Daniela Ryf is the 2015 European Champion. Photo: Marcel Hilger Sport Photography
We begin with the rise and rise of the Angry Bird, who was disciplined, strong and displayed a complete mastery over the conditions and competition at Ironman Frankfurt this weekend.
An excellent swim had her out front in the lead pack. This was followed by an enforced tactical ride with Julia Gajer and Caroline Steffen, who shared the lead until the 120km mark of the bike. Once the traffic cleared and the Bird could take off, she put 7:30 minutes into the other contenders to take control of the race.
At that stage and with temperatures soaring to 37C, Coach got on the train to Frankfurt concerned that the Bird would really let them have it on the run, potentially compromising the rest of her season with too big an effort in tough conditions.
Yet I needn’t have worried. The Bird ran totally within herself and did everything right in terms of planning, hydration, icing, nutrition and clothing.
It was only with 10km to go that I asked how she was feeling. ‘OK’ came the reply. She looked it. So to keep the mind focused instructions were if she was still in control with 5km to go take Chrissie’s course record.
She broke it by 24 seconds and was the 11th finisher home. Very happy with this performance.
Perhaps even more satisfying this weekend was the performance of Ritchie Nicholls who had a breakthrough win of his own at Ironman 70.3 Norway.
We all knew it was going to be a good weekend the moment we saw the tweet from Ritchie’s better half, Eimear: @RitchieNicholls first out of the water at @Ironman703NRWY ! Keep ‘er lit.
So happy for him to see the hard work he’s starting to put in at the pool pay off in the open water. He then did a great job holding it together on the bike, with only uber cyclist Markus Thomschke managing to get away.
Six minutes down going onto the run and everyone was wondering if it was enough of a lead. Not even close. Ritchie shut it down with a 1:09 half marathon, by far the fastest of the day, to win by over a minute.
If we can keep him close enough for long enough, Ritchie on the charge is good enough to run with anyone in the sport.
This weekend we also saw Nicola Spirig and Trent Simmons toeing the start line at Sempach. A good introduction to European racing for Trent, and good pre-race hit-out for Nicola before the European Championships in Geneva. A typically ferocious performance from The Champ taking out the win with the fastest swim, bike and run splits.
This weekend also saw two of our budding ITU pros racing at ITU Holten. In his first race since joining the Trisutto.com squad we were very pleased to see Lukas Verzbicas take his first pain free steps back to the top. Also nice to see him finish as the leading American. This was an excellent reintroduction to the race scene and there is only improvement to come. We are very happy with his work ethic and progress as day by day we see his improvement within the squad.
He was joined at Holten by Carina Brechters, who took a solid 17th to also be the first from her country home. She now join us in St Moritz for some more training in the mountains as she progresses up the rankings.
Recap from Coach Bella:
Squad in action: Mia Leadbetter, Tom Casey & Lucy Biddlestone (Photo: James Mitchell Photograhy).
Mia Leadbetter came 2nd at the Canarian Aquathon Championships in Gran Canaria this weekend.
I am so proud of Mia, Her motivation for this sport is huge and she is so determined. She trains hard because she loves it and that is how she achieved this great result yesterday. Less than 1 year ago she moved up the this age category, 14-16 years, it was a big jump at the time but now a few months later, with continued hard work, she has come 2nd at the Canarian Championships!
This weekend Tom Casey also conquered a challenging Olympic distance on a rainy day in Wales. Tom is on a mission to become an Ironman next year! Keep up the great work Tom.
Another of our determined and dedicated girls, Lucy Biddlestone, won the 10km Park Run in Regents Park, London. Lucy ran 39:08 as a training run in the build up to her next race in Weymouth next week! Congrats Lucy.
Stephen and I have been at the Wales Long Course Weekend for a great 3 days of sport. It was a great experience. Great organisation, thousands of competitors, many new to the sport some very experienced all getting a great weekend.
The swim was on Friday night, half or full distance, the bike on Saturday, Olympic, Half or Full distance, and the run on Sunday 10km, half or marathon! Tenby was rocking!!! Congrats to my Andy Palmer who did the half distance over the 3 days, and Joan doing the half distance run. Congrats to Stephen’s athlete, Juan Carlos Albuixech on doing the half distance!
Next year the Long Course Weekend is coming to Lanzarote so we were there to help promote this!
Finally, to round up the results: Congratulations Marc Stettler who trains hard to get the best from himself. This weekend at the Sempach Sprint Triathlon in Switzerland, onto the next goals now!
Dean Edwards for combining the Wales Long Course Weekend swim and bike, then riding 3 hours 58 minutes for the National 100mile TT Championships on Sunday also in Wales!
And Richard Newey also racing the National 100mile TT. This tough guy raced 70.3 UK last weekend, then rode 4hours 10 minutes yesterday, See you both at Ironman UK!
Recap from Coach Jo Spindler:
Thomas Ibach finished 6th in his Age Group at Ironman Frankfurt. The non-wetsuit swim cost him a lot of time, so he had to roll-up the field from the back. He hat a good paced bike and then run the fastest marathon of his age group, eating up athlete by athlete, chasing his Hawaii spot. Very well done under tough conditions.
Steffen Warias came 2nd at the Rossbach Triathlon, a beautiful German race, and had his best performance of his whole triathlon life. Congrats on that!
I’d like to welcome professional athlete Carole Fuchs to my squad. She is already a very stong biker and runner and we are looking to make her a complete triathlete adressing her swim over the next months. To start her journey with our squad, she battled out a nice 3rd place at the Bangkok Trophy Triathlon. The swim was in the Chao Praya river. It kept her humble all the way, trying to avoid swallowing water. The smell was disgusting and the athletes could catch garbages from stroke to stroke. Once Carloe exited the water, she moved through the field and stormed to another podium. Well done on that!
And last but not least, Thomas Schäfer won a local MTB race. He always pushes hard. Nice result that should give him the extra drive for his upcoming tough training weeks for the Paracycling World Champs in 3 weeks.
Recap from Coach Edith Niederfriniger:
Stefano Pavan M45-49 raced IM Frankfurt this weekend. While his time of 10:35.11 was not really satisfying, considering this really hot conditions the real value of his performance was to finish the race.
Today we had also the amateur Italian National Championship on olympic distance (non-drafting format) in Tarzo, where Pro Train was presented by 4 girls:
Patrizia 2. place cat M1 in 2:42.54
Irene 6. place cat S3 in 2:44.52
Barbara 6. place cat M1 in 2:52.59
Antonella 7. place cat M3 in 3:13.19
Well done ladies!
Recap from Coach Lisbeth Kristensen:
Age group athlete Kitty Perle raced the National Champs, middle distance, in Ireland this weekend and she came 3rd! So very happy for her. The race was also a Challenge race and she was also 5th overall!
Had a good race today. Finished 3rd in the National Champs and 5th in overall race (it was a Challenge race so had two international pro girls racing. They finished 1 and 2). Was in 2nd place until last 2k on the run! Swim was 32 (includes a 300m run to transition), so had a great swim. Bike was 2.34 and run was 1.40! Kitty.
Recap from Coach Robbie Haywood:
Super result for Gisela Reichmuth in her second Ironman, taking 9th in her category at Ironman Frankfurt on a hot hot day.
Congratulations also to husband Walter, making it a family occasion with 10th in his category.
Well done to all athletes competing this weekend.