Lars had a top 10in GC to defend in Tour de Namur, another day of tough racing was ahead! With bad luck 15K before the finishline and having puncture his top 10place almost disappeared. But on the last climb he succeeded to get back in the lead of the race (30man) by closing a 1’gap on this climb.
This 67kg rider need a 5’output of 400watt (5,97watt/kg) to come back to the peloton. He succeeded and could maintain his spot in front to take 8th in GC!
His resume this season is looking brilliant. Next A-race is Tour de Moselle (France), in between Flanders Tomorrow Tour and 2Elite National races in France are on the program. Now: recovery!
In Thieusies Ronald has one of his strongest days this season and can get into the right breakaway, he achieves a massive result by finishing 2nd! Progressing very strongly the last 2seasons we can see him winning and taking more podiums upcoming months and years.
In Zedelgem it was Guillaume who tried to break away, but the peloton didn’t let go and he saved his legs for the sprint to finish off 7th in the end!
Today was also loaded with triathlon!
In Ironman Maastricht, the closest Ironman to Belgian borders, Bart, Wim and Frederick were at the starting line!
Bart and Wim have already got a bigger career in IMraces. Frederick was at the start of his very first! A perfect preparation for all 3 athletes! Only Wim couldn’t run his long runs, which he feared during the IM. But with a good pacing, patience and perseverance all athletes reached the finishline nicely!
Bart was the first crossing that line in AG50 and takes 10th AG position! A strong result that confirms his current shape!
Frederick had a progressive race and gained overall places during the whole race! Wim from his side feared the marathon a bit and he took it easier. With the support of his support crew he made a very nice finish with some show dance at the finishline!
In Jabbeke 111 our athletes were also present! With Jeffrey 24th in a dense field he has a strong start of his specific Konaprep!
He was followed by U23 athlete Arno and Stijn, who is in preparation for IM Italy! Toon from his side had some digesting problems, and spend a lot of time in T2 but took the chance to finish off the race in preparation to Ironlakes triathlon!
Good performances also in Triathlon Eupen, where masters Dean and Yves found a tough course which made the athletes progress in descents and riding uphill! Yves showed his running capabilities once again by taking the 3rd AG running time and move up towards 12th at the finishline!
Thé biggest triathlon race each year are the Ironman World Championships, in 2021 the race could not be held because of Covid-situations. Therefor the 2021 World championships were held this weekend in Saint-Georges, Utah! For the first time this championship was held on a ‘terrible’ racecours. Hot, windy, a lot of height on the bike course and 500D+ on the runcourse, that’s a lot!
As predicted this race would be a ‘killer’, several pro athletes who were in SG decided not to race just days and hours before the race. The winner would be the best, AG athletes would have no benefit riding in larger packs. Cool!
With 3firm athletes at the starting line (avg weight 81kg) and 1 lighter female athlete we had power in the game!
The fastest guy out of the water was Thibaud (Switzerland) in 56′! Thibaud had an excellent feeling leading up to the race and felt good throughout the bike! But with sun getting hotter, the body started to react weird. Being in 14th position at the start of the run he moved up in a conservative pace untill his stomach got block and he vomited all energy out of his body! ‘Claqué par l’insolation’, today 24h later this feels of course a bit frustrating, knowing the shape he was in! But a Swiss winter – flying to the US desert and racing can be hard for the body of course!
Our master Canadian, and one of the best cyclists of the world in his AG, Vadim swam steady, reached high on the bike and only former Yellow jersey in Tour de France, Laurent Jalabert, could pass him. Vadim dropped the bike just behind Jalabert. ‘Lolo’ got striked by the runcourse and also Vadim had a tough run before finishing this heavy race! They ended up close to eachother in the end.
Cai feared the WC race before the start and projected to herself not to finish last. Finishing last would never happen of course, an athlete well trained and able to perform steady will not see this happen! The coldswimwater was survived and in the first part of the bike she moved up well, in Snow Canyon she got unwell on the hot roads but managed to recover from it before heading to the runcourse! With steeper hills on this course, this was not always pleasant but persistence was in her head! Cai finishes when in Belgium the coach drunk his first coffee of the day and finishes in the middle of her AG ranking! Well done!
And then we have Sam, master in patience and training smart in silence, well focussed leading up to the race and conscience about the possible difficulties during the race (Cold water – Winds – heat – very tough runcourse). Well knowing that except for the cold water, the difficulties are not against him. With many IM AG wins and IM overall top 10results in his career he’s never to underestimate. A perfect preparation and well taking care of his body in the last weeks he was ready to race!
A correct swim, coming out of the water after 4K in 1h06′ and fresh legs on the bike! Pushing the bike towards a steady effort of 250NP up and down the hills with a slightly higher NP in the last part of the bike course. Clearly no ‘lost’ energy wasted during the bike course and going into T2 with Mike Schifferle, one of the top competitors in his AG. Sam was very conscientious about not putting to much energy on the wrong moment in this race but putting the energy near the end of the race. A steady run followed on this heavy course and this made maintain his 2nd spot in his AG in this Ironman World Championship but also at age 46 move up to 60th overall position!
Not only the Ironman World championships were held this weekend, in Viborg (Denmark) the Middle distance duathlon worlds took place! We had 1 competitor racing: Debbie! Debbie who made a hug step forward in 18months already took 2nd place in the nationals crossduathlon, 2nd AG in the Europeans Middle distance and was heading to Viborg with doubts after a small sickness. No need to, when your shape is good and the viruses gone the body rebalances and ready she was! Once again she surprised friend and enemy (which she doesn’t have) and races a very strong race, finishes 8th(!!!) pro athletes included and 2nd AG in her AG!
In France another championship was held, the military OD championships. An important race for Lucas to manifest himself there. With 6days between this race and his previous 70.3race this was recovery wise quite tricky. But all was managed to get to the starting line fresh and loaded enough! After a strong effort he gets himself onto the podium, taking 3rd!
In Belgium Flèche Ardennaise (UCI1.2) was held, an important Ardennes race with the world’s best U23 riders at the starting line, this combined with several top amateur riders/(former) pro riders, 4000D+ and 178km. No better references than racing the best, racing hard courses. That’s the chance Lars gets this year from his team Urbano-Vuylsteke. Excellent program to grow strong and steady. Being steady is one of our main goals. Being constant and riding finals in the biggest competitions as much as possible. This works, this happens. With LBL 12th, Monts et Chateaux top 20 in GC and Arden Challenge 4th in GC we can say he could be ambitious towards today.
The race was made hard and once the final really broke through Lars still had his energy in his pocket. As we see in his Powerfile final really breaks through in the last hour of the race, where we see a 350NP for the last 45′ (67kg). A pity for Lars to just miss the group riding for 10th place but totally in the game after these riders. Small % make the difference at this level and he’s in touch of it. Finishing 21st today, before European U23 champion Nys is the continuation of his current season! With Pro race GP Vermarc upcoming weekend and Triptyque ardennaise the legs will have recover quickly now because games are on until then for the first part of the season!
Another weekend filled with championships, our Spanish rocket Alejandro prooved already last week that peaking towards races is one of our strengths.
Today European Duathlon Championships Long distance were held! In European and world championships duathlon our athletes are very well known to always take the prizes. With over 20medals on Worlds and Europeans our athletes have a closet full of continental/world champs prizes.
In Alsdorf, Germany todays EC were held! For quite a few of our athletes we had planned a first A-race and peaking period towards today. Let’s begin with our female athletes in Alsdorf, not only because they are women but because they earn performance wise!
Our 2topduathletes in our squad Emelie and Debbie were racing their first Europeans. Emelie had to be convinced a bit last year to race the Europeans in 2022 but with the huge steps she made…I knew she was ready for a top AG performance. Debbie from her side is an athlete that will grow out to the longer distances, LD duathlon is the best way to pick up this work.
All fell together today and Emelie takes gold in het AG, first overall AG athlete and 6th overall. Debbie chases these slightly faster runners on the bike and grabs 2nd in her AG! With a tough camp in her legs towards these Europeans and the Worlds in Denmark she can now focus on regeneration and specific work towards these worlds. Our 3rd female athlete Julie was racing her first LD duathlon and takes 12th in her AG! Her step towards tri season is made!
In the male race our athletes were divided over the European champs and Open category. The open category was there for Belgian athletes who did not have the chance to get their official national trisuit. Belgian Federation had 1) No stock and 2)Could not deliver the clothing in time before the race. A lack in professionalism. A stock for a national league is a logical thing, quod non.
In the open race we had Kristof (1st AG),Steven (8thand Yves (3rd AG) racing and putting down a good performance leading to the rest of the season!
In the European Champs we missed Jan (could not bike because of back problems and took 3rd yesterday in a running race) and Robby who broke to many parts of his body 2months ago and is working his way back. But we had Jesse M defending the colors…and how! He put down an amazing race and amazed himself and many others by taking the AG European title and go home with gold!
The European championships were not the only championships held today! In cycling the Elite and U23 Regional championships were held in Belgium! With William having a good feeling and race, progressing week after week and today with an offensive racing style we had a happy U23 rider after his race!
In Vlaams-Brabant 1600D+ and 144K were waiting for the riders. Today’s regionals were a good fit for Lars and so we chose to taper off slightly towards this weekend’s race. In the middle of a very loaded spring this race actually fell perfectly timing wise. Lars managed to be in the right breakaway and fought a 5man battle in the U23 champs. In the final sprint he misses a half wheel to take the title but takes a well earned silver medal! A good recovery now is at its place!
In Cyprus Alexis continues his strong racing performances of past weeks and today takes 5th in the Agrokipia Road Race ! National championships coming within 4weeks there!
In Portugal we had Stijn racing the 70.3 Setubal race, a tough bike course in this triathlon and in his 2nd homecountry he takes 6th in his AG and is ready to head to 70.3 Lisboa and Ironman Switzerland!
In Rotterdam Mick turned himself into a sub3 marathoner and puts down 2h54′ today! The progress of this runner over the past years is huge! Consistency, patience and stimulating the right zones at the right times are key! Great effort!
The first months of 2022 have been quite spectacular already! Meanwhile the real strength of our athletes remains silence and training smart to perform better…untill that one special day!
First racing in a while for Alejandro (Spain) today! Not having a WC ticket yet for 2022 was playing in his mind, ready to set back and grab it on a powerful way. A pity for all triathletes and also Alejandro when IM announced the swim was cancelled. Mental strength in these cases work of course, raceday = raceday. And so it happened. With the current IM AG world champion in this continental championship it was clearly to become a tough race! With a strong bike ride Alejandro put himself in front after the bike course, 262NP for this 69kg athlete before his marathon!
As the stomach is one of the most importants part of an athlete’s body…Alejandro had a bad food experience and had to vomit during the run course. This made him slow down and lose some time. But finally he kept on his pace and could maintain his 2nd place in the AG, 6th AG athlete overall, 21st Pro field included.
Alejandro will join our already strong squad in the Ironman World championships 2022 in Kona Hawaii! Alejandro is one of our athletes who trains 80-90%of all sessions indoor, spot on. Easy is easy, hard is hard…after all smart work, to perform better!
In Salou (Spain), the Challenge 70.3 race was held! A tough field of athletes at the starting line…first international race in Europe in 2022. After 2 years of Covid athletes were definitely keen on suffer modus! Thibaud (Switzerland) and Lucas (France) were racing today! Lucas had an excellent start and got on the bike first, during the bike he kept pace and could put down his bike in 5th position…this position he maintained untill he had to quit the race with 5K to go. Missing the necessary gels on the bike and getting a hypo was not the plan. But sometimes you learn from small failures.
Thibaud from his side had a very steady race and positioned himself in top 10 from the beginning of the race. During the whole race he kept on being between 4th and 10th place to finally run a 3’58/km half marathon after his 310NP bike split! Thibaud is in full prep towards the Ironman World Championships 2021, that will happen in May 2022, in Saint-George USA. Race ready!
Today we als had the last stage of Triptyque des Monts et Chateaux (UCI2.2), one of the value meters in the international U23 peloton. The first 2stages made already very clear which riders were on and those who were off. Lars could manage himself daily in the front of first group, just behind the riders who got stage victory. Today the ITT started quited well, an early start and not getting the HR totally up, fatigue of the past 2days and starting early will sure have played a role within. Despite that, the power output will have been strongly enough…taking 31st and maintaining his GC spot just outside top 20.
With the afternoon race of 130K and a tough final there were opportunities to take top20 in GC. Lars gave what he was worth among these strong riders and succeeded in this goalset by taking 19th in GC in the end! RESULTS Another good performance and a short time for recovery and focus on Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Arden Challenge and much more!
Onwards to next weekend with for example European championships duathlon, regional champs cycling,…
1st A-race for Lars this season, after last weekend in Lillers it was clear for us that playing a rol for top 10 in the first climbing race of the season was a certitude. Of course with a highly densified field at the starting line 40riders can claim this.
A perfect winter and the first (semi) taper-off phase, in his macrocycles we pointed out 4main periods to aim at. The first period started this week. Goal today was clear: ‘playing a role’ among the best riders and then see what output is. A race can never be predicted in terms of final spots, only in terms of being in shape between start and finish. The rest is about racing the race.
Lars shooted after 108K into the race and took off with L. Van Eetveldt. Van Eetveldt dropped Lars with 3climbs to go to finishline, before winning the race. Lars pushed the pedals hard in a solo attempt behind the leader, which resulted in a 25’block of 350NP (-67Kg) in the final of a tough race. This before getting joined by 3 other riders of which 1 teammate of the leader. Not an easy situation to ride for the podium after his effort. But Lars managed well, the winner’s teammate took 2nd and Lars wins the sprint for 3rd. The sprint is also a discipline in which Lars pumped his level the last years. We already saw in last year’s race with e.g. his win in Neerijse (Elite/U23) after an uphill sprint.
In Retie the national crossduathlon championships were held, with Emelie and Debbie we had 2 outsiders for the podium on this quite technical course. Fast start for Emelie, but in search of an immediate gap in the run she blew up a bit and had to break down. Debbie her engine did not and could build up towards T1. The fastest bike split made here move up to the top 3 of the field soon, and in the last half of the race she took the lead with a gap behind her. A fast 2nd run made her battle for victory untill the end before finally taking silver! Debbie made huge steps past year and this is resulting in topperformances in ‘her’ races. Emelie from her start had to calm down after her start but kept the gap with front quite close. In the 2nd run she found back her fast legs and takes the fastest split before crossing the line in 6th! More was possible, but race-tactical she can note down the positive points and recognize the slightly too fast beginning!
Besides these races also in Koksijde north C-trail was held, 29Km of beach and dunes…a very tough effort in which speed, endurance and strength comes together! Our ‘cupper bullet’ Sven had a perfect lactate test past Thursday, so confidence leading up to the race was at its place. A tough combat in the final of the race brought him totally in front and a man-to-man fight was held. Sven was the best, the fastest and won this classic in trailrunning!
In Ghent Stijn raced the half marathon and came in after 1h20′, a perfect lead up towards national championships mountain running later this spring! In Trailrun Lannaye Kristof has his finale lead-up race towards Europeans Duathlon and takes 10th on this hilly course!
Next week more races coming with cycling, triathlon and running races in Belgium, France and The Netherlands.
Strong field at the starting line today in France for GP Lillers, 2 of our U23 riders took and got the chance to race this French classic in a strong field. Quite cold weather, 184K of racing and ready to go for all riders at the start of the season. For Lars his first big race of the season, for William his first race at this level ever. After a steady build up, with for both riders no ‘big’ problems as severe diseases, broken bones,… Despite that exams, Covid infection, post covid jab symptoms, were there. But nothing can break a steady build-up, a good base can have something.
Obviously today’s race in France had 2longer Powerpeaks in which power and HR simultaneously mounted for a period of 20-30minutes. We noticed a fast breakout early in the race which separated the wheat from the chuff in 1st stage. The 2nd real breakout was starting after 130 and lasting untill the finishline.
Lars was positioned well before the peloton breaks in the final and ended up in a 10man chasing group on the approx. 30 leaders. The mid part of the race was power and HR wise not super hard, which made turning on the ‘engine’ at the start of the breakout quite difficult. After this happening we see HR and power gaining numbers and staying up untill the finishline, finishing 37th in the 10man bunch behind the leading group in which Milan Menten sprints to the win.
William from his side experienced well in his first race at this level, as a 1st year U23 these races are perfect to pick up experience nutrition and racing wise and to finish in the peloton! A strong winter behind him and now making the connection during the races. Recovery tomorrow and already looking forward to upcoming weeks!
Congratulations also to our other riders with Svenne taking 5th in Tongrinne (Belgium) and Alexis taking 6th in Evagoria (Cyprus)
Our riders are peaking to the late autumn races at this moment, with several nice races coming and a relatively shorter season behind us peaking spot on is also a tiny bit more predictable. Periodisation is less depending on racing fatigue. All output of fatigue comes significantly more from trainingperiods.
Since the beginning of the season in June our riders are racing for the podium and wins week after week. With already several wins in Elite/U23 races and Amateur/masters race as a result. Our elite/u23 riders are also performing very high level in Belgian cups, interclubs and races abroad.
Today 2 of our riders who have a peaking period win their races! Not a concidence, an output of the input!
Svenne taking the win in the master category in Kärnten, Austria and taking 15th (all categories). Taking back 2′ in GC on the current leader, makes him 2nd with 2′ behind!
In Neerijse Lars (U23) started in this elite/u23 race near his home, for him a home-event. With his father organizing the race. Coming back from the UCI2.2U race Flanders Tomorrow Tour and heading later this week to Tour de Moselle (France) this race fell a bit ‘unlucky’. But considering FTT and today’s race as a 4day stage race and peaking towards Flanders Tomorrow Tour – Tour de Moselle – Liège Bastogne Liège(U23) and Arden challenge. We already saw with a good taper-off to the stage races that Lars could grow into these races and mostly has good final stages. Today he confirmed this.
Lars is a rider you can work with quite easily. Executing training as asked, and finding solutions to train in changing conditions. In winter, in Covid periods, in racing periods. Looking further ahead than week by week. That’s the mindset you need as a rider/athlete, at least on the long run.
Consistency in training and spicing up training periodized leads to a good season and individual races. In the end it leads to winning!
Our cyclists have very filled days nowadays! With last week’s Bioracer Wallonia tour and Anthony taking 2nd place in stage2 we already had quite some confidence in the performance output of our riders!
This week our elite/U23 riders could start in Tour de Namur (UCI2.12), Dries was keen on battling day by day and wanted to be in front of the race and picking up shape towards the races coming. He realized a very nice tour and ended up in breakaways every day! To recover from this, shape and consistency must be TOP. And it is! Losing 1’30 in stage1, after being caught back after a breakaway, his GC seemed to be gone. But he still realized 37th position in GC! With Lars from his side we focussed on a good GC and trying to follow and beat the best riders in the final of the races. And that worked. In stage 1 he battled for a top10 and finished 13th, a strong TT (21st) and on the fifth and last day a 7th place between several pro riders. He gets rewarded for his focus, perseverance and consistency with an 18th place in GC!
Congratz to both riders, of which we’ve only seen a small percentage. Grow easy, but grow strong! Now recovery, and next stage races are coming soon with Agglo Tour (France), Tour de Moselle (UCI2.2 France), Arden Challenge (Belgium)
These 2 young riders have good examples among our athletes when it comes down to perseverance and motivation!
Today Ironman70.3 Estonia was held and our 60+ athlete Kris was having quite some ambitions leading up this event. A long time ago he could race Ironman. But today it was his day. With a good swim he came out of the water with eyes on a podium and he picked up speed on the bike very soon! A mechanical problem costed him almost his race, but the Shimano repair boys saved his race and reduced this problem to a 2’loss. So chasing again was what he had to do and he dropped his bike in T2 3rd. During the run Kris came very close to number 2 who ‘in the end’ finished 15″ ahead. But bronze is big reward and well earned for him!
Our 2nd ‘maestro’ of course is Svenne, today Elite3 and masters national championships cycling. With Svenne and Anthony we had 2 man in the race who could play a role for the podium. 2men in the shape of their life (again :-)).
With a tough course, hilly and cobbles the best riders would automatically distinguish theirselves!
Unfortunately Anthony his Di2 shifted to ‘crash modus’ halfway the course on the cobbles. So race over.
Svenne from his side had fire in his legs and kept himself in front of the race to ride a very strong final and sprint for 2nd position, taking 3rd and his first bronze medal in the nationals! Also nice to see Maarten picking up experience in these champs and learn a lot towards upcoming races!
Onwards to next week(s), there’s a small feeling of strong results coming!
Ironman Barcelona today, last race of the season for Bert in his first year racing in Pro category. 48Pro athletes at the starting line, only 7 days before the Ironman World championships the pro’s who missed Kona 19 have a big chance to qualify for Kona 20. A lot of them aiming it seemed! Barcelona is known as a fast race: a sea swim, flat bike and run course. But windy! 2 of our athletes Bert (Pro) and Kurt (AG50) racing today. Bert in his last race of already a very strong season with strong results in Ironman Lanzarote and Ironman Vitoria, Kurt in his first A-race after having severe heart problems 1,5years ago, getting surgery and then a long recovery back to Ironman racing.
Bert, working fulltime and combining this with Ironman racing on pro level, knew a strong swimming performance was necessary to keep contact with the other pro athletes. Coming out of the water after 51′ in position 30 says a lot about the swimminglevel in Ironman. For Kurt (AG50) the swimming meant his most difficult part of the race and came out after 1h17′.
On the bikecourse we saw steady racing of both of our athletes, Bert started the flat bikecourse at 280watts to finish at 270NP. On this flat course an excellent poweroutput to not blow up the legs before the run. Which is not easy when you are surrounded by other A-level athletes. Good for a speedoutput of +40km/h avg with a marathon ahead!
Kurt from his side has the cyclingpart as his favourite and strongest discipline, riding the 180K in 5h00 exactly he puts down his bike with the possibility on a personal fast time!
Triathlon wouldn’t be triathlon if it wouldn’t end with a run, races are always won on the run course and so was it today! In the pro field Angert took the win before Belgian Van Lierde in 7h45, finishing off with a 2h48′ marathon. As we said Barcelona had a big field of pro athletes at the starting line and high level density so a couple of minutes + or – could make a big difference. Putting down the bike in 30th position Bert immediately went running in a strong pace with the first 12K in 4’15/km, after those 12K he had to cut short his effort a little bit but could keep pacing correctly to finish the marathon at 4’31/km in 3h10′ and moving up towards 22nd position! Behind him Pro athletes such as Jean Eudes (Former Cofidis pro cyclist and French elite champion triathlon on the long distance), Kyle Buckingham (South Africa) and Christian Kramer (Ger). Crossing the line in 8h35′, a new PB in an excellent race! 8h35′ is fast, very fast in Ironman! A nice fact: if Bert would have raced in AG he would have taken the win with +6′!
Kurt continues his race and finds himself in tougher conditions in the last 10K of the race but continues and finishes in 10h49′. Well done!
But a pity the message we got from several angles about the big draftingpelotons in the AG race, that’s far from the real triathlonspirit to beat yourself, then the others!
But not only in Barcelona our athletes raced strongly! AG Vice World champion lond distance duathlon 2017 and 2018, Wim, takes the win in a 10K road race around the Berendries and slowly but surely picks up shape.
Our cyclists have a very good season behind them, all riders took 1 or several podia. Anthony won the General Classification of the German cycling cup earlier this week! Dries (U23) took 3rd today in a 6man breakaway with riders who all have experencie riding UCI 2.2 and 1.2 races. Dries has many possibilities to develop to a certitude in front of the race.
Junior Lars kicked off with a lactate test in our labo earlier this week which was really good with a 4.9watt/kg AT and 6.2watt/kg MV. Testing is not ‘a believe or a hope to be good at…’, it’s science, science combined with a positive mental focus means results and also this time…taking silver on the national Team Time Trial Championships!
Now loading mind and bodies towards October 12th, my birthday…but more important for mankind 🙂 Ironman world championships in Kona, Hawaï. 4 of our 5 athletes racing this weekend are in Kona already. More about them earlier this week!