The heat is on…astonishing around Europe!

Our athletes are known for not working hard, but working smart and correct…we race hard, we party hard (and correct ;-))! It’s all about fun, no?

Today was marked in my agenda since October 1st, because of some fine races this weekend. Not necessarily for winning them…but for putting a good result, the rest follows from that point.
Not so long ago someone asked me why are athletes are capable of being good around the year, the answer I didn’t give and I won’t give. But I might say this about this: ‘Never train in panic, never train as being someone frustrated to perform…and always keep your cool’.

Jens, an athlete (as so many others…) which I started working with in May ’16 after having severe injuries and underperforming  the level he has in his body had his first Multi-event coming up…the Eschweiler duathlon, a sprintduathlon in Germany with  over 200participants. Duathlon, a great sport, is alive…only not in Belgium. In Belgium it’s dead. Dead as never before. A good proof are the ETU Short distance championships of past saturday. Ridiculous Belgian results for a country with a great past in this sport. (OK, critics I can handle…no worries, my back has become strong past years…let it come to me). Whatever, in some countries this sport is alive…at least in Eschweiler it is! 201finishers for sprintduathlon…and in the end one of our athletes winning the race!

Jens wins this race after running personal records, but also cycling personal records!

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Jens running to victory in Germany!

Still I would like to give a small point to work on, 2nd transition was slightly off 😉

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And that duathlon is alive abroad also shows the 200registrations for the famous Duath’long and  100 for the Sprint duathlon in Douai (France).
In the sprint duathlon our master Wim, working towards the national and ETU (European) championships long distance takes the win in the masters race by becoming 5th (!) overall among some explosive youngsters!

The Long Distance duathlon…promissed fireworks. Maris (Pro World champion 2007) and Neyrinck (8th World championships Duathlon 2012 – Pro’s) definitely were the 2 athletes who were to beat today. Behind them, outsiders such as De Paula (Fr), Thesse (Fr), Billemons (Bel) and our Jan and Hans. Jan, last week winner in the Netherlands and Hans both are in shape. Ready to deal with the Douai-winds and putting down a good performance. For Jan this races leads towards the National and European Long distance championships. For Hans this race was an A-race, topping off his spring.

Further in the peloton a few of our other athletes had gotten the mission to race this tough duathlon in preparation towards their Irondistance coming up!

The first 12K went super well for our athletes, Jan and Hans and got into T1 almost together within 1’30 of the leaders, not losing too much energy and ready for a steady bikeride.

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Jan in his first 12K, running 3’30/km pace, Hans following shortly behind and both already in the game for a nice result!

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The racecourse in Douai (Fr) is full of variation: Road, gravel, grass…all in it!

On the bike Hans immediately layed his card on the table, ‘La Machine’ (his nickname in the North of France) went hard immediately and was capable of taking the lead already after 25km! It wasn’t a possibility to wait and see. Every mile had to be focussed and hard to upgrade the advantage. It went so hard that other athletes had to take risks…going in overdrive, or losing terrain.
Unfortunately Neyrinck (Bel), already on 2’30 after lap1 crashed later in the race and broke his collarbone. The wind, roads and turnings make Douai a very demanding racecourse. We wish our friend a good recovery, and he’ll be back in shape for the World Champs later this year. Jan really feared this bikecourse, not his cup of tea…but he knows he needs to work on these kind of races to take advantage in his A-races. And it’s obvious his Italian training camp and the race in the Netherlands last week did well for him. Jan could manage to keep up with the top 10 and putting down the bike ‘relatively’ fresh!

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Hans only focused on his strengths during this race and builded up his race, he normalized a +300watt powerfile and it was enough to make a gap with former world champion Maris (Bel)…but was this gap big enough. Or does Hans can run?

The focus we give our athletes to kill it on the off-bike run, because yes…once again I will say ‘you don’t win a race on the bike, you always win it on the run…always’, seemed to pay off again! Hans was capable of keeping an advantage of Maris, definitely the better runner, who suffered a bit from the hip at the end of the race. Jan was closing down mile by mile on other athletes and was fighting himself towards 6th position!

In the end both Jan and Hans told me they suffered on the 2nd run, at that moment just after the race they didn’t know the runsplits yet. And if we look below, it’s clear why they suffered. The plans worked, races were build up well and they took 1st and 2nd runsplit overall ;-)!

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Hans winning the race, after winning Belman, Chtriman, Half Iron Roeux, EC AG Duathlon he wins the biggest long distance duathlon in the north of France and Belgium.

Hans wins this beautifull race and puts another big race everyone would like to win on his resume!

Hans en Koen

Maris and Hans, 1st and 2nd in France! Maris being 2nd makes this win even better, our deepest respect for this champion.

People know I’m quite a maniac when it comes down to analyzing races, and knowing full results of races out of the head…(and maybe thinking the opposite of the common sense sometimes…but this might be making our >150wins/year)  well I want to share this thought: ” Hans  always, over and over again…is looked at as being an athlete winning or making his races on the bike” I TOTALLY disagree with this. I will not write too much about this, but everybody can count 1+1…so make the count of the top 10’s RUN1 + RUN2. Tell me…who are the 3 fastest runners of the race? T1 is part of the race, but there NEVER is a finishline at T1…Also tell me whose bikecourse affects it’s 2nd run the less in % to run 1 (min/km)? I know the results, it are FACTS.

 

Hans en Jan 2e run

That being said, duathlon is alive among Belgians…only not in Belgium 😉

Our cyclists today were racing a bit across the country and it’s Svenne again who takes his 5th podium of the season by getting 3rd at Les Bulles (Belgium).  Arne, on trainingcamp in ‘Les Vosges’ could top off his trainingcamp (5H bikeride yesterday) with a 23K Trailrun on Grand Ballon, and despite a full box of chocolates yesterday, he managed to get 3rd in the mountains! Future is assured, our athletes are alive.

In Germany Anthony raced in Frankfurt and could win the race around the Feldberg (11K climb), with a breakaway started on the Feldberg and a final attack in the downhill…Anthony could ride towards his 2nd victory of the season!! A great victory!

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Anthony wins the race by hitting the pedals on the Feldberg and its downhill, giving it all lead to victory in Germany!!

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I would like to close with a proof of A. Einstein that one of my athletes posted on the internet last night: “All is relative to your own point of view, changing that point of view brings a big insight with it”.

A message maybe to not loose feet from the ground the moment you win or succeed towards your point of view, but keep the passion and spirit to train smart, and if possible to even perform better ;-)!

Ciao,  and be aware…tomorrow once again RACEDAY, and I feel it in my fingers some are keen on…!

Oh, and Jan and Hans…what are they training? Well, tomorrow they have a 200K bikeride planned…nothing comes easy 😉

Jesse

 

Thriller….in France and Spain!

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

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

Seb

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

David

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

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

Take care,

 

Jesse