A weekend with ups and downs!

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

but first the positive news!

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

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

svenne.jpg

Hans vdb

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

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

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

DriesM

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

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

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

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

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

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

COrey NP

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

 

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

JanG

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

Hans vdb.jpg

www.trainsmartperformbetter.com

Jesse

If you are not afraid of getting the wind in the face!

Athletes are constantly looking for the most efficient position during a time trial, or triathletes during their non-drafting event. Of course if you are a “drafthole” you can stop reading here ! Or not…

In my opinion it still is “the puppet on the bike that makes the bike dance…”. After this report you can certainly make your own conclusion about that. There are legends in cycling who tried new positions. We can recently think  about Landis with his high arm positioning, but in my mind the most remarkable athlete on that part was Graeme O’Bree, the man was simply a genius, an inventor. He made his perfect bike out of a washing machine. Later no athlete ever has been that creative anymore. And maybe never will, because common sense believes an expensive bikeframe is a good bikeframe.

Obree Washing machine

O’Bree was a genius and reinvented the bike. He made other cyclists think about positioning. He was more than a cyclist.

It was in his opinion that you don’t need the most expensive gear, but your position,  a good wheelset, chain and  good functioning bikeparts made your race.

It’s also in my opinion that expensive bikeframes don’t make you cycle better. Your physical shape, your positioning, and good working gear does. When I look around between my own athletes I can make the conclusion that one of my  strongest TT-specialists won several ITT-races on a rebuilt roadframe of around 10years ago. But there’s 1 thing right about the bike, he’s positioned well on it!

One of my athletes, Sam (Gydé), is a hard working amateur athlete performing on a very high level and is also constantly looking to test new gear and looks at the efficiency of it. In that opinion he recently did a windtunnel test to  see, feel and test different positions in different situations in a Long Distance Triathlon event.

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Sam had the chance to do this this at Flanders Bike Valley very recently!

The Graphs and photos below are all property of Flanders Bike Valley.

Important to know: Every test is done during 8minutes at 40 and 50km/h. So make the conclusion yourself if you ride slower or harder in  a triathlon to what might be the benefit of it for you!

Question1: 

I ride with a frontal drinking system, if I cycle without drinking or with drinking do I have a lot of drag?

drinksysteem

As we can see, athletes working with a frontal drinking system will not have more drag while drinking. Knowing drinking only lasts for several seconds we can make the conclusion that a frontal drinking system on a long distance event is efficient.

 

Question 2:

Do I need a helmet with a visor or  without it?

visor of bril

Here we notice that at 40km/h there is almost no benefit for the one or the other. But going at higher speed we notice there is more drag with a visor compared to no visor and only sunglasses. We were astonished by this, but why buying a helmet with a visor if you have no benefit of it… Especially  in triathlon an open  helmet will be a bit more refreshing. Something to think about…

Question 3:

Putting my head down and the tail of my helmet up, how much more drag will this give me?

Hoofd up - down

I think it’s quite an important amount of Watts saved just by looking to the front and avoid looking at your HRmonitor or just at your frontwheel. Many athletes make this mistake, once going very hard they start looking down and make a lot of drag. If you look at the speed, you see that in shorter distance triathlon events with high avg  speed this can be an important issue.

 

Question 4: What’s the truth about more aero shoes?

Schoenen

Sam compared several shoes, all high quality brands…and this came out. We compare with Lake because Lake Cycling is one of our high quality partners. It’s clear that the aero benefit of different kind of shoes have no influence on your bikeperformance. Of course a good fitting shoe is much more important to bring the power from the foot  over the crank and the chain towards the backwheel. So pick your shoes based on the fitting of it!

 

Question 5: 

Are my clothes influencing the drag?

suits

Well this is very clear I think, specific Time Trial suits seem to really advantage the bike effort compared to Triathlon clothing. But of course, you will not be able to swim or run with comfort in a TTsuit. This also shows the specifity of clothing. In long distance triathlon there certainly is the search to reach the level of a TTsuit. But it’s also clear that if you put on a cycling jersey during the cyclingpart, make sure it’s an aeroshirt!

BrookeBikeBrazil2

Brooke (Can) racing in a regular cyclingshirt during an Ironman. But aero of course!

Question 6:  

Is it beneficial to put my aerobars higher or lower? Do I need to sit to the extreme to ride fast?

 

Stuurhoogte

Each position has a difference of 1cm in height. If we look at the  40km/h wind speed we notice there is almost no difference in drag. But still, I would advice to short distance athletes ( ITT -sprint or 1/4 tri) to sit in the most aero possible position. If you are a LD triathlete you should be racing in the most comfortable position of the three positions. The benefit you have by getting as aero as possible is too small to take risks on that part.  Athletes who race their Ironman at 30km/h should not even have to doubt about it!

 

The last test Sam could do was testing how beneficial it was to take risky positions in a downhill. He tested 3 different positions and there was no big benefit for one of these three. So in a downhill, play safe, be aero and push the pedals where you can instead of taking risks!

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I hope you had a good reading, Same dared to get the wind in the face…once u have turned u’ll get the wind in the back. I hope you have…and remember “don’t blame the bike”!

 

 

Jesse

Meet up with our athletes from abroad… Canadian Allan McKenzie

Some while ago we started introducing our athletes from abroad…let’s continue this and get personal!

Hi Allan, can you introduce yourself to our athletes and sympathizers?

My name is Allan MacKenzie, I am 33 years old and I live in Sydney River, Nova Scotia, Canada. I work as the Atlantic Regional Manager for In.Business at Cape Breton University. I was always active growing up, playing mostly team sports (hockey, baseball, basketball). I also ran cross country in high school, but did not treat it seriously. In 2005 I ran my first marathon and my goal was just to finish. It wasn’t until 2007 that I started to take the sport more seriously and upped my game with the goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon, where I completed my 8th marathon in 2008. Also in 2008 I decided to give triathlon a tri. I completed my first 2 sprint tri’s in 2008, my first Olympic in 2010, and my first 70.3 and Ironman in 2011. To date I’ve completed 21 full marathons (2:49:21, Philadelphia, 2014), 5 70.3’s (4:37:22, Challenge St Andrews, 2014) and 4 Ironman races (9:56:31, Ironman Mont Tremblant, 2013). My personal bests are in brackets.  I am first and foremost a runner and this is what I would consider to my strongest discipline. I’ve improved a lot over the past few years on the bike, which used to the weakest of the three. Swimming is without a doubt now the weakest of the three disciplines.

IMLP
 Canada is full of snow in wintertime, how do you solve this for
running and cycling?

 

Running – I do as many of my runs as possible outside because I’m not a big fan of the treadmill. If roads are snow/ice covered, I’ll do my speed/tempo runs on the treadmill at the local YMCA. Over the past month my time has been split very close to half and half (indoors and outdoors).

 

Cycling – I do 100% of my cycling in winter on the trainer. I used to dislike the trainer but ever since I got a power meter I enjoy it a lot more. I watch lots of TV and listen to music to pass the time away.
Have triathletes in Canada have an easy access to swimming pools all day
long?

 

I have lots of options to swim on a weekly basis. I am part of a masters swim group that swims 5 days per week (a 10 minute drive), but I do most of my swimming in the morning before work at the YMCA (also a 10 minute drive).
– What are your main goals during triathlon season 2016 and mid/long term?

 

2016 – Get stronger in all three disciplines. In particular, I feel as if cycling is the one where I have the most room for improvement. In terms of a time goal, it’s hard to say because courses vary so much and weather can be a major factor. However, if all goes as planned I’d like to go sub 4:30 in one of my two 70.3 in 2016 (Ironman 70.3 Florida or Challenge St. Andrews).

 

Mid/long term – Since 2013 my goal has been to qualify for Kona. In my age group (M30-34) you usually need to be in the top 5 in order to get a Kona slot. I have been within striking distance on three occasions: 10th, Mont Tremblant, 2013; 7th, Lake Placid, 2015; 11th, Mont Tremblant, 2015. However, I know I need to get stronger in order to claim one of these coveted slots.

Thank you Allan for letting us to know you better, 2016 is on and we support for a great season beginning in Ironman70.3 Florida (USA)

 

 

Jesse