15″behind Vaillant, Van Looy 20″ later and then there was Hans only 2’08 behind Vaillant. So gaining back on the other  2. At that moment calculation was simple, he would enter the top 3 after the 80k and so he  did! Together with Maris he entered T2 only 1’20 behind Vaillant. So Hans rode a very fast last lap and took off for the run very fast. After 3,5km it was Vaillant in  1st,  Hans in 2nd (43″behind) and Maris in 3rd ( 51″ behind Vaillant). The best possible result seemed 2nd, to get that he would have to take back Vaillant! Maris (2007 WC Zofingen winner) won the race and in my opinion he is simply one of the 3best LD Belgian duathletes at the moment, and maybe better…Vaillant earned his 2nd spot by riding very offensive and just seconds behind it was  Hans who got a great podium with these 2 legends! All supporters were astonished by his performance and our French friens talked about “monstrueux” and “machine”!

For Stijn the race ended with a flat after 1 bike lap, but after the race he completed his 20K run of the  day. That’s the spirit of an athlete! For Peter it went better than expected and he felt great despite the cold rain!When we asked him about how the race was he said very briefly “Godmiljaar”! A little word also for Alex who prooved his progression in Ruddervoorde duatlon and finishes amongst ‘specialists’ in this discipline!

In Gottingen (Germany) and Almere (Holland) our cyclists were riding the best they could, Anthony who just finished the Arden Challenge last week was 7th on the last GPM, but in the downhill a group came back and finished top30 finally. Next week he races in Germany again…in Frankfurt. We remember of 2015 that Frankfurt gives power to our athletes!

In Belgium GP Affligem was one of the main races for the elite riders, Dries (U23 st year) finished this race in style and is ready for an important month! While Jef finished 18th in his 2nd race of the season!

Jan and Svenne both went to Almere for a heavy timetrialrace and finished 29th and 8th (+100participants).

In Peniscola (Spain) David finally started his first half triathlon of the season.My advice to him was simple, race more and learn to race and feel the body! We can say pieces felt together on his National champs LD duathlon earlier this season. But today..he did FANTASTIC! A good wim and then always moving up! Crossing the fingers for his coming off the bike…well he flew towards the finish and even moved up a spot towards the 8th overall position!  Great to see him race with this great spirit!

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The bikecourse in Peniscola was well paced by David, nutrition was  good and you always take benefit of that at the end of the race!

Our athletes are topgear, that’s clear! Weather is not so motivating for the moment so we motivate each other on another way!

Take care,

 

Jesse