Victory at Ironman 70.3 Mallorca. Image by rauschendorfer.de

The Angry Bird (Daniela Ryf) had another excellent race at Ironman 70.3 Mallorca today, showing further all-round improvement. This time the goal was to push on the bike and see if the run was still there. No more or less complicated than that.

She swam on her own to break away in the swim, rode the entire course out front and improved her position on the run. A 10 minute victory over a world class field.

A good day at the office and a job well done. However, that’s all it is. A good day.

Let’s just tone down the Chrissie (Wellington) talk, or even being the 70.3 version of her. I’ll be quite happy to discuss comparisons after she’s won her second Kona.

At present she is a long way from that.

Our sport tends to go into the over-adulation way too early.

For a start, I don’t believe anyone will ever match Chrissie’s record of winning Hawaii as basically an age group athlete. It was one of those moments in sport that pop up once in a generation. From her star-burst entry into Ironman she grew into a champion, then a super champion.

Daniela is not new to triathlon and having competed in two Olympics is already a very experienced campaigner.

The real scoop is that these performances are coming out of a Swiss winter, off the back of restricted prep, with races in the sun being scheduled to suit when her university has allowed her time.

In effect she’s maintained last year’s performance levels without having started the real training yet. Make of that what you will.

What I’d like to say is that after such a downtime in her career, followed by her success in 2014, to see her handle the pressure and expectations built up has made me very proud. She goes about her work in a no nonsense manner, doesn’t pay attention to the hype and has just continued on with normal life. Much the same way Nicola has.

The benefits are there to see.

So while her team at Trisutto.com are very pleased with the performances thus far, we won’t be altering our approach or drilling to see where the bottom of the well is. We’ll continue to educate the Angry Bird that the longer version of the sport is about doing what you need to do to win and nothing more. Get it done and save for the next one.

Chasing records in Ironman is a fool’s errand. It’s an extremely demanding sport on mind and body. We hope to protect both over the time of the Angry Bird’s career.

For now it’s early days and we could not be happier with Dani’s progress. That is all we focus on. Not winning, but what we can do to improve. We get that right, and the devastating results will follow.

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