Pro debut for Bert and Swiss reliability for Pirmin with a Kona ticket in his pocket!

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.

Afbeelding kan het volgende bevatten: buiten, water en natuur
Bert swimming 53′ and getting out of the water just outside top 10 in Lanzarote


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!

Afbeelding kan het volgende bevatten: een of meer mensen, fietsende mensen, fiets, boom, buiten en natuur
Both athletes went hard on the bike – Pirmin taking the AG lead during the bikecourse

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.

Bert normalizing +/-270NP in Lanzarote on his way towards 17th place

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!

Stable heart rate of Bert during his marathon, well paced after a hard race in the front!

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!

Dutch Rens (19yo) averaging 39.7km/h on the fast racecourse – finishing 9th!

A happy coach, having some exceptional glass of champagne tonight. Some moments you simply need to enjoy 😉



Ciao

Jesse


National duathlon title for Inge and regional Elite championships cycling!

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!

Anthony made huge steps last years and is now harvesting his input into his sport, riding passionate and smart!



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!!

Dries is one of our young potentials, still much progression to make and amazing with some stunning results. Looking forward to a hot summer!

Regional title for Kristof in OVWF today!

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!



21st in Roc d’Ardenne for Bram today!

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!

203NP ~ 56kg for Inge in the national championships being the base for her AG title and 3rd place 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!


Inge chasing her first AG title on the long distance!

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!

Fast racing of Bert untill the tyre said stop! Onwards to Ironman Lanzarote now!


Bert was in racemode and untill the flat cost him his race he was riding 338NP in this 1/4distance!


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!

Dimi, winner of the day in his AG by 2″!


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!

Hannah taking AG 3rd today!



Ciao and looking forward to next week already!

Jesse

Ironman world championships Hawaii – Bert taking 2nd and much more!

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!

Afbeelding kan het volgende bevatten: een of meer mensen

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.

Afbeelding kan het volgende bevatten: een of meer mensen en buiten

 

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

 

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273NP ~72kg for Bert, riding himself to a 4h30′ bikesplit in Kona. World class ride!

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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.

Bikefile Tony.jpg

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!

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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 finishfoto.jpg

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 G finish.jpg

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!

Afbeelding kan het volgende bevatten: 2 mensen, staande mensen, schoenen en buiten

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…

Jesse

Ironman Lanzarote, our athletes strong in their entirity

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!

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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 zwem

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 Powerfile 279NP

Hans had a regular bikeride, with a higher NP on the climbs, a bit lower in the downhills but steady all race long!

Bert powerfile 277NP

Bert took off hard, risky even, but he turned the button to cruise control after 80K to take no risks for the run!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

 

Victory for Daniel in Greece!

The only way is up” that’s what our Roumanian pro-cyclist Daniel thought today!
Early in the race in the good group and a solo attempt on the last climb made him ride a fantastic race today!!
After his solo he wins his race in Greece today and leads the general classification with more than 1′!
This was his first race of the season, spoken about an entrance!
As you can see, even in tough weather conditions athletes can train smart and perform better, a lot of clothes or turbosessions…there’s always a way…find it!

Daniel Crista

🇧🇪️In Belgium Guillaume rode a good rade in Gages and takes 6th in te end. Not lucky today to miss the right breakaway and being forced in a long day of pursuit.Very strong way of racing of Guillaume these days and slowly but surely growing to a topshape. Guillaume his made is set on qualifying for the UCI GranFondo world championships now.

 

More east in Jeneffe-en-Condroz it was Svenne who did get in that right breakaway. Still missing a few % after his crash, he was forced to let go the train and found himself also in a group chasing the 2 leaders on this tough racecourse. Going to the finishline Svenne takes 8th today!

Guillaume

Our cyclists are definitely not playing poker, they throw their cards on the table and race at full strength!
But how would it be with our Ironman athletes these days. A very important training period now for most of them, in particular for the guys/women who race the early IM races in South Africa, Texas (USA) and Lanzarote (Spain)!
A few of them are having a very specific weekend, others are starting training camp tomorrow and then we had the athletes racing the North C-trail!
Nothing than good feeling and results with nice results for for example Bert on place 8 in this 21K trailrun! Matthieu (heading to IM SA) just outside top 20!

bert

 

#TSPB #Jessevnsportscoaching

A prepweekend….with need for speed!

Past weekend our athletes went into races, particulary to prepare the spring and summerseason coming up!

But first of all our cyclocrossmen Xtof, Klaas and Kev who went into one of their last races this season!
For Xtof another top5 in the masters race and close to podium in GC!
Kevin, one of our younger athletes who is coming back from serious back injuries, slowly refinds himself and gets 12th and 7th this weekend!

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Klaas, our man in front of the cyclocrosscup classification was defending his 3rd spot in this GC this weekend. He did this on a great way and finds himself at the end of the cyclocrosscup in 3rd spot on the podium, together with the defending national champion.
This was a maingoal for him to reach and halfway the season we really started to believe in this! He worked, he succeeded!

IMG-20180128-WA0004

In Westrozebeke (Flanders) the annual Crossduathlon was held, with some of our triathletes at the starting line to pick up some rhythm and anaerobic impulses in a period of a lot of variety in other sorts of impulses. With very good running results in first place and steady performance on the bike our athletes could look back happy towards their first multisportrace of ’18!

Bert

Bert, in another format and another type of bike pushing away his limits! On his road to Ironman Lanzarote ’18 and of course Hawaii!

Bjorn

Nice result of Björn, mountainbiker and soon racing in South Africa…but meanwhile he got himself the national duathlonjersey for the fire Department!

The last weekend of January traditionally has quite some half marathons in Belgium, the way our athletes crushed these races is quite astonishing! 4 athletes who ran 1h16 or faster in full prep towards their season. None of these athletes had anaerobic impulses on training within the last 4months! Still…some of them even broke their PR. Approach your prepraces as prepraces and use preparation as a real preparationperiod. Not by being lazy…but by working smart and hard to be ready at the beginning of the season….just like Tony did  on saturday by getting 3rd in Lier in 1h15′, on his way even to go sub 1h14’…but a little cramp in the end made him go a bit easier in the last 2K.

tony

First preprace of ’18 for Tony, on his way to Kona, World Championships Ironman 2018

On saturday our other athletes went into a half marathon in Genk (Belgium).
All our athletes found themselves sub 1h30′ today and it were Jens, Adrian and Jan who had top10 ambitions in this race. With Jens having the best start (what did the coach say?), Adrian and Jan following closely behind. After a few kilometers places were shaked and it was Jan who finished 2nd in the race in 1h12′, Jens 5th in 1h13′ and Adrian 8th in 1h16′! A bit further our 50+ athlete Raymond finished in a nice 1h29′.

Furthermore our athletes also were present in the Houffatrail, where athletes dared to challenge themselves on this extraordinary racecourse!

A bit more to the South then, in France, the Liévin Crosstriathlon was held!
For Johan and Hans a first triathlon, both athletes are entering Ironman Lanzarote at the end of May and after already racing a few Xduathlons and Run and Bikes now it was time to see where the swimming part was…. For Hans, the North of France always means a bit of joy because of a significant part of his athletic CV is built on his French successes!

Both athletes had a very good swim, and they came out of the swimming pool with 1’24/100m splits. For both athletes, this is close to their best level at this distance. Once on the bike Hans immediately dropped his opponents…and Johan, who only swam 3″ slower had a good example in his sight to move up in the field! Halfway the race it was Hans who took the lead, Johan at that point was in battle for top 10 (and podium in the masters race).
‘France and Hans’…became a success again and Hans manages with his good running legs to run towards victory! For Johan the race also ended successfull, by getting 8th overall and 3rd in the masters race!

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Hans wins the race in Liévin (France), next race is at the Belgian coast in Sandman Inferno…beachduathlon!

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Flievintriathlon%2Fvideos%2F1988073407871332%2F&show_text=0&width=267“>Hans winning crosstriathlon Liévin (France)

A good last weekend of January for our athletes, good and steady tests in first place…towards the real start of the season within a few months! But meanwhile, yes…we can and must enjoy very battle that’s won!

 

Ciao

Jesse

 

 

 

Recap of another “Grand-cru” year in 2017!

A long year is almost behind us, our athletes performed like bosses, from January till the end of December the one performance after the other was made!
This year was a year that personally wasn’t my easiest, with the loss of  out mother. But as we learned to stand tall in difficult times…we kept going….and stood up again. Personally I must/will thank all the people who gave even the smallest  word of support. Without the small or bigger supports maybe 2017 wouldn’t have been like it became…at sportslevel!

In January our athletes just drunk their last glass of champagne and the first races were there already, our athletes were involved in some road running races with for example the half marathons where we had 6 of our athletes crushing the 1h20′ and even some guys below 1h15, that already was a good sign towards the season. At that point our athletes hadn’t had any hard sessions yet. Base was good, strength was good…and then  you can be already at 90% of your PB…if you approach training with a good periodisation. Laziness is never rewarded in sports, being creative and being a silent worker is!
Klaas, our cyclocrossrider even took an unexpected podium on the regional championships cyclocross!

klaass

Klaas heading towards the podium on the regional champs!

In February

our Canadians woke up and the first road races (running) were held overthere, with the Boularderie half marathon for example where Corey, Allan and Andreas took an exceptional clean sweep!

In Belgium the tough Sandman duathlon was held, with the win of Inge and very strong Hans in the male race. Both, at this point, were far from peaking period. With the results we knew in spring there would happen something…and it did!

Meanwhile the French speaking part of Belgium had its championships duathlon. There also our athletes got podium and even won the masters race.

hans-vdb

La Machine has to explain how he dropped his opponents

At the end of this month our cyclists turned their engines on, immediately followed by big results! There was Svenne who already got podium and Anthony who was on for a S U P E R – Season who got 4th in his first race in Lens-Saint-Rémy.

March traditionally is the month where all sports cross eachother…road cycling, mountainbike, duathlon, triathlon, marathons,…but it’s also the month where you show what you’ve been up during winter.
March began with a duathlon win in Ashford (United Kingdom), Anthony who rode himself from the one podium to the other and wins in Tournai (Belgium). There also was the resurrection of Guillaume, who turned back into cycling and came back…stronger than he ever was before! There was also the trailrun on Ballon d’Alsace (France) where Arne got an unexpected podium and of course the duathlon in Hilversum (Netherlands) which closed the month!

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A lot of fighting spirit for Anthony, with strong racing and wins already at the beginning of the season!

In April the cycling season continued with wins in Couvin (Belgium), Mariembourg (Belgium) and Frankfurt (Germany). While our duathletes won races in the Netherlands (Ter Idzard), Germany (Eschweiler) and France (Douai). In Douai it was Hans who was able to put down an extraordinary result by beating former Pro world champion Koen Maris. Not so far behind it was Jan who, with the fastest 2nd run, could move closely to the front! In Spain it was David who did a great race in Orihuela early in the season and in Florida (USA) Allan won his race!

A bit more to the South Ironman South Africa was the first Ironman planned, with Pierre, Cai and Sam we had 3 athletes being capable of qualifying for Kona.
What happened there went just perfect! Pierre realised his best ever race and qualified for Kona for the 2nd year in a row, while Cai (5th in her AG) just missed the slot but managed to do a race perfectly as planned.

Sam from his part, once again took an IM podium by finishing 2nd AG overall (after former PRO Godart) and ran for the 4th time in his career a sub 3h marathon! Also his ticket was in his Bioracer-suit pocket!

 

 

 

Yes, April was the first peak for some of our athletes…and it was spot on it!
For the others…May became the first peaking period … and that promissed to be at least as surprising as April!

May was the month of duathlon championships,

with Jan becoming AG European champion and Wim losing his 3rd AG spot in the last kilometer we had success and learning in 1 race towards the world championships in September! Only 6 days after the EC the Belgian national championships were held in…Holland. In Almere Jan took top 10 overall and Wim managed himself to get his first medal on a national championships and got 3rd (masters).

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Jan and Wim racing the European championships Long distance duathlon

In Mallorca (Spain) Adrian raced his first main goal of the season and in the 70.3 raced he not only got 2nd (AG), but also took a nice overall ranking and qualified for the 70.3 world championships.

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Adrian running towards his AG-podium in Mallorca 70.3

Next to these races our athletes also managed to perform in Belgium and Canada in several cycling and triathlon races

 

Of course after a period like April and May, in which many outstanding performances were set by our athletes a coach silently hopes this can inspire the other athletes to perform at their verrrry best in the rest of the season. And it did!

In June this list of podium spots were reached:

  • SWIKE Harelbeke: 3rd
  • Half Irondistance Troyes (France): 2nd
  • Rev3 70.3 Quassy (Canada): 2nd
  • Half Irondistance Terheijden (Netherlands): 3rd
  • Duathlon Baddeck (Canada): 1st
  • Duathlon Baddeck (Canada): 2nd
  • Duathlon Baddeck (Canada): 3rd
  • Ironman 70.3Luxemburg: 1st AG Inge
  • Ironman70.3 Luxemburg: 3rd AG Steven
  • Cyclingrace Zomergem: 2nd Guillaume
  • Mamer Duathlon (Luxembourg): 3rd Jan
  • Cyclingrace Zottegem: 2nd Guillaume
  • Time trial Zolder: 3rd Jef

Next to these results, multiple top10 races were made by our athletes!
In the triathlonraces of Meer, L’eau d’Heure, Oud-gastel, Couvin, Alpsman…our athletes performed very well.
In Ironman Klagenfurt (Austria) we saw our athletes stepping up a level with athletes going sub 10h and sub 9h30 for the very first time!

 

 

Unfortunately for Bert in Challenge Poznan (Poland), he was sent the wrong direction…being in 2nd position and having to quit the race. Bert was approaching the leader at that point and ready to take a full distance win! This made him keen on performing at least as hard later on this season…

July, the first month of summer…traditionally a loaded month with Ironman races in Frankfurt (Germany), Zürich (Switzerland), Santa Rosa (USA), Lake Placid (USA), Nice (France) and Whistler (Canada), but also the full distance races of Gravelines (France) and Challenge Roth (Germany). In all of these races our athletes gave the best of themselves with some extraordinary results in the end!
Each Irondistance also is a learning process, that’s what a few of our athletes experienced. The way you enter the race is crucial!

 

 

In Roth for example, Hans was our 2nd AG athlete getting SUB 8h45! With a win in his AG and a top overall ranking this was certainly his best full distance ever!

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In Lake Placid (USA) Cai came very close again to qualifying for the World champs after a strong race on this tough racecourse, while Same managed an 11th place (overall) and another AG win!
A very strong performance again, and much more to say and reflect about it then just ‘eating chicken soup’ ;-)!

In Aarschot it was Bert who took his 2nd masters victory of the season, Inge who took the AG win in Xterra France, Anthony just outsprinted for the win in Rad am Ring (Germany), Corey getting 3rd in 70.3 Saint-Andrews, Allan winning the Aylesford triathlon (Canada) and Robbe (junior-cyclist) getting his first ever podium!

Next to all of these races it was Jan who was the 2nd Belgian in 2017 winning a Long distance duathlon (only 2 will win a LD road duathlon in 2017) in Gravelines (France)!

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August is known as harvest period in Europe, the end of the road seasons approach and time for those who built a good base to finetune towards the last races!
Our athletes wer on the pdoim tri/duathlonraces and multiple cyclingraces in Belgium The Netherlands and Roumania, while in Spain David got himself on the podium in Medina de Rioseco (Spain).
In Belgium it was Bart who astonished in the tough Belman race by finishing 9th, where he found a racecourse that fitted him perfectly!

 

 

But Augustus also was a month of quite some Ironman racing!

With 70.3 races like Zell-Am-See (Austria) and Vichy (France), where our athletes performed very well. On the full distance in Maastricht (The Netherlands) Tim got 21st overall, and missed his slot by 1place after a 3h00 marathon which was the 6th overall (Pro incl) running time! Later that month our athletes also raced in Ironman MT where Allan got very close to a slot, Ironman Kopenhagen(Denmark)  and then we had the Ironman in Vichy!
A magical day for one of our athletes, who flew and was in the lead of the race for a very long time!! Bert came through on the bike as 2nd very soon, with nobody around him and chasing groups behind him. With the rolling start it’s difficult to see where you are in the race, and the packs behind him of course were not easy to manage. With a fast bikesplit he put down his bike and started on the run course! Soon it was clear that former Pro and strong performing Clerbout came closer and approached him (timewise) . But nobody could avoid that it was Bert crossing the finishline 2nd!

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Bert crossing the finishline in Vichy (France)  finishing 2nd in Vichy

A magical moment for our athletes to have one of our athletes crossing the Ironmanfinish like this! In the end it was Clerbout who won (faster time by +/-5′). Bert was our 3rd amateur athlete within a year who finished in 8h45 or faster! A performance to remember, and to be very proud of!

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With his fantastic performance in Vichy, Bert already qualified for the 2018 World championships!

Only 1 week after the adrenalinerush in Vichy, our athletes registered for the World championships duathlon in Zofingen (Switzerland) were ready…to rumble!

Hans, Jan and Wim had their chances on the AG podium and were keen to get on it!

For all 3 of them the race turned into something fantastic, Hans (1st AG 35-39), Jan (2nd AG 35-39) and Wim (2nd AG 40-44) found themselves on the podium after the race!

With Hans who became first overall amateur and Jan who became 3rd overall amateur our athletes had their place between the Pro’s!

 

 

Only 2weeks after his 2nd place in Ironman Vichy it was time for Bert to enter the 70.3 world championships! With our well known Dan Stubleski at place number 1, Bert his 5th place was well earned! What a season for him!

Later in September we had 2 athletes ready to qualify for Kona 18 with Tony, strong as always and approaching his first Ironman in Wales! In Wales he got the company of Stijn, also racing his first Ironman! Both athletes did great and on this tough and very cold racecourse, where pro-athletes like Romain Guillaume had to leave the race because of the cold, Tony was capable of qualifying himself for the Ironman World championships 2018 in Kona, Hawaii!

In Chattanooga (USA) it was Van, our Californian trailrunner/Ironman athlete…with a super fast run of the bike he won the AG (45-49) and got 15th (!!) overall in his Ironman! With his slot in the pocket he is flying into 2018!

With several races like Gerardmer XL, Knokke, Damme (with another OUTSTANDING win for Inge) , the national duathlon title (masters) for Wim and victory for Andreas in Canada (Fiddlers half marathon) road season was topped off!

At this point our cyclocrossriders already had don their first races again!
October approached and Kona 17 came closer!

But first there were the Ironman race in Barcelona(Spain), where Jens was on his way to go Sub9 and take a Kona-ticket also! Only in the last kilometers his race got really tough finishing 4th(AG) and just not enough for the AG podium! But a magnificent race for one of our younger athletes in the Ironman circuit! Jens did a super season with quite some races all the way in the front of the race and finally closing his season with a fast race in Barcelona!

Also in Barcelona was Sem, a big step forward for him….finishing the race just above 9h30!

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Jens in Ironman Barcelona on his way towards 4th AG place

In Ironman70.3 Turkey Adrian astonished once again by getting another Ironman top10! Another good season for him this year with some nice goals to look forward to!

But not only Ironman has races in October, Vincent and Arne went to Empuriabrava to race their half irondistance and finished 21st and 22nd in this beautifull race in the north of Spain!

Of course there’s only 1 ‘all-eyes-on’ race in October and that’s the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii! With Sam and Pierre racing this year we hoped for the very best! And all was going perfectly, with both athletes having a good swim and immediately heading forward on the bike…untill Sam got a penalty…5′ of STOP for him!
Despite this penalty he went as hard as before the penalty for the rest of the racecourse and managed to STILL have the fastest AG 40-44 bikesplit and the 4th overall time….how fast were his legs! On the runcourse Sam couldn’t make the difference anymore and after being in the battle for the podium untill almost the end he finally got 7th! Pierre finished a bit later and completed his 2nd Kona-race!

 

 

The week after Kona our athletes already came together to have our first groupsession, a relaxed fartlek run and groupride were on the menu :-). The begin of a good season is where the past season ends!

In November it was clear that our cyclocrossriders got stronger and stronger, with Klaas getting several podiumplaces and move up towards 3rd overall in the Cyclocrosscup!

Kevin from his side amazed by getting the 2nd place in the regional championships, a nice step up in his comeback year!

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December, the last month of the year and also a month in which many athletes enter their first prepraces towards ’18 with nice results in Run and Bikes, Offroadduathlons, trailruns and the continuation of our cyclocrossmen in a season full of suspense! Also a crucial month for training towards spring season!

But above all…there’s Kasterlee. A LD duathlon only known in Flanders, BUT with a great atmosphere and something special about it! A main goal for a couple of our athletes!
A main goal that was more exciting even than predicted, and finally one of our athletes won the race. Inge dreamt about winning it and she did! After mechanical problems she fought herself back into the race and won! That’s the mentality you need as an athlete, never give up!
In the masters race it was Wim who won, with his 11th overall place and super fast run off the bike! Marvellous season they both had!

 

 

 

In Thailand the riders of the WTT/W2W are also keen on starting their season and already in December the first races ar on there! With 4podiumplaces and 1 victory they immediately show what’s possible if you work smart!

 

Extra goalsets for the next  year are simple – evaluation within 12months:

  • getting our 10th world championships medal
  • win a continental championship
  • win a pro cycling race (UCI)
  • At least 5 selections for the Ironman World Championships 2018, Hawaii
  • win our 5th Irondistance race
  • selection for UCI Gran Fondo world championships Varese (Italy)
  • selection for the European championships cycling (UCI-PRO)
  • Selection for the 70.3 World champs in Nice 2019
  • Get a 100% ratio start/finish in all Ironmans
  • Race with a lot of determination and beat yourselves physically and/or mentally during each race.
  • Train smart, perform better (in real-life races, not on Strava, Zwift or on other Instagrams ;-))!

The page of the book of 2017 will be turned on December 31st, then we only look forward again! First date to meet…January 21st, group session ‘Jessevnsportscoaching-classic’. Be there, or be square!
Have a good party!

*The full list of podium places in ’17 , but with 3days to go and knowing our athletes this can still change!

Ciao,

Jesse

Tony qualifying for Kona – Bert 5th in Chattanooga (70.3 WC)

Tony going to Kona!

IRONMAN Wales was cold, rainy, hilly and tough! That was the recipe for all participants…and honestly…except for the rain and cold that was what he hoped for! A tough race, tough conditions…and good legs!

Tony and Stijn were our athletes participating in Wales, for both athletes their very FIRST Ironman!
With Tony we had an athlete who I thought was capable of taking a slot for the Ironman world championships 2018 today in Wales, despite he entered his first race!

With a good swim, a perfectly paced bikecourse with patience to keep moving up with a good run in the end and finally getting 4th in his AG and 32nd overall!!
Tomorrow Tony can decide whether he takes or takes not the slot for the Ironman world championships 2018 in Kona, Hawaï!
His decision is made already…Tony was a bit afraid I said him to enter this race as his first race…but the natural interval on the racecourse fitted him well and that’s what we hoped for…

 

Stijn from his side had a tough seaswim but managed well, on the bike he started moving up strongly to finish of on the run and finish within the first 12% of all competitors (256th /1800 – 36/250 AG) . Nice note: Stijn didn’t swim till 2years ago and picks up well now!
Congratulations!

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Stijn entered his first Ironman, and finished great!

In the 70.3 World championships (Chattanooga – USA) Bert tried to astonish again after Vichy, 2 weeks ago, he did and put down a very good race finishing 5th in his AG and a good overall result in the end! A great season of Bert, who can already droom of Kona ’18 together with Tony!

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Bert 2 weeks ago 2nd (overall) in Ironman Vichy finishing 5th AG in the Ironman 70.3 World champs!

Fantastic that 2 athletes already qualified for Kona ’18…while ’17 only starts in a month!

World Championships 70.3 Upcoming weekend

We continue our roundup of this month’s world championships, after the athletes racing the Duathlon world championships now it’s time for the Ironman70.3 World championships in Chattanooga, USA

1 competitor used his slot to participate and defend his chances in Chattanooga!

Bert Verbeke (AG 40-44):

  • 2016 European AG champion 70.3 – stunning season behind him – 2nd overall Ironman Vichy 2017
  • Strength: Swims with the best and is capable of cycling hard without smashing the legs. Showed strong running performances off the bike this season which lead him to 2nd place in Vichy.
  • Weakness: Ironman Vichy was only 2 weeks ago, how will he feel racing 2weeks after the Ironman and after a long trip.
  • Remarkable facts: In Challenge Poznan (Poland) he was in 2nd position, moving up to 1st…when he was sent in the wrong direction on the racecourse. He took his revenge later this season.

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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.

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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

Magic May episode 3

May is hot, our athletes strong…and only getting stronger!

Today the European Championships were held in Sankt-Wendel (Germany), if you are a duathlete…you were there today? If not…be there next year!

The classic distance was chosen for these championships (10-60-10). And for Jan, Wim and Steve their first A-race of the season! Ambitions were simple for Jan and Wim, trying to aim for the AG podium. Steve was starting in the Open category and was curious to what’s possible….
Being a championship, the only importance to this race is where you end up in your category and try to aim for the best that’s possible…

Jan was hungry, he’s a young guy (AG35-39) and directly took the lead in his AG, Wim wasn’t so far behind and ran on 4th place in his AG. So both could get on the bike in the battle of the medals. On the bike they both could hold their pace and after first being passed and on 2nd position it was halfway the bikecours that Jan attacked and took the lead…to never give it back again! Wim first fell back to 6th, but than step by step moved up to 4th and both could put down their bike…for an exciting and tough run course.
Jan kept his first place and for the first time (after 4x AG world champion) he got himself that European Gold medal (better than that lousy silver we have here in the closet ;-))!

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Jan ‘Gianni’ Meysmans after the 2016 AG world title, today he takes the 2017 AG European title! 

For Wim it became battletime, not the luxury of Jan with a 2′ advantage. But running down on number 3…taking 3rd place and in the end on a steep climb…’parcheggio’ and having to let go number 3. Wim was their for his first European Champs, his first full duathlon season (has been a runner) and we can say he won 4th and didn’t lose 3rd! Congratulations!

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Wim came close to Jan at the beginning of Run2, but Wim had to let go the younger Belgian in search of his 1st place. Wim finally takes 4th.

In the open race Steve suffered, an underestimated run course but full of experience in trailrunning. And once he put down his bike he was able to get 3rd in the Open category!

3Participants on the Europeans duathlon…almost 3 medals…I can not say I’m not happy 😉 Great job to our duathletes. Duathlon is NOT dead, it’s alive…only NOT in Belgium 🙂
Next week National championships are held in The Netherlands…that’s like…weird?!?!

In Leuven then again the first Half Irondistance of the season in Belgium was planned,

for a couple of our athletes this race is the most important race of the season. As Leuven is their hometown. For our other athletes a first big test…leading up to more!

First real warm weather and a citycenter…not an easy combination for most athletes. But hey: IF u want to qualify for Kona, you must be capable to deal with the heat!
Our athletes all had a good swim, better than they had last year…the watertemperature might be the cause for that. And of course the fact that they were ready for it!

We had Bert coming into T1 first, followed by Tony and a bit later Sem, Peter and Wim!

Bert, alone in the chase of the leading pack…difficult to pace and nothing to aim for of course. But he managed a good cyclingpart and could start running 5th. Tony a bit later, ready to show the flexibility in his legs. Those 2 athletes were on for the top 10!

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Tony pacing his race by HR and poweroutput, a steady bike-ride and coming off the bike with a fast run! 290NP is classy for a +-72kg athlete!

Triathlon is a mechanical sport, the gear has to be fitted all just right. For Wim in his ‘homerace’ this wasn’t the case…his frontderailleur fell down and he could spin himself to T2…bad luck. But nice not to give up and continue the race!

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Wim had bad luck having some mechanical issues, but still managed his fastest racetime…

During the run Bert could hold his top10 spot despite stomach problems and had to fight it against some rockets with runningshoes on…Tony was one of them and just passed Bert in the last meters.
8th and 9th in the end which is great in this race! Our other athletes all finished a bit later and felt strong towards their full distance races coming up!

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Tony with another fast run in Leuven and managing his first top 10 in this Half triathlon

These were not the only races our athletes got into the top10, Hans managed 8th in the 1/4 triathlon Seneffe and in Ghlin one of our comeback cyclists managed his 2nd top10 in a row…keen on more!

Magic May…isn’t over yet ;-)!

Ciao

Jesse
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