Ritchie Nicholls’ Runner’s Up at Challenge Salou.
Every Monday before our athletes jump into the pool, the squad reflects on the weekend of racing just past. We congratulate those who performed well, identify areas they could have done better and point out errors that need to be avoided in the future. Then we get to work.
This weekend saw some breakthrough performances across Spain, Brazil and the US.
Ritchie Nicholls was on the start line hoping to make amends a disappointing result last weekend at Challenge Rimini due to a bike crash. Placing himself where he needed to be in the swim (right on the top guys’ feet), he stuck with the main players through the bike with only Joe Gambles getting away. Riding a bit too conservatively, he gave Joe slightly too much time. Though we are pleased with his effort in outrunning all others to finish second. In Ritchie’s own words:
“I ran pretty hard in the first 10km and got quite close to Joe, but he held on strongly and I faded a bit in the last lap. So with a second I’m pleased with how things are, but at the same time I really want to win.”
As we continue to build form a win should not be too far away.
Nicola Spirig finished a hectic weekend with a win and fastest run split (male or female) at the Frauenfeld Triathlon, Switzerland. Hosting her own race series, the Nicola Spirig Kids Cup, on the Saturday, we decided to use the race on Sunday as her final hit out before the European Games in Baku.
The goal was to work hard right up to race. She ran a tough 21km on Saturday, before riding to the race and then riding home to recover. Mission accomplished.
Ironman 70.3 Raleigh
Special mention goes to pro Trevor Delsaut at Ironman 70.3 Raleigh with a breakthrough performance this weekend. Recovering from a sluggish swim, he held his nerve to work his way the field on the bike before posting a 1:16 run split (second fastest) to secure a Top 5.
One of coach Robbie Haywood’s age group athletes, Jason Ramram, also put in a solid effort at Raleigh with a devastating run split and seeing all-round improvement in his performance. Well done, Jason.
At Ironman Brazil Matt Trautman produced the best race he has ever done. It wasn’t a win or a particularly good swim, but it was a sign of real character and toughness.
Recovering from a recent Top 5 at Ironman South Africa and an even more recent marriage and honeymoon, when he got off the bike so far off the top guys (17 minutes) many others would have called it a day. Not the Captain. Ran through them with the fastest run split (2:44:31) and now can call himself a proud member of the sub-2:45 club. Very happy coach.
The swim? We will get there, and for our age group followers I’ll post Matt’s own recap to show how even the top guys get it wrong:
“So learn to swim take 3 then. The worst part was I actually felt quite good. Was just a complete tactical novice. Thought I would start far right because there were some decent guys there. But then I swam too far right off the start… twice. And lost the pack. Ended up doing the entire swim on my own in no man’s land.”
Al-Mundayna Half Distance Tri
Back to Spain, and Bella Bayliss’ squad and charges continues to shine:
“My hard working pro athlete, Pakillo Fernandez-Cordez, won the Al-Mundayna Half Distance in Murcia, Spain yesterday. By racing hard and often, he is learning to be tough in the races and picking up some prize money along the way. Congratulations on another win Pakillo, keep this going!”
Coach Bella Bayliss
Bilbao Half Distance Triathlon
Following a huge weekend with his athlete, Diana Riesler, winning Ironman Lanzarote, Jo Spindler’s squad has backed it up with another impressive showing.
On Saturday, Andrej placed 3rd at the Bilbao Half Distance Triathlon in Spain. Andrej had a very good swim. On the tough bike course, last year’s winner Iglesias Rodriguez (an ex-pro cyclist) caught him on the top of the first long climb. Rodriguez tried to get away but couldn’t. Andrej played it smart and followed him until the climb in second loop. He had him on the ropes on the climb but couldn’t break away. On the descent Andrej and Rodriguez caught leading Kyrilov and those 3 entered T2 as a lead group. Andrej struggled a bit on the run and finished 3rd, 3 minutes behind Rodriguez and 1 minute behind Kyrilov. This was maybe Andrej’s best race this season, only 3 weeks after winning the Croatian Olympic Distance Champs and only 1 week after a strong performance at Challenge Rimini. This race was a nice birthday gift to himself. Happy birthday Andrej!
Markus also had a breakthrough race at Challenge Salou this Sunday. With a strong bike, 2nd fastest run of the day and an overall time off 3:45 he placed 5th in a strong international field, was best German athlete beating amongst others Timo Bracht and Markus Fachbach. Markus still has to figure out how to do a proper beach start, but with a bit more race experience he will make the first group in the swim soon. I’m very pleased with Markus’ athletic development so far. Despite his young age of 24 years, he’s really grown-up as an athlete over the past three years, working himself up the ranks with lot’s of guts and determination. All is going in the right direction and I’m looking forward to his first long distance race at Challenge Denmark in 2 weeks.
Additionally, Steffi Jansen did the Cologne Swim and Run and placed 3rd overall. This race consisted of a 4km swim and a 21km run and was purely selected to improve her swim weakness. She did very well and thanks to her quick legs got herself another podium.
Coach Jo Spindler
Well done to all athletes and coaches competing over the weekend.