Hans taking 3rd in Ironlakes and first master – Jesse Massez 14th and much more

Our full distance athletes have had a great summer so far! With multiple Kona qualifications and several AG top 10 results in the Ironman races we were spot on in 99% of the races. Today Belgium had its only full Irondistance Ironlakes, Location: Froidchappelle! A very hilly full distance with quite some elevation on the bike and run course. A good end of summer sun, 22°C… and a light breeze excellent racing conditions! Jesse M(assez), Nesten and Hans were our athletes at the office!

In Italy, Ironman Emilia-Romagna was on. For Christophe and Roel, a faster racecourse in a nice environment.

In Ironlakes also 70.3 racing was on for our athletes!

Hans had his 2019 title to defend in Ironlakes, and knew he had to be at his best to be able to do a strong effort again on this tough racecourse!

Our athletes had good swims and could start cycling at their place, only Jesse M took some extra meters and ended up with almost 4K!

Also in Italy Christophe got out of the water in 1h06, Roel in 1h25. The beginning of a day to proove he’s capable of becoming an Ironman.

Swimming a bit longer than the planned distance, but keen on his bike and run in Ironlakes. Jesse M in search of his bike.

Ironlakes is an honest and tough race course. Athletes get in their positions they earn to be in very quickly.
Hans got himself into the top 5 of the field very quickly after the swim. Jesse M and Nesten were very close behind each other on the bike and rode a consistent similar pace throughout the bike effort.
Further on in the race it was very clear that 3man were very competitive to each other. Van de Plas, Didier and Hans.
Hans seemed to be the best man on the bike of these 3, with 1900D+ in the course Hans realized a time sub 4h30′ for the bike! During this bike effort he maintained a consistent 290-300NP, with only 10watts of difference between the first and last 90K. A very steady effort and his HR in the right zone lead him to his running shoes with enough freshness for a strong run.

Jesse M and Nesten both moved up strongly on the bike and could put down their bikes in +/- position 30!

298NP and a steadypoweroutput throughout the bike (HR is wrist measurement cfr. incorrect) – As you can see, temperatures going up throughout the Irondistance which surely will have played a rol for many athletes going to hard in the beginning.

In Italy Christophe paced himself forward in his strongest discipline and could step of his bike in 12th position in Emilia-Romagna! At that point it was clear that he was going to put down his fastest IM ever.

Hans cruising himself towards the fastest bike time in Ironlakes and giving his supporters a cold breeze.

Pacing correctly on the bike is important for being able to run fast off the bike and putting down a strong result at the finishline. No Ironman has been won in T2. But of course a strong bike effort at the right pacing brings you in chase of wins. Hans could step off the bike 2nd and immediately got in the right pace. Unfortunately for him both the winner and number 3 did a very strong run with 2h54 and 2h57 on the marathon. This put Hans in 3rd position past halfway on the run course, which he could maintain thanks to a steady and well paced run and finishing in 8h50′! What a strong time, and a well deserved 3rd place overall, besides this Hans also wins the masters race of course! Let’s not forget that. Behind him Jesse M was having another very strong off bike run and was able to move up from 28th position at the beginning of the run to 14th overall position at the finishline! Nesten +-/ maintained his position after the bike and puts down a good run and takes 40th overall! He killed his Ironman PB after a much better and consistent preparation on a very tough course!

Steady run for Hans in Ironlakes, leading him towards the podium and 3rd place!
Hans defended his title in Ironlakes in style, taking 3rd in 8h50′!

In Italy our athletes realized personal bests and mental and physical limits were put further and further!
Christophe started slightly too fast during the marathon but could get in his paces after 20K into the run course, finishing in 10h14′!

Roel from his side was keen on getting to the finishline, coming from very very far as an athlete he prooves that balls go hand in hand with glory! He can proudly claim that he’s an Ironman!

Christophe finishing IM Italy in 10h14′!

In Ironlakes also the 70.3 distance was held!
800participants in this Half Irondistance and some of our athletes were ready to kill it!
Bart had an excellent day, 4weeks after his fast Ironman in Kopenhagen and takes 5th in his AG today after running off the bike very fast!

Bart heading towards 5th place in his AG in the 70.3 race in Ironlakes

Last but not least, the way our athletes race is fast and with a lot wins in cycling and triathlon so far. But all of this is done with a smile and positive mind. This finish of Steven in Ironlakes demonstrates it all!

Onwards to next races tomorrow and next few days,

Train smart, perform better!


Our Athletes dominating in The Netherlands and surprising in France!

What a weekend for our athletes in Holland, the long course weekend in The Netherlands.
Friday our athletes dominated the swimcourse, with 1st and 3rd position, saturday they dominated again with once again 1st and 3rd position and 4 athletes in the top 10 of GC!

Today the marathoncourse would decide if our athletes could maintain their places in GC and overall take the win or not!
Very confident about our athletes marathonperformances on day 3 I believed this all was possible!

The marathoncourse decides who wins, after 3 days the best man is standing. The others all fall.

Today number 6 (Jesse M) and number 8 (Jelle) in GC were keen on a very strong performance in the marathon, trying to move up. The 2buddies both put the best of theirselves in this race and after 3 days they finished the marathon in 2h57 and 3h03′! Very shortly behind these 2 Jurgen finished in 3h04′ and maintains his 4th place in GC after taking 3rd in the swim and 3rd in the bikecourse!

Emotion is what sport is about, 3rd place for Jesse Massez in the marathon! Exploding after the race! Great! 2h57′ on day 3!

Tim, the leader in the GC and winning both the swim and bikecourse had the control during the whole day, finished the marathon in 3h09 and wins the Long course weekend in 8h30′!
Behind Tim it was Steven who moved up in GC thanx to a 3h17′ marathon and becomes 14th in GC, closely followed by Ignace on place 16.

Champagne for Tim celebrating his victory in the General classification and dominating the race 3 days in a row!

In France it was Robby who entered another ‘red zone’ to race in the Duathlon de Savoie Mont Blanc, this extremely tough Long distance duathlon (10-60-10) with much altitude in it would become Robby’s toughest race ever!
But het was ready, in shape. After months of good training today would be his D-Day…and how!
A well paced first 10K run at 3’45/km made him enter top 10 immediately, during the bikecourse both the climbing and descents were no surprise for him. A recon a few weeks ago gave him this little mental advantage and he could put the bike down in 3rd position! Both triathlons and duathlons are always and only won during the run, whether you like this or not…Robby realized this and fights against number 4 who has a stronger pace in this runcourse…but Robby maintains and takes his first overall podium in a long distance duathlon surround by a European and World AG champion. A result to be extremely proud of. Robby came to us 4years ago, extremely overtrained and a hormone system totally disfunctioning as a consequence. Today Robby shows what’s possible with a scientific approach on training.


Robby, 3rd on the podium with Italian Baracchi and Swiss Filitti

Train Smart, Perform Better!


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!


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…


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!


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



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!


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


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?


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?


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!


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?



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”!




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.

 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


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)