Strong results today of our athletes in Ironman Switzerland, 3 athletes racing in Zürich: Tony (AG35) – Steven (AG45) – Cai (AG50)!
The race started with rain and a bit annoying weather conditions, but as the athletes approached their bikes…sun appeared! Tony out of the water in 1h01, Steven 1h02, Cai a bit later in 1h22. Knowing our athletes in Zürich are Pac-Man racers this was a good opener!
Tony immediately appeared moving up strongly and very soon was seen in AG top 10, in the 2nd part of the bikecourse he was able to maintain his rhytm and put down his bike 4th in his AG!
Tony immediately appeared moving up strongly and very soon was seen in AG top 10, in the 2nd part of the bikecourse he was able to maintain his rhytm and put down his bike 4th in his AG!
Steven (AG 45) was keen on a good result, a perfect preparation of him and getting touch with the better athletes in his AG from the beginning. Being just within/just without top 10 in his AG during the whole bikecourse and finally putting down his bike 9th!
Cai from her side was also moving up towards top 10, and could maintain this untill T2! Cai, racing Switzerland only 40days after Ironman Boulder!
Before the running, pacing strategy for Tony was clear, HR XX and not running faster than 4’20-4’30/km. Strategy that worked fine, from start untill finish of the marathon! Running a constant marathon at 4’29/km resulted in maintaining 4th position, for a short moment Tony was in 3rd but a 2h47′ AG runner (!) was simply too fast to get on 3rd spot! This 4th spot, but above all 10th overall agegrouper and 20th with professional athletes included makes Tony confirm again after his strong performance in Kona 2018! The Kona slot he won this year, he leaves for another athlete who will be lucky with the rolldown!
Steven was doing a perfect race untill the marathon, for him this marathon was something to look forward to. Doing a good marathon would mean AG top10! And so he did, starting off probably slightly too hard, but never crashing down and keeping the pace and HR up to finish with a 5’01/km marathon and move up during the marathon towards 7th place in his AG! Stunning performance for Steven and after his strong results in Lanzarote 18 confirming again in Switzerland!
Cai was having a good start of the marathon, and after 15K she moved up from 10th to 9th position! Unfortunately during the run gastroproblems made her go easier in the 2nd part of the marathon, before finishing just outside top10, in 12th position in her AG! With 2 Ironman races in 40days she definitely earns the Iron(wo)man title!
After last weekend with 2 top 10 results in Ironman Vitoria, our athletes confirm again! 7Kona slots were gathered so far this season! 5 athletes will go and Perform!
Our athletes qualified for Kona 19:
Vadim Suraev (Can)
Javier Cepeda (Col)
Alejandro Casado (Spain – involved in a crash today, broken collarbone)
One of the most loaded weekends with Long distance triathlon races of the season! A weekend in which our athletes raced in LD triathlons in France, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands, US and Australia! Important weekend also for a couple of our athletes with a World championships dream!
The first to hit the water this weekend was Javier (Colombia), putting huge steps past winter and working very accurate it was clear he was ready to do a personal very good race! There was a Kona dream (haven’t almost all LD triathletes have this…) but also realism. Doing a good race, and see what happens!
A very good swim made him step on the bike after 1h01′! On that bike Javier felt good! Living very high in Bogota, Colombia racing low should do good and it was! During training this sometimes is tough, but if there’s a positive effect on raceday…it’s very much a positive point!
This good swim combined with a fast and very well paced bike made Javier come off the bike within top 10. As Cairns is a continental championship…more slots are to be taken! Top 10 would be a certitude! On the run course Javier had previous bad experiences in IM and wasn’t planning to have this in Cairns! We paced HR wise, which worked out perfectly. The only focus was the focus on himself and a possible place close to IM WC qualification!
Doing a good run and being able to keep the pace in it untill the finishline, temperatures above and around 30°C. In Ironman an athletes must keep going, because the end of the race can be astonishing in all ways. 12th place for Javier and a couple of hours of waiting for the final salvation! Kona qualification was a fact! The day started perfect!
At the moment Javier’s race finished…our athletes in Ironman70.3 Staffordshire, UK hit the water. Not the best racing conditions, which made it a hard race! Both Hannah and Dave are in shape! Hannah could manage some very nice results in Elite cycling races and triathlons earlier this season, Dave prooved himself in his previous 2 triathlons.
A very big step forward was made this year. Balance in training is key, if the balance is not there an athlete falls back to underperformance. Always. Both athletes moved up well during the bikecourse to put down the bike in a position that would be very close to Ironman 70.3 WC qualifcation in Nice, France. And that’s also what happened!
Hannah kept her place within top 10 during the run course and finishes 8th! Dave from his side manages to finish 15th after a stunning race, perfectly paced and strong untill the finishline!
For both good enough to qualify for their first Ironman 70.3 world championships! A dream coming true! 3 world championships qualifiers on 1 day already? I was not dreaming!
In the Netherlands, 70.3 racing in Terheijden! Tony is in his last trainingperiod towards Ironman Vitoria-Gasteiz (Spain), this race would a last test and part of optimalization for him! Tony his weakest spot (if we may say this) is swimming, in Terheijden athletes have to swim 2500m instead of 1900m…perfect in full prep towards his IM.
Tony swam well, and this small ‘recovery’ week dit very well in his current shape! On the bike Tony paces at 320NP within HRzones and puts down the bike at exactly 320NP!
Tony, last year running a very strong marathon off the bike in Kona never disappoints when it comes down to racing!
A very tough challenger when you meet him in the end of the race!Running his half marathon at 3’50/km he keeps moving up untill the finishline and takes 3rd!
In Terheijden also MC takes 6th in the female race, which is very good in her first ever 70.3 race! Our athletes were also involved in 70.3 races in Bonn (Germany), Obernai (France) and Herning (Denmark)!
In Herning the athletes had to conquer cold conditions, rain and wind in the face for the first 50K which made several athletes go into hypothermia! But also racing in Belgium (1/4distance Beernem). Alex and Dimi both are in great shape and probably their best shape ever! 2 big boys who get faster and stronger by their age. ON this part they had a perfect example in Beernem…with Steven finishing 2nd (40+) in the masters race!
And then, late in the afternoon (European Time) our athletes in Boulder, USA were on for a tough race! Watertemperature was quite cold but above all altitude was heavy the first days after arrival! Racing at 1600m above sea level is not for everyone. During their first sessions in Boulder their body clearly needed to adapt. Fortunately Cai, Sam and Vadim had a good preparation trainingwise but also altitude wise with periods of training high or sleeping high! The body surely adapted to racing conditions approaching raceday! In contradiction to previous years where very hot temperatures were measured in Boulder today’s race would be very cold. With temperatures below 10°C. Which is cold for triathlon! Fortunately our athletes could directly warm up on the bike, hitting the watts and going in search of the front of their AG! For Vadim, coming out 6th in AG45 pole position was visible very soon in the race! Sam from his side had a 10′ gap on the leader and Cai got on her bike with the same gap!
Once on the bike endurance, strength and globale shape becomes the most important issue! Our athletes moved up quite fast! Vadim got company from Swiss Mike Schifferle (Pro untill 2018), with his registration for the race…only 2slots would be divided between the rest of the athletes! Vadim and Schifferle in the lead, up to the opponents to chase them down. But these positions were held untill T2!
Vadim was in 2nd, but had chasing athletes close to him before the start of the marathon! With one of the fastest AG bikesplits and faster than a few Pro’s this 46year old Canadian prooved he was ready for a big effort!
Sam was aiming for a ride at 250-260NP , not overdoing it to save energy for the tough run course following! Very soon Sam took his place in the top 5 of his AG, once the athletes passed halfway the bikecourse Sam takes the lead and takes a massive advantage of 15′ when he enters T2!
His bikesplit was good for the 10th overall bikesplit, Pro field included! Without problems Sam was ready to take his slot and qualify for the 10th time for the Ironman World Champs!
On the bike Cai also did great, the bike discipline is definitely her strongest discipline and it made her move up towards 3rd position! In the first half of the race a couple of othere athletes sticked around her but once got further in the race her advantage on 4th and 5th place become bigger! Big enough to come off the bike with podium ambitions!
3 athletes on the podium at the end of the race? It became a possibility…and this ‘crazy’ weekend definitely gave confidence that all is possible! Sam moved up very strongly on the runcourse, the further the run was the more advantage he took in his AG…but he also moved up towards the Pro athletes and a very good overall position was in it!
The runcourse was tough, over 300D+ and a lot of turning combined with altitude didn’t make it an easy job. But he manages to become 14th overall and win his AG by far! Kona qualification was a fact! Packing and flying to Kona for the 10th time in October! When all goes as planned…things seem easy! But things aren’t always as they look like! For Sam also a preparation is full of ups and downs, being capable of dealing with small setbacks is what makes the difference between winners and losers…
For Vadim Schifferle (fastest AG athlete – 13th overall) was out of reach from the beginning of the run course, focus on keepin his top3 spot and Kona qualification! Only 3 slots, so no mistakes to be made! Vadim ran very constantly in the first half of the marathon! But then slowly HR dropped. Not a lot, but by small %. This definitely was caused by his first 40km on the bike, in which he kept a pace slightly to high.
This always comes back to an athlete at a certain point! But, fortunately we are talking about little% and shape, endurance and strength was at 100% before the race. Vadim never dropped a lot of pace keeps fighting untill the finishline, being passed by 1 athlete in the very end he takes podium, 3rd!! What a day! 3athletes qualified for Kona, 2 athletes qualified for Nice…on 1 day! At this point we passed midnight…so maybe I do was dreaming??!
Unfortunately for our sleepquality Cai was in a very close battle for the podium ànd for a slot! Putting down the bike in 3rd position with quite a gap in front of her. Focussing on her own race and not trying to close a 15′ gap was the best she could do! Behind her, a fast running athlete was coming step by step! With only 2,5km to go her advantage dropped to only 1′. Fortunately Sam already recovered a bit and ecouraged her to keep going strong! With success…taking 3rd place and making the race complete! unfortunately only 1slot in this AG which means no qualification but marvellous performance…her name needs to be changed to Le’Suffer’!
All 3 athletes on the podium in Boulder, this clearly lead to a party
This weekend also means that in Kona we will have ‘thé’ AG squad in the world ready to roll!
Qualifiers for the Ironman World Champs, Hawaii so far:
* Pirmin Christen (Switzerland)
*Alejandro Casado (Spain)
*Javier Cepeda (Colombia)
*Vadim Suraev (Canada)
*Sam Gydé (Belgium)
Working with athletes all around the world remains an eye opener, an experience that’s very unique in the world. Our approach towards training, vision and communication is key! Thanks for all these athletes to give the best of themselves…as we give the best from ourselves!
Straight forward and no-nonsense, at your service!
This weekend was ‘championshipsweekend’, with the Northern American Ironman championships in Texas (USA) for Cai and Sam, the French duathlon championships on the long distance for Hans, Séb, Steven and Inge and the national sprintduathlon championships for Wim adrenaline would rush through the veins. For sure!
The good about these sports are that if you are prepared well, you are ready for racing! With dedication to the raceplan (and nutrition) the rest follows normally! If it’s hot (30-35°C in Texas) or cold (8°C in France and cold rain all race long) that doesn’t matter. Shape decides what will happen, all the rest are sidestories.
In Texas, both Sam and Cai took off well during the swimstart. Somehow Cai found herself closed in a bit during the swim but despite that both athletes got on their bikes in +/- the time that was planned. And then, the race starts for real!
On the bike Sam had to close down a 10′ gap with his opponents in the M40. With topathletes such as Dan Stubleski, Mosley and others it would a nice race to follow.
39Pro athletes also at the starting line, many points to gather for the KPR-ranking, important to get to Kona! This strong field and perfect weather conditions (as in almost no wind) would lead to a legendary race with several records broken! Matt Hanson for example ran the off bike marathon (42.1km) in 2h34′ after 3.8K swim and 180K bike. This day in Texas will be remembered. But not only by the toprange of Pro athletes racing it.
Soon it became clear that Sam was moving up in his race, of course this is a well known fact in Ironman, but you still have to do it! With the flat and straight roads it was a good race to pace very consistent.
Despite the groups Sam had to overtake, which made him push a bit harder of course, he felt great on his bike and never found himself into trouble.
Sam’s bike effort of 278NP-4h18′ , was good for the fastest bikesplit in Texas!
In the very end of the race Sam was clearly going a bit harder than his nearest opponents, of which a few just behind him. So it would also become a tactical race, once off the bike! After 4h18′ the bike was put in T2. A quick calculation made us already dream of a very fast time. But as everyone knows, in a LD triathlon you better don’t dream. You have to do it.
Cai from her side was asked to pace at 150watts and keep her HR around 145BPM. She did what she had to do and also felt very good on the bike, enjoying her race she moved up A LOT untill she got on 8th place in her AG in the end of the bikecourse.
With 10women within 3′ in this AG all would be played during the run!
Excellent pacing of Cai and putting down the bike in 8th positon in T2!
One of the ‘Houston rockets’ in action! Without a beard 😉
A lot of questions about the fast bikesplits in Texas, but the answer on the real bike length is simple. 176km (as in many Ironman races), no wind…and unfortunately indeed no referees controlling the ‘bunch’ of athletes. The better cyclists of course have no benefit of this. The ‘bunch’ has. A pity! It made many athletes come off the bike close together. But as Sam said this morning. Once you start running…’the masks fall off’.
The first kilometers of the run Sam started in a good pace, despite that he was passed by a couple of athletes who were running at 2h45′ pace. Wise decision of Sam not to follow but follow his own pace. Once the athletes were approaching halfway the runcourse it became clear that race opponents of Sam were the guys that were predicted. The athletes starting too fast were left behind. Stubleski in first place, Caron and Mosley were the guys who would be there untill the finishline. And no one to underestimate of course.
At kilometer 35 Sam had a 3′ gap behind Stubleski, at that point…it seemed that 2nd place was the highest possible thing to achieve and still ready to finish below 8h30′ with a fast marathon!
That marathon was fast, and in the last kilometers Sam went all out and closed down the gap to 30″ at 40.1km! 30″ behind with 2K to go…Stubleski and Sam in a nice battle, with the last 2km of Sam pushing it all the way he finished….9″ before Stubleski!
Sam with a fantastic marathon at the end of the race, 2h53′ and with 9″ ahead just enough for the AG win!
Sam never ran in 1st position during the whole race untill the very end…how nice is that! But also a big thumb up to Stubleski, making the race hard during the marathon. Athletes can lift eachother to a higher level during a clean battle!
For the 3rd year in a row he gets sub 3h on the marathon, in Texas he even broke his fastest marathontime in an Ironman!
A result to be very proud of, this will be printed and put on my wall today!
The result of Sam is the result of a real AG athlete with a full-time job, thinking no-nonsense, enjoying it all and putting in the effort where needed. That sub8h30′ was just a matter of time.
We would almost forget to say, but Sam did qualify for Hawaii of course. Where he will race for the 9th!! time! But first, rest!
In Kona he will join Van, Bert and Tony, our other athlete who already qualified earlier!
Sam crossing the finishline in Texas, no words needed!
In the female race it was Cai who ran a good marathon and was able to finish her race in 11h10′! Finishing 10th in her AG was a very honest result. The female AG’s don’t have the quantity of slots that the male athletes have. With only 1-3 slots divided in the Ironmans it’s not easy to get one but still chances to go!
In France, all eyes on the national championships long distance duathlon (10-80-10). With 4of our athletes, the race was one of the maingoals of this spring for these athletes.
Hans won the race in Douai already, but now it had the championship label…and that’s what you could notice from the start! A very fast start with several athletes running the first 10K in 30-32′ here. With Hans heading towards transition in 17th position, Séb and Steven ran a bit further and Inge in 8th position in the female race they entered T1.
Hans picking up one of the female athletes, who started 5′ earlier, during the first run!
The bikecourse in Douai is full with roundabouts, turnings, ‘faux plats’ and wind…always wind! Today there was some extra with rain all day long 🙂 Well, if you come from Flanders…that must give wings!
On the bike Hans decided not take risks on these dangerous roads, but halfway the first lap…the speaker already noticed he moved up towards 13th position. At that point it was only Jean Eudes Demaret (Former Cofidis pro cyclist and 2016 Elite national champion triathlon) who rode slightly harder. Behind that it was Hans who had to face 2 little groups. Strong as he is, the further the athletes went in the race … the more he moved forward. To finally put down his bike in 7th position! Excellent! A top 10 in this field would have been a great job!
Séb came back to Steven on the bike and both athletes moved up well during this bikecourse. Inge from her side, a bit afraid of the weather before the race, had strong legs and after the bikecourse she put down the bike 3rd! Very close to number 2 and with a good gap behind her.
314NP for Hans his bikeride, unfortunately the last 5-6km towards the race location (each lap) athletes had to be very carefull with slippery roundabouts and cars blocking the roads.
In this type of LD duathlons the places are not divided in the first run, not on the bike…but during the 2nd run…with Hans putting down the bike 7th and a 1’30” -3′ gap on the faster runners of Run1 it seemed impossible to still move up places. But from the first kilometers Hans had a good pace. His running style looked relaxed and with a 2′ gap behind him he only had to look in front of him! In front of the field a couple of athletes were crashing as usually on the long distance.
Hans in 7th, only 20″ and 1’20 behind on 5 and 6. With this pace 5th pace would be possible!
After 5km Hans still was 7th, but in those last 5km a lot happened in front of the race and suddenly Hans appeared very close to number 5 and 6, which he overtook in the last kilometer. Jean Eudes Demaret crashed totally in the last 5K and his 4′ advantage melted down fast! With only 7″ left at the finishline Hans finishes 5th today in this field!
Hans never dropped the pace during his off bike run! Which made him move up in the field and finish strong!
Steven had some bad luck today and got a drafting penalty, missed the turning for the 2nd loop and because of this he ran an extra 800m.
A good looking Steven on the racecourse, but the weatherconditions made the race more chaotic than planned!
Séb from his side did an excellent race, he builded up from behind and finishes 45th after an excellent 2nd run. Ready for the LD triathlons coming now!
‘La Machine’ and Le Nord….rain or sunny, he eats it!
In the female race Inge never looked giving back her 3rd place at another competitor. A focussed 2nd run in which she has to learn to be confident. If there’s suffering, everyone is suffering! Finishing 3rd on these national championships is another step she made! With Ironman Zurich in July she has her first Full distance triathlon coming! If you can do this today, the Ironman will be peanuts ;-)!
A last word with Inge, clear language.
After France, back to Belgium…in which the national sprint duathlon championship was held. Normally I don’t like sending athletes to this format. Because of the lottery aspect in it. But with Wim, we have a very particular athlete. A fast and steady runner with more and more cycling experience also. In the master category this was his only medal missing in Belgium after 2years of duathlon! And once again this strong master showed his fast legs by getting into T1 first. But with his opponents not changing shoes he missed the train towards T2. It made him chase the leaders on the bike, but with not enough cooperation it was the bronze medal that was the highest possible to get! And he did! First maingoal of the season for Wim accomplished! Now full focus on the European long distance championships, which will be followed by the nationals in May!
Wim, bronze in the national championships sprint duathlon! Excellent performance and ready for the Europeans!
Excited! That was how our athletes went into the Half Iron races Ventouxman (France), Troyes (France) and Quassy (USA)!
Ambitions for these races were high, but realistic. They were ready to race hard!
In Ventouxman, Alex got the heaviest race course he ever did in front of him, he managed well and can consider this as a perfect lead-up towards Ironman Klagenfurt (Austria)!
In Troyes, a bit closer to Belgium Cai and Inge were the female athletes. Johan, Steven, Hans and Sam the male competitors. With Cyril Viennot (France – 2015 ITU world champion ELITE) and Antoine Perche (France) the level would be high, and getting into the front of the race difficult! In the female race Julie Le Colleter (France – Multiple medal winner on French national championships and GP duathlon winner) would be the top of the race.
Hans and Sam sure are well known in France so not capable of racing in the shadow. This 2700-80-20 Half triathlon for Sam is a race between his 2 Ironmans ( South Africa and Lake Placid), For Hans the final lead-up towards his 3rd A-race of the season…challenge Roth (Germany).
Our athletes went out for the swim well and got out of the water ready to race the bike! It were Steven and Johan who came out first, before Hans and Sam…followed a bit later by our female athletes.
Steven first out of the water and ready for a very good race!
Once on the bike it was clear the power was in the legs and our athletes rode theirselves to the front. It was Hans who passed Johan/Steven first, followed by Sam riding a 300watt paced race and have a steady but fast race!
Johan and Steven on the roads around Troyes, both chasing a good result.
Very soon it became clear that Hans was keen on another topperformance, trusting on his powerfull bike and fast run off the bike he was ready to…put down his bike 12th.
Sam followed a bit later.
Hans pushing his own limits and picking up group by group in Troyes
Sam shortly behind Hans going faster every lap and getting ready to run steady!
Meanwhile Inge was capable of getting into 2nd place in the female race behind Le Colleter and it would be a hard mission to keep that spot in this field. Cai from her side moved up on the bike and as there was no +50 category she would race in the +40 cetegory. At the end of the bike she came close to the podium in that younger category.
Another massive performance of Inge in Troyes, who rides towards the podium!
Hans puts a regular 313watts on the pedals and it made him move forward…fast!
Mostly it’s the run where all the fun becomes PAIN, but as we were in France…PAIN was only French bread. So feeling no pain…just dreaming of a big bread after the race…makes it work!
Hans and Sam both in pole-position for a top20 in T2 started running on a fast pace and they managed till the end. Hans with, once again, superlegs ran the 4th running split (!) and was capable of running himself towards 5th place! A place never expected before the race…in this field!
Hans is getting on the podium a lot lately and in Troyes it’s no different and well earned after a perfect race!
Sam kept his pace and ran a steady 3’55/km to end up 18th today and looks back confident towards his next Ironman after todays race!
Not so much later Steven finishes before Johan! The female race was still on at that moment and Inge, who feels very fine on training lately, was going for a very strong race and didn’t only win in the masters category, but also got 2nd overall!
2nd place for Inge in Troyes, and she can look back happy to that!!
Not too far behind some other female power was on her way to the finish, Cai who got 7th (masters) did a +/-20′ faster race than her last participation in Troyes!
Cai running off the bike with her faster pair of legs!
In Quassy (USA) our Canadian (and Swiss) athletes went out for a first A-race of the season. For these athletes it would directly be their first tri of the season…not an easy one to begin with!
Andreas – Allan – Corey pretty relaxed before the race!
During winter they worked a lot on their swim effort and it payed off. Corey and Allan came out of the water quite close to each other…but Andreas kept contact also! And that’s a good sign towards the Ironman coming!! Happy about this!
Once on the bike the mission is to move up, to be capable to start running in the front of the field! Corey really unleashed his legs on this heavy race course…the bikecourse had +/-1300 D+ for 90K and it made him move up towards pole position for the medals after he bike!
A bit further both Allan and Andreas made their way towards the front a bit less aggressive but ready to start running well! Allan had a bikecrash only 3km before T2…which fortunately didn’t stop him from moving on!
I knew these athletes were running well, but how would they run after the bike. I consider this after bike run as a specialty and knew they trained at the right intensities and right volume to get this in balance. And they did. All 3 of our athletes put down a top 10 running time in the end…and Corey he smashed it! With 1h21 on 300D+ (!!!) running course he could get himself on the podium of this Rev3 in Quassy!
Corey with the fastest running split towards 2nd place behind David Morris (5th IM Lake Placid – 9th IM 70.3 Atlantic City)
Allan and Andreas came close to top10 but just stayed out of it on 11th and 12th place with a fast run off the bike! They didn’t miss their start of the season and with another race in a few weeks this is good for the confidence!
Corey ‘smooth’ on the runcourse, heading towards the fastest run!
Not only raceday in France and Canada, but in Belgium our athletes raced fast in Meer, L’eau d’Heure ,… and a special format: “Swike”. This is a ‘Swim-Bike’ event. A bit like a triathlon without an ending…but ok! Anyway for this edition it was one of our younger triathletes Pascal who managed his first podium of his career finishing 3rd!
Fast swim of Pascal, and bringing some salad home!
The first podium for Pascal in his young tri-career!
For Anthony it was retake of races after a week out of competition to rest a bit in an already nice season! Svenne is recovering from his crash and at the moment we only do electrostimulation on the muscles.
Guillaume from his side took 9th on saturday and today in Grace-Hollogne, on a tough bike course, he chose to attack. At the end of the race he found himself in the lead group but a tactical choice broke this group in 2 and Guillaume had to be satisfied with 4th place! Not easy for a hungry athlete! Week by week this rider is in the front…there will be other opportunities.
Our athletes racing around Belgium
Guillaume, very offensive way of racing!
As we coach (a strictly limited/exclusive) small group of youth cyclists, we don’t often put info about these young riders online, simply because I don’t want young athletes put under pressure. But we are glad to announce that one of our young riders could take the regional championshipsjersey (road cycling) this weekend after already having the regional championshipsjersey in the cyclocross competition.
We have a past, the present and definitely the future. A future with well motivated people structuring their sport into their life!
The only difference with bears and other animals after hibernation is that our athletes don’t have regular caves…their training’caves’ are made to come out of winter in shape!
Today was the first big day of the season for our Ironmanathletes, goals were set and realistic. All 3athletes were keen on…getting a slot for the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaï! The dream of many long distance athletes…simple? No! Not at all!
We were expecting a high level of athletes in this race, in the pro-field…but above all in the AG (non-pro) field. That meant our athletes had to be in shape, but not at all cost. I like to have a little bit of reserve into the prep towards an early IM. If one qualifies…ok, that’s an early good shot. If one doesn’t qualify…we take another chance later in the season! The athletes involved in this race are amateur athletes, with a big willing and day in – day out consistancy. A spirit of no-nonsense and taking care of the body with a close eye on practicing high level sports on a healthy way!
To give you a closer look on just 1 specific difficulty each athlete had to conquer oftenly, maybe you can find a difficulty of yourself in it:
Pierre: very irregular working schedule with long shifts and a 130K (1 direction) ride to his work
Cai: Often doesn’t know when work is done, as being an engaged doctor
Sam: Often has to start training at 8PM, finishing at 2am.
Just to show, that every athlete has his difficulties. Like everything…the way to approach the difficulties makes the man/woman in the end…today I can say they approached this as champions 😉
The swimcourse in SA is known as being quite difficult, you can see this at the times the pro athletes swimming times. Our athletes at the starting lines are not our ‘fastest’ swimmers. But that’s no issue at alle, a triathlon is about how fast you are beween start and finishline, the rest are only numbers 😉
It was Sam coming out of the water first (1h06), I remembered his 2015 AG win where he swam almost 2minutes longer. So I knew that was quite OK in order to get in front of his AG! Pierre also had a 3minutes faster swim than last year and Cai, who wanted to ‘feel free’ in the water and had a non-wetsuit swim was faster out of the water than her IM SA 2016.
On the bike Sam directly managed to move up, we planned a conservative pacing with only 260-270NP ;-), not having any high peaks and build up during the race! This worked very well, after the race we notice no other AG athlete could come close to the speed he produced (except for 1 athlete who rode 2′ slower but crashed a bit on the run).
Exceptional into this is the fact he had nobody of the same cyclinglevel around him. With a 4h38 he moved up towards the top positions in his AG. But a fast run had to come out of the legs to get on the podium!
Sam managed a consistent bikecourse, putting down the number 1 cycling split with 265NP!
Pierre was very annoyed only 12hours before the race…dead battery in his powermeter…ouch! Not the best moment for having this of course. So change of plans and pulse-pacing! No real problem, but if your mind is set on the powernumbers you need to make a mental ‘click’ in the head. He did! On the bikecourse Pierre moved up towards 32nd position in his AG before putting down the bike. Our cards were to play on the run….
Pulses, not at all old school. On raceday definitely a good pacing strategy!
Cai, who came out of the water 10th had to move up on the bike, her strongest discipline.
She moved up towards 5th position at the end of the bikecourse and could start running where we expected her to be. The mission definitely was to run faster than she ever did in an IM!
On the run course we could immediately see the fast first 10km of Sam. What we know of the past is that…if Sam has a bad off-the-bike part that it’s mostly at the beginning of the run. He didn’t have that and we could already dream of another IM podium!
After 21km he averaged 4’08/km…that’s FAST! But in his 2nd part of the marathon there was hardly a slower pace to finish at…4’15/km, all of this after riding the fastest bikesplit…looking a bit further we see he also ran the fastest AG running split with this 2h58′ marathon! Really Amazing, once again (after Klagenfurt 2016) racing a sub9’er (8h51′) and taking his 5th FULL Ironman podium in exactly 2years!
A well paced marathon of Sam, in which the engine kept ‘running’!
Sam (42years and getting better by age 😉 ) finished as 2nd overall AG athlete, and 22nd overall (Pro included) today. It was former Pro-athlete Godart (Lux) who takes the overall AG win and category win in this strongest (!) AG. We congratulate Olivier for this victory and whis all the best in Hawaï. Here’s the story of why Godart turned AG athlete again.
Great to see Sam is among the PRO-athletes, being a ’24’ years old AG athlete! He didn’t have a ‘pro-life’ leading up to this race and even did every single swim-bike-run in ‘ergo-style’!
Pierre was doing the impossible and very soon he appeared within the top15 of his AG. BUT it was very exciting, he was running super fast and passed halfway on a 3h10′ pace…the densification in this AG (for the Slots-position) was huge. But Pierre felt great and had wisely decided to not go faster in the first part and try keep this pace as long as possible…well he realised something none of our athletes managed before in an Ironman. He ran exactly the same pace in his first as 2nd part of the Ironman! Not 1 second of difference! After his 3h10′ marathon (12th overall AG running split) he got 7th!! More than enough for his Kona-ticket!
Amazing run of Pierre, keep calm…keep calm…STING!
That made our athletes already go to Hawaï with at least 2! 2out of 2…it seems ‘normal’ but I can not say this isn’t a relief for a motivated coach…now we can work ‘relaxed’ towards Hawaï 🙂
The Kona-qualifiers 2017 in Sam’s AG
The Kona-qualifiers 2017 in Pierre’s AG
Pierre does it again, stronger than ever before with a 3h10′ marathon he qualifies for the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaï!
And…then there was Cai, still in the battle for her AG-podium. She was tough on the marathon, was able to run her fastest marathon ever and finish within the TOP-5! Unfortenately the women’s Agegroups don’t have the same number of slots for Kona. Probably only the top2 will have the capability of going to the race in Hawaï! So Cai gave a present to herself and registered for her next Ironman at the beginning of July!
5th place for Cai in her AG, cutting down her racing time by +/- 30minutes compared with 2016
I can’t be more proud as a coach than this…our athletes gave the best of themselves and nothing more was in it! Races went perfect and our athletes went into this race with ‘grinta’…lots of it!
Also in Holland we had 2 athletes racing the Hoorn-duathlon, Jan and Adrian had a pretty close combat on a fast race course. They went all the way and Jan got his first podium of the season, finishing 3rd overall! Adrian only a tiny bit further took 6th!
Adrian in the chase group trying to hunt down the leading pack with Jan in it!
Jan in his well known running style getting another duathlonpodium for this 4* AG world champion!
Fast race course at Hoorn, something for the TT-specialists!
The first weekend of september would be loaded with races and not the least!
3 world championships ( Ironman70.3 – ITU/Powerman Duathlon Long distance – Cycling Amateurs UCI) and many other important races!
Let’s begin with the world championships races, in Australia Raphael and Sophie found themselves among the top of the triathlonworld. The racelocation was splendid and that always gives wings!
Raphael had to start first and we were focussed on doing better than his place on the world champs last year! He was in shape, ready! All went to plan, a very good swim and a fast bike…but then a card and a 5’penalty. This would be an expensive one..We asked Raphael how he could get this penalty and clearly he got blocked. He had no need to draft, because he prooved to ride this pace easily in former halfs! A pity, but he went through and with a very strong offbike run he finished in 4h19′ in Australia! Because of the highly densified level of this race the 5’penalty costs him a 16th-17th place! That would be even better than expected!
Our athletes in Australia managed their races well can look back at a great adventure!
Sophie from her side needed just 1h longer than Raphael, and managed a solid race!The goal was to swim well, cycle below 3h and put down a 5’00/km run, we can say he managed all! Being part of the world championships is an honour in IM(70.3) racing, only the very best get this opportunity!
On a World Championship the best come around, our athletes had the honour racing them!
A bit further in Australia, in Perth, our Canadian master cyclist Ambrose rode his world championships. With good legs he got closed in at an important moment and had to chase the head of the race. More was in it for him, but cycling is more than pushing the watts of course. Some good luck and being at the right place at the right time also makes part of it!
In Switzerland, Zofingen, the ITU/Powerman World championships duathlon took place! As we have an honour to defend with 3 AG world titles, 2 AG vice world champions and an 8th place in the 2012 PRO race (with a fulltime working amateur ;-)) we were focussed on this for months. Jan was ready, more than ready. All duathlons so far this season..he raced in the front. Knowing Zofingen has a 30K run in the end, this is his race! He was keen on getting back there after a severe bikecrash last year! Already in the first run he placed himself just behind the profield. 18th he was coming out of T1. The 150K bikeride was hard, but he defended his position well and put the bike down in 25th position! The 30K run in the end would be tough and he was moving up place by place! The race was won by another Belgian (Odeyn) with a strong progressive race. A long Belgian tradition goes on in Zofingen!
Jan becomes AG world champion duathlon, finishing 14th overall among the pro athletes!
Going deep till the finishline in this tough race made Jan lost conscience 15’after the race, but after a good meal he’s already the old him again!
In the short distance race JanG got a 19th overall place and 2nd in the masters classification! All signs were good in advance and this is a nice confirmation of his summer!
Jan Meysmans, BACK at Zofingen!
Except for the World Championships a few other international races were held, in Xterra Denmark Joeri was keen on the AG podium and so he did. “A nice racecourse and 2nd in my AG, super satisfying to pick another slot for the Xterra worlds and to show I am worth it”
A wet and muddy race in Denmark for Joeri!
Joeri looking for the AGpodium!
In Gerardmer (France) they had a classy field at the starting line, with Andi Boecherer (Ger) and Van Lierde (Bel) it would be a absolute triathlonstar to win! Boecherer was the strongest, Van Lierde 2nd! Behind that 2 of our athletes gave the best of themselves!
Sam did a good race, that totally fits into his Hawaii preparation, with I think his fastest swim ever there. On the bike he simply was strong and on the run he kept moving up towards his final spot. 17th at the finishline and 2nd in his AG!
Gerardmer is not an easy bikecourse, the irregularity in bikecourses demands a lot from athletes. It’s much harder to pace this right and not explode during the race.
Cai from her side did a very strong race and that resulted in her AGwin! After becoming 4th and 5th (AG) in Ironmanraces this season…now she takes it all.
These shirts is what the AG winners get in Gerardmer, they race hard for it. Everybody wants one the closet!
Cai and her fan Frederik Van Lierde
In Brugge, our ‘sub50 Jeroen’ won the swimrun. He experiences the use of training smart!
Svenne, 10times podium in the road cyclingraces this season. Always just not winning kept fighting all season, believed in it…and yesterday he won! This morning he sent me a message :”Alles op alles” or “all on it”…well, today he won again! Svenne is no sprinter, and this makes it difficult to win. But on the tough race courses he’s always in the main group, if he’s not in it…he closes the gap later! This is an athlete with an absolute positive spirit. The season he is riding is fantastic, and not done yet! More to come!
Our other cyclists had less luck this weekend, 2of them crashed (bad weather) and Anthony who was in the leadgroup of 10 in Luxemburg had a flat tyre and no immediate backup! On to the next race!
There is NO other Svenne than this Svenne, giving it for 100% 2wins in a row for this rider!
And last but not least Tom who became ‘The Beast 2016’, in Lynmouth UK Tom was ready for his 2nd Half triathlon of this season! This time it was a race beyond tough. It was extreme! The THE BEAST TRIATHLON is a half triathlon with extreme bike and run courses. The run course for example has 800D+ in it! On Tom’s site you will soon find more about the course! This race was the maingoal for Tom in this part of the season. Not knowing who the other athletes were it was difficult to predict the outcome! Earlier this week Tom let me know the percentages on the climbs would be very steep.
With 324NP Tom could pace himself to the front of the field and save enough energy for the 800D+ run!
My answer was simple: “It cuts the crap”. And so it did, the strongest man in the races lasted in the end and Tom was capable of winning his first Half Triathlon! Only, because of the wild sea…there was no swim. So it became a duathlon, which turned into his advantage! 1big race to come for Tom within a few weeks. But now, coming home and take a few days of active recovery. I think, he’ll need it 😉
Tom, turned from cyclist into duathlete, and last season into triathlete. With 3 Triathlonwins of which ‘The beast’ and a top 10 in Monts de Guéret…this has become a super season for him!
Oh yeah, Maze Runners…yesterday I looked at this movie and a group of people had 2 choices. Keep on living in a circle of complaining or getting out of it, moving forward, live and explore what’s out there and not having to “what if..”. Today I thought about that movie again…;-) #TSPB