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Luis defends WTS World Championship

Slowtwitch 2 weeks 2 days ago
Vincent Luis of France tops newcomer Vasco Vilaca of Portugal by 2 seconds in Hamburg.

France takes the mixed relay worlds three-peat

Triathlon Magazine Canada 2 weeks 3 days ago

While the Mixed Relay worlds had long been planned to take place in Hamburg (it was only 10 days before the event that the individual races were given worlds status), even with some advanced notice teams like Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico unable to attend because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Which is why, for many, all the world championship medals handed out in Hamburg will always have an unofficial asterisk associated with them.

Which isn’t to imply that today’s ITU Mixed Relay World Championship wasn’t both exciting and competitive. In the end it was three of the most competitive countries in the world with arguably the deepest talent pools that went into the final leg of the race duelling for the medals.

Throughout the race we saw some countries take flyers to the front, but when it comes to relay racing, depth is everything, and the three powerhouse nations of France, Great Britain and the United States were the ones who contested for the medals at the end of the race.

Georgia Taylor-Brown puts Great Britain in the lead during the first leg of the ITU Triathlon Mixed Relay World Championships. Photo: ITU/ World Triathlon Taylor-Brown surges ahead … again

In the first leg of the race it was Austria’s Therese Feuersinger who pushed the pace early, but by the time the lead group of 13 teams hit the run, it didn’t take long before Georgia Taylor-Brown would pull clear as she did in taking yesterday’s individual race. The Brit would really string the field out – by the time she was done she had opened up a gap of almost 15 seconds on American Taylor Spivey and France’s  Leonie Perrault.

Kristian Blummenfelt put Norway in front by the end of the second leg. Photo: ITU/ World Triathlon Blummenfelt charges

Heading out second for Team GB was Barclay Izzard, who would relinquish the lead to France’s bronze medalist from yesterday, Leo Bergere. It was Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt, though, who would be the story of this leg. Seemingly determined to use the relay to get over his tough day in the individual race, Blummenfelt powered away from Bergere, Belgium’s Jelle Geens and American Kevin McDowell. As he finished the run Blummenfelt’s lead was just under 15 seconds.

Then there were three

Norway sent off young Stine Dale (she was born in 1998) for the third leg, and, while she managed to keep her team in the mix for a top-five finish, she hasn’t exactly had much opportunity to race with the likes of Katie Zaferes (USA), Jessica Learmonth (GBR) and Cassandre Beaugrant (FRA) over her short career. Those three swallowed Dale up with about 150 m to go in the swim and would spend the rest of the leg making it a three-team duel for the medals. Beaugrand led the crew out of the water, then sat behind Zaferes and Learmonth through the bike before making a move to the front with about 400 m of running to go. Zaferes would have none of it, though, and pulled even with the Frenchwoman as they finished.

Leonie Periault, Leo Bergere, Cassandre Beaugrand and Dorian Coninx celebrate a third-straight world title. Photo: ITU/ World Triathlon No touching Coninx

Dorian Coninx (FRA), Morgan Pearson (USA) and Ale Yee (GBR) all hit the water together, with the Frenchman pushing the pace in the water. He hit T1 with Pearson on his shoulder and Yee a few seconds back. It looked like Yee was fast enough in transition to be able to join the group, but Coninx never allowed that to happen – he quickly pulled clear and opened up a gap to Pearson, who in turn opened up a gap to Yee.

It would have been interesting to be able to ask at a post-race press conference why Pearson didn’t try to work with Yee to reel Coninx back, especially since Pearson has posted some quick runs during his career. It’s probably not hard to answer that question, though, even without the ability to have been at the event. Yee is one of the most feared runners in the sport with a frightening 27:51 10 km personal best, so even if you’re on your running game, you don’t want to have him racing next to you over a 1.7 km run course. Then there’s also the question of whether or not, even working together, they would have been able to make a dent in Coninx’s lead – he was very determined to be clear at the start of the run.

“Last year I had a crazy sprint finish with Alex Yee and I wanted to avoid that as best I could,” Coninx said after the race, describing his close win over Yee at the Tokyo Test Event relay.

There was no chance for a sprint finish this time as the Frenchman led Pearson by 16 seconds and Yee by 31. Coninx held on for an eight-second win over the USA, with Great Britain rounding out the podium. Norway hung tough for fourth, with Belgium taking fifth.

How good is France in mixed team relay racing? They’ve now won the last three world championships and last year’s Olympic test event. If there is an Olympic event next year, it’s hard not to make them the prohibitive favourites.

Results – each Lap consisted of a 300 m swim, 6.3 km bike and 1.7 km run Country Overall Lap 1 Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4 1 FRA 1:18:25 0:20:21 0:18:46 0:20:26 0:18:53 2 USA 1:18:33 0:20:20 0:18:55 0:20:18 0:19:02 3 GBR 1:18:59 0:20:07 0:19:10 0:20:17 0:19:27 4 NOR 1:19:38 0:20:21 0:18:33 0:21:49 0:18:56 5 BEL 1:19:44 0:20:20 0:18:47 0:21:15 0:19:23 6 DEN 1:19:47 0:20:20 0:19:01 0:21:07 0:19:20 7 SUI 1:20:01 0:20:44 0:19:16 0:21:05 0:18:57 8 GER 1:20:08 0:20:52 0:19:09 0:20:55 0:19:14 9 AUT 1:20:17 0:20:34 0:19:05 0:21:19 0:19:20 10 ITA 1:20:20 0:20:50 0:19:31 0:20:45 0:19:16 11 NED 1:20:23 0:20:31 0:19:30 0:20:55 0:19:27 12 HUN 1:20:33 0:20:45 0:19:06 0:21:27 0:19:17 13 BRA 1:20:45 0:20:28 0:20:01 0:20:52 0:19:27 14 ESP 1:20:54 0:20:52 0:19:00 0:21:14 0:19:51 15 RUS 1:21:10 0:21:04 0:19:17 0:21:11 0:19:40 16 CZE 1:22:43 0:20:24 0:19:49 0:22:40 0:19:51 LAP POR LAP 0:21:04 0:20:13 0:22:16 0:00:00 LAP POL LAP 0:22:42 0:19:56 0:00:00 0:00:00 LAP IRL LAP 0:22:42 0:19:51 0:00:00 0:00:00

The post France takes the mixed relay worlds three-peat appeared first on Triathlon Magazine Canada.

Taylor-Brown takes “world title” in Hamburg

Triathlon Magazine Canada 2 weeks 4 days ago

There’s been no shortage of controversy since World Triathlon declared that WTS Hamburg would serve as this year’s world championship and today even the women’s winner acknowledged that fact.

“It feels weird saying that I am the world champion because it’s been an unusual year,” Great Britain’s Georgia Taylor-Brown said in her post-race interview. “We’re missing a few people as well. I am the world champion, but in my eyes, Katie (Zaferes) is still the world champion next year.”

That shouldn’t take anything away from Taylor-Brown’s impressive performance today, though. Last year Taylor-Brown and countrywoman Jessica Learmonth were the first two across the line at the Tokyo Test Event, only to be disqualified for trying to tie. The two finished second (Learmonth) and third (Taylor-Brown) at last year’s Grand Final in Lausanne behind Zaferes, and Taylor-Brown took her first WTS title last year in Leeds, too. Suffice it to say that she’s become one of the most consistent women’s performers in ITU racing.

It was Learmonth who led the way out of the water, with France’s Cassandre Beaugrand on her heels. Well in the mix were many of the women we expected to contend for the win – Zaferes (USA) and Bermuda’s Flora Duffy were both about eight seconds back. Learmonth would rip through T1 and make a go at a breakaway with Austria’s Therese Feuersinger, but by the end of the first of the six-laps of the bike course a large group powered by Duffy was close behind.

Taylor-Brown, Learmonth and Duffy did the lion’s share of the work at the front of the bike over the last 10 km, pushing the pace for the group of 18 and setting things up for a 5 km road race for the world title.

Duffy led the way into T2 and was quickly out onto the run course alongside Learmonth, with Taylor-Brown joining the two within a few hundred metres. Zaferes had an uncharacteristically slow transition and would find herself well back in the group starting the run.

About 1 km into the run Taylor-Brown upped the pace and pulled clear of Duffy, who gradually started to move ahead of Learmonth. Taylor-Brown looked remarkably smooth and at ease as she cruised clear and, despite a few looks back over the last few hundred metres, seemed to have the race completely under control. Duffy remained strong throughout the run to take second, while Germany’s Laura Lindemann used a great run to take third, a repeat of the third-place finish she earned at WTS Hamburg three years ago.

While she might have made it look easy, after the race Taylor-Brown said that wasn’t the case.

“I wasn’t confident at all [coming into the race],” she said in her post-race interview.”I got some serious lung-burn at the Super-League Arena Games. I am quite shocked with my performance, actually. I felt really comfortable on the run – I like running on the gravel.”

For 2016 and 2017 world champ Flora Duffy the race was a positive sign after her struggles with injuries for much of the last couple of years.

“This was a huge race for me, the back half of 2018 and the first part of 2019 were really difficult,” she said afterwards. “To miss most of this year because of COVID-19, it has a long time since I feel like I am in my stride and hit a podium. I am happy for personal reasons to finish second today, it was a really big step for me. I’ve had a good progression on my run. The last few months I have been able to be consistent again for the first time in a really long time. I knew I was coming in with pretty good run form. But, you know, I am a competitor and every time I line up at a world championships I want to win, so maybe there is a little sting of being that close. But it is great progression and I am just so thankful we got to race safely. Georgia was phenomenal today and it’s fantastic to be back on the blue carpet.”

American’s Taylor Spivey and Zaferes would round out the top five.

Place First Last Country Overall 750m swim 18.9 km bike 5 km run 1 Georgia Taylor-Brown GBR 0:54:16 0:09:08 0:26:38 0:16:43 2 Flora Duffy BER 0:54:25 0:09:09 0:26:39 0:16:54 3 Laura Lindemann GER 0:54:39 0:09:15 0:26:35 0:16:59 4 Taylor Spivey USA 0:54:47 0:09:04 0:26:48 0:17:12 5 Katie Zaferes USA 0:54:50 0:09:08 0:26:48 0:17:05 6 Maya Kingma NED 0:54:53 0:09:11 0:26:38 0:17:16 7 Jessica Learmonth GBR 0:55:18 0:09:01 0:26:50 0:17:47 8 Rachel Klamer NED 0:55:26 0:09:15 0:26:37 0:17:53 9 Lotte Miller NOR 0:55:29 0:09:08 0:26:41 0:17:52 10 Therese Feuersinger AUT 0:55:32 0:09:03 0:26:49 0:17:59 11 Cassandre Beaugrand FRA 0:55:35 0:09:02 0:27:38 0:17:12 12 Leonie Periault FRA 0:55:37 0:09:17 0:27:21 0:17:12 13 Natalie Van Coevorden AUS 0:55:43 0:09:08 0:26:43 0:18:03 14 Erika Ackerlund USA 0:55:48 0:09:15 0:27:26 0:17:26 15 Vittoria Lopes BRA 0:55:53 0:09:06 0:26:44 0:18:16 16 Lisa Tertsch GER 0:55:56 0:09:44 0:27:56 0:16:37 17 Summer Rappaport USA 0:56:01 0:09:06 0:28:39 0:16:28 18 Zsanett Bragmayer HUN 0:56:05 0:09:11 0:27:25 0:17:47 19 Jolanda Annen SUI 0:56:08 0:09:36 0:28:03 0:16:47 20 Valerie Barthelemy BEL 0:56:11 0:09:34 0:27:56 0:16:55 21 Beth Potter GBR 0:56:13 0:09:43 0:27:55 0:16:53 22 Marlene Gomez-Islinger GER 0:56:15 0:09:30 0:28:00 0:16:54 23 Emilie Morier FRA 0:56:17 0:09:10 0:28:24 0:17:00 24 Verena Steinhauser ITA 0:56:17 0:09:36 0:27:55 0:16:56 25 Alexandra Razarenova RUS 0:56:19 0:09:46 0:27:56 0:16:57 26 Sophie Watts USA 0:56:21 0:09:43 0:27:59 0:16:54 27 Ai Ueda JPN 0:56:24 0:09:32 0:28:08 0:16:56 28 Julia Hauser AUT 0:56:28 0:09:45 0:27:51 0:17:02 29 Vendula Frintova CZE 0:56:30 0:09:33 0:28:00 0:17:15 30 Alberte Kjær Pedersen DEN 0:56:32 0:09:41 0:28:11 0:17:00 31 Vicky Holland GBR 0:56:38 0:09:09 0:28:29 0:17:17 32 Lena Meißner GER 0:56:39 0:09:14 0:27:25 0:18:16 33 Claire Michel BEL 0:56:45 0:09:28 0:28:04 0:17:20 34 Tereza Zimovjanova CZE 0:56:47 0:09:20 0:28:10 0:17:27 35 Romana Gajdošová SVK 0:56:57 0:09:31 0:28:04 0:17:40 36 Anna Godoy Contreras ESP 0:57:01 0:09:11 0:28:26 0:17:35 37 Sif Bendix Madsen DEN 0:57:02 0:09:29 0:28:09 0:17:38 38 Djenyfer Arnold BRA 0:57:07 0:09:16 0:28:13 0:17:42 39 Yuliya Yelistratova UKR 0:57:21 0:09:46 0:28:38 0:17:08 40 Miriam Casillas García ESP 0:57:21 0:09:30 0:28:07 0:17:58 41 Alissa Konig SUI 0:57:23 0:09:45 0:27:55 0:18:01 42 Melanie Santos POR 0:57:26 0:09:38 0:27:59 0:17:57 43 Sara Perez Sala ESP 0:57:28 0:09:26 0:28:10 0:17:58 44 Luisa Baptista BRA 0:57:31 0:09:40 0:28:47 0:17:25 45 Elena Danilova RUS 0:57:37 0:09:44 0:28:38 0:17:22 46 Carolina Routier ESP 0:57:37 0:09:17 0:28:20 0:18:13 47 Rani Skrabanja NED 0:57:39 0:09:40 0:27:50 0:18:20 48 Carolyn Hayes IRL 0:57:39 0:09:29 0:28:56 0:17:31 49 Edda Hannesdottir ISL 0:57:44 0:09:15 0:28:10 0:18:28 50 Anja Knapp GER 0:57:51 0:09:33 0:28:04 0:18:32 51 Anastasia Gorbunova RUS 0:57:55 0:09:36 0:28:06 0:18:29 52 Gabriela Ribeiro POR 0:58:00 0:09:39 0:28:54 0:17:48 53 Gillian Sanders RSA 0:58:02 0:09:46 0:28:36 0:17:53 54 Caroline Pohle GER 0:58:23 0:09:40 0:28:39 0:18:15 55 Renee Tomlin USA 0:58:26 0:09:52 0:28:30 0:18:18 56 Xisca Tous ESP 0:58:29 0:09:45 0:28:40 0:18:18 57 Stine Dale NOR 0:58:51 0:09:48 0:27:56 0:19:21 58 Hanne De Vet BEL 0:59:26 0:09:44 0:28:35 0:19:16 59 Julia Sanecka POL 1:00:00 0:09:53 0:28:39 0:19:44 60 Maeve Gallagher IRL 1:02:29 0:09:55 0:31:03 0:19:41 DNF Lisa Perterer AUT DNF 0:09:56 0:28:27 0:00:00 DNF Estelle Perriard SUI DNF 0:10:32 0:00:00 0:00:00 LAP Marta Lagownik POL LAP 0:10:45 0:00:00 0:00:00 LAP Erin Mcconnell IRL LAP 0:09:45 0:00:00 0:00:00 LAP Daniela Leitāne LAT LAP 0:11:40 0:00:00 0:00:00

 

 

 

 

The post Taylor-Brown takes “world title” in Hamburg appeared first on Triathlon Magazine Canada.

Luis defends world title

Triathlon Magazine Canada 2 weeks 4 days ago

It wasn’t until about 10 days ago that the ITU declared that the WTS event in Hamburg would be this year’s world championship – for many the event will always have an unofficial asterisk beside it as some of the world’s top triathletes and countries weren’t able to attend due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Included in that list were the Canadian team – as we reported last week, Canada hasn’t been able to get insurance for international travel for its athletes, an ITU prerequisite for federations sending athletes to its events. 

Related: Olympian Sarah True calls out ITU over Hamburg world championship

In today’s men’s race, though, it seemed as though the guy who should have been most likely to win did. France’s Vincent Luis has been incredibly consistent over the last few years – the two-time Olympian took the WTS Grand Final in 2017 and 2018, and followed that up with the WTS title last year, hanging tough in Lausanne’s Grand Final with a fifth-place finish to ensure the overall title after a consistent year of racing. He’s been dominant in Super League racing as well – when it comes to short-course racing, he’s been the guy to beat for a while.

So it hardly comes as a surprise that in the one-race takes it all scenario that he found himself in this year, Luis would rise to the occasion.It wasn’t exactly easy, but by the time the Frenchman got to the last kilometre of the race it was pretty clear that he was on track for yet another win.

Things worked out well for Luis right from the swim. Two-time Olympic gold medalist Alistair Brownlee led a huge group out of the water, then drove the train that saw eight men get clear in a breakaway group on the bike. Included in the pack along with Brownlee and Luis were Brownlee’s brother, Jonathan, two other Frenchmen – Dorian Coninx and Leo Bergere, Portugal’s Vasco Vilaca and Germany’s Justus Nieschlag.

Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR) pushed the chase group that included Richard Murray (RSA), Jelle Geens (BEL), Alex Yee (GBR) and Mario Mola (ESP), but that group was still 15 seconds behind Brownlee and co. as they hit T2.

Once out on the run it quickly turned into a three-man race as Luis, Bergere and Vliaca, who was competing in just his second WTS event, pulled clear of the rest of the men. Geens made a go at trying to bridge up to them, but couldn’t quite get there.

Related: Is Vincent Luis triathlon’s fastest runner?

With 1,000 m to go Luis started to crank up the pressure, opened up a gap, and never looked back. Vilaca also made sure it didn’t come down to a sprint for the silver, pulling ahead of Bergere, who hung on to round out the podium. Geens would run his way to fourth ahead of Yee, Coninx, Murray, American Morgan Pearson, Alistair Brownlee and Switzerland’s Max Studer.

For those who were worried this controversial world championship might take something away from the current champion, Luis put that concern to bed with his title defence. During the post-race interview, his countryman Bergere was quick to call out the fact that their competitors from Australia and New Zealand weren’t at the race. We’ll have to get him some maple syrup to remind him about the Canadian contingent before his next race, but it was still a classy move to acknowledge that some of the world’s top athletes weren’t in attendance.

Place First Last Country Overall 750 m swim 18.9 km bike 5 km run 1 Vincent Luis FRA 0:49:13 0:08:27 0:24:36 0:14:38 2 Vasco Vilaca POR 0:49:15 0:08:31 0:24:28 0:14:42 3 Léo Bergere FRA 0:49:18 0:08:30 0:24:34 0:14:46 4 Jelle Geens BEL 0:49:22 0:08:40 0:24:42 0:14:29 5 Alex Yee GBR 0:49:24 0:08:39 0:24:37 0:14:24 6 Dorian Coninx FRA 0:49:27 0:08:29 0:24:34 0:14:52 7 Richard Murray RSA 0:49:28 0:08:40 0:24:47 0:14:34 8 Morgan Pearson USA 0:49:32 0:08:31 0:24:56 0:14:27 9 Alistair Brownlee GBR 0:49:34 0:08:25 0:24:41 0:14:59 10 Max Studer SUI 0:49:42 0:08:53 0:24:32 0:14:40 11 Gustav Iden NOR 0:49:43 0:09:00 0:24:20 0:14:46 12 Lasse Lührs GER 0:49:51 0:08:48 0:24:33 0:14:56 13 Kristian Blummenfelt NOR 0:49:51 0:08:46 0:24:32 0:14:57 14 Bence Bicsák HUN 0:49:52 0:08:32 0:24:50 0:14:50 15 Csongor Lehmann HUN 0:49:53 0:08:33 0:24:55 0:14:55 16 Shachar Sagiv ISR 0:49:56 0:08:46 0:24:36 0:15:04 17 Tim Hellwig GER 0:50:01 0:08:44 0:24:38 0:15:06 18 Kevin McDowell USA 0:50:02 0:08:42 0:24:44 0:15:02 19 Barclay Izzard GBR 0:50:04 0:08:34 0:24:49 0:15:13 20 Kenji Nener JPN 0:50:08 0:08:31 0:24:51 0:15:13 21 Gábor Faldum HUN 0:50:12 0:08:46 0:24:36 0:15:16 22 Joao Silva POR 0:50:14 0:08:54 0:24:27 0:15:19 23 Simon Viain FRA 0:50:15 0:08:52 0:24:33 0:15:11 24 Antonio Serrat Seoane ESP 0:50:17 0:08:55 0:24:35 0:15:13 25 Lukas Hollaus AUT 0:50:19 0:08:57 0:24:29 0:15:14 26 Márk Dévay HUN 0:50:21 0:08:30 0:24:35 0:15:42 27 Fernando Alarza ESP 0:50:25 0:08:34 0:24:50 0:15:19 28 Jonas Breinlinger GER 0:50:26 0:08:30 0:24:52 0:15:28 29 Adrien Briffod SUI 0:50:27 0:08:53 0:24:30 0:15:27 30 Justus Nieschlag GER 0:50:33 0:08:30 0:24:33 0:15:56 31 Jonathan Brownlee GBR 0:50:35 0:08:28 0:24:40 0:15:57 32 Pierre Le Corre FRA 0:50:35 0:08:29 0:24:57 0:15:39 33 Matthew McElroy USA 0:50:36 0:08:41 0:25:24 0:14:59 34 Valentin Wernz GER 0:50:42 0:08:49 0:24:38 0:15:44 35 Jonas Schomburg GER 0:50:43 0:08:26 0:24:59 0:15:46 36 Stefan Zachäus LUX 0:50:50 0:08:42 0:24:43 0:15:48 37 Ognjen Stojanovic SRB 0:51:01 0:08:49 0:24:39 0:15:57 38 Ilya Prasolov RUS 0:51:16 0:08:53 0:24:34 0:16:11 39 Seth Rider USA 0:51:21 0:08:45 0:24:31 0:16:25 40 Alessandro Fabian ITA 0:51:22 0:08:43 0:24:35 0:16:23 41 Marco Van Der Stel NED 0:51:27 0:08:47 0:24:37 0:16:26 42 Andreas Schilling DEN 0:51:39 0:08:55 0:24:31 0:16:36 43 Genis Grau ESP 0:51:48 0:08:53 0:25:49 0:15:31 44 Diego Moya CHI 0:51:52 0:08:31 0:25:31 0:16:08 45 Davide Uccellari ITA 0:51:52 0:08:45 0:25:53 0:15:31 46 Mario Mola ESP 0:51:54 0:08:46 0:24:41 0:16:52 47 Manoel Messias BRA 0:52:06 0:09:08 0:26:03 0:15:22 48 Eli Hemming USA 0:52:08 0:08:54 0:26:11 0:15:27 49 Dmitry Polyanskiy RUS 0:52:10 0:08:38 0:26:23 0:15:28 50 Rodrigo Gonzalez MEX 0:52:13 0:08:58 0:26:17 0:15:28 51 Lukas Pertl AUT 0:52:18 0:08:52 0:25:50 0:16:03 52 Roberto Sanchez Mantecon ESP 0:52:29 0:09:04 0:26:01 0:15:46 53 Erwin Vanderplancke BEL 0:52:43 0:08:41 0:26:30 0:16:03 54 Constantine Doherty IRL 0:53:05 0:09:31 0:26:20 0:15:44 55 Tamás Tóth HUN 0:53:38 0:08:58 0:26:12 0:16:54 56 Russell White IRL 0:53:44 0:09:04 0:26:46 0:16:20 57 Badr Siwane MAR 0:54:27 0:08:57 0:26:48 0:17:03 58 Grant Sheldon GBR 0:55:38 0:08:38 0:26:31 0:18:48 DNF Alois Knabl AUT DNF 0:08:29 0:00:00 0:00:00 DNF Florin Salvisberg SUI DNF 0:08:37 0:00:00 0:00:00 DNF Ran Sagiv ISR DNF 0:08:49 0:00:00 0:00:00 DNF Igor Polyanskiy RUS DNF 0:08:33 0:00:00 0:00:00 DNF Bob Haller LUX DNF 0:08:56 0:25:41 0:00:00 DNF Kauê Willy BRA DNF 0:08:58 0:00:00 0:00:00 DSQ Casper Stornes NOR DSQ 0:08:39 0:25:55 0:15:53

The post Luis defends world title appeared first on Triathlon Magazine Canada.

Alistair Brownlee’s crazy weekend double

Triathlon Magazine Canada 2 weeks 5 days ago

After convincing fellow pros to take part in the Helvellyn triathlon, Alistair Brownlee found himself in a bind after the ITU not only decided to put on the WTS race in Hamburg, but to make that event a world championship.

According to a source from the PTO, determined to “honour this commitment he had made to the PTO and the Helvellyn race,” Brownlee will be flying back from Hamburg after Saturday’s world championship to compete at the event in England’s lake district the following morning.

He’ll be arriving in Helvellyn around midnight – which should give him time for, say, a decent nap, before the 8:30 AM start of Sunday’s race.

While the travel will certainly be a challenge, even for an athlete as talented as Brownlee the weekend’s events will be tough in many different ways.

Photo gallery: Fell Running with Inov-8

In Hamburg Brownlee will be competing over the sprint distance against some of the sport’s quickest athletes. The following day he’ll not only face a tough field, he’ll be dealing with a hard course in one of Britain’s most scenic areas that’s full of “fells” – what the rest of us would call mountains. (Mountains in England are considered 1,000m or higher, the highest fell in the Lake District tops out at 980 m.) The Helvellyn race includes a 1,500 m swim, a 61 km bike with over 3,000 feet of climbing and a 14.5 km challenging fell run along trails.

Stay tuned as we follow Brownlee’s racing through the weekend.

 

The post Alistair Brownlee’s crazy weekend double appeared first on Triathlon Magazine Canada.

Ironman takes a pass on prize money help from the PTO

Triathlon Magazine Canada 2 weeks 5 days ago

In a bid to try and help out pro triathletes, the Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO) has been working with races around the world to augment prize purses. Last weekend the group added 21,000 Euros to the prize purse at Challenge Davos and, as we reported earlier this week, distributed that money to the pros in attendance even though the race had to be cancelled due to lightning.

In addition to the event in Davos, the PTO has provided US$15,000 to the Helvellyn Triathlon in the UK, and $20,000 to the Canadian Pro Triathlon Championship in Caledon, Ont. The word is that the PTO is negotiating with a race organizer in Germany, too, and hopes to work with another event in the UK, too. And, of course, there’s the big US$1 million prize purse the PTO is looking to put up at Challenge Daytona in December.

Related: PTO provides prize purse for Canadian Pro Triathlon Championship

It’s all part of a regional approach the PTO has taken to provide support to pro athletes around the world.

“With travel restrictions in place, the small number of races available are mostly regional events,” says PTO Board member and two-time Olympic gold medalist Alistair Brownlee in a press release about the support for the Helvellyn event. “It is a tribute to the PTO’s mission for supporting athletes and the triathlon community that PTO Professionals in different regions have been able to come together to work with local organizers. We are very grateful to the UK PTO Professionals who have worked with Race Director Rob Wilkins and his Helvellyn Triathlon team to support the Helvellyn event and are pleased that there are other groups of PTO Professionals in regions like Canada and elsewhere doing the same.”

PTO board member Alistair Brownlee competes at the Ironman World Championship in 2019. Photos: Kevin Mackinnon Related: How Chrissie Wellington’s legs sold the PTO

According to Charles Adamo, the Executive Chairman of the PTO, they offered to work with Ironman as well, but the company wasn’t interested.

“We approached Ironman,” Adamo told Mark Livesey during the Triathlon Brick Session podcast. “They had a slightly different attitude in that they told us it was against their long-standing policy to have people support their professional races. We said OK, we offered to help, and we’re going to continue to help people who want to receive whatever help we can provide. It didn’t fit in with their [Ironman’s] model.”

A source at Ironman has confirmed that the PTO did approach the company. Specifically for two races in Brazil – Ironman 70.3 Florianopolis (which was rescheduled to August and the for a second time to Sept. 27) and Ironman Brazil (which was rescheduled to September then for a second time to Nov. 8). According to the source, when Ironman rescheduled the events they made them age-group only races since the new dates would conflict with the Ironman World Championship in Kona (at that point the race hadn’t been postponed or cancelled). The organization was also not sure that any racing would be possible this year, a fear that has been borne out – after rescheduling both races twice, they’ve been cancelled for 2020.

The PTO got involved with the events in Brazil to try and support a new organization of professional triathletes in the country, Nosso Triathlon Brazil, which includes about 80 pro and elite triathletes. According to Olympian and Ironman champion Reinaldo Colucci, the PTO offered to put up $40,000, the original prize purse for the two events, after the local race organizers said they couldn’t afford to put up the prize money.

After Ironman declined to take the PTO (through Nosso) up on its offer, the group approached Challenge Florianopolis to see if they would be interested in working with them. They were – as of now the Challenge Florianopolis race is scheduled for December 13 and will include a US$60,000 prize purse as the race organization is going to add $20,000 to the money being put up by the PTO.

Competing race organizations

Our source also says that earlier this year the PTO reached out to Ironman, requesting that it give them $2.5 million that could be distributed to pro athletes to help them during the difficult times brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The PTO declined to comment on that request, but we imagine that the group was looking to build on its own $2.5 million payout to pros – it handed out US$2.5 million to the top-100 ranked athletes in its standings in April, in addition to the prize money augmentation its been doing at other events now that they are starting up.

Related: PTO increases pro athlete bonuses and delivers money right away

It hardly comes as a surprise that Ironman isn’t looking to work with the PTO any time soon. From where Ironman is sitting, the PTO are competitors. While, to date, the events the group has been supporting have been organized by others, next May the much-anticipated Collins Cup will be put on by the PTO. According to the PTO that event will feature in depth and innovative coverage, along with a whopping US$2 million prize purse. Last year the Ironman World Championship offered US$650,000 in prize money.

Make no mistake, the PTO is looking to create a major triathlon event that will rival the biggest races in the sport.

It probably doesn’t help that the PTO made a public declaration that it wanted to buy Ironman earlier this year, either. You can’t go from calling out an organization for not being able to serve the sport because it is too much in debt, to suddenly being best pals and working together at races.

The PTO likely wants to get the message out to people that they’re willing to work with Ironman to help pro athletes around the world. Ironman might have been all for that idea if the PTO wasn’t in the process of starting to put on races.

Ironman has never been able to crack the dilemma of how to make money from pro racing – for them the books get balanced by the age groupers. So, even if the PTO starts with a pro-centred focus, many in the industry (especially the folks at Ironman) believe that whether they like it or not, at some point they’ll have to look to age group athletes to help the bottom line.

What makes it all so complicated is that the last thing many of the PTO’s members want to do is butt heads with the largest events company in the sport, and the one that puts on arguably triathlon’s most recognizable race. So, while the PTO needs to try and maintain a relationship with Ironman, it’s only going to become more of a challenge.

The post Ironman takes a pass on prize money help from the PTO appeared first on Triathlon Magazine Canada.

Wetsuit Review Series: Dare2Tri Mach 4.1Fina

Triathlon Magazine Canada 2 weeks 5 days ago

With the recent pandemic many of us have swapped the pool for the open water. No problem during the summer months, but as temperatures start to drop, now might be a good time to consider investing in a wetsuit. Look no further –  currently on sale for half the original price, the Mach 4.1Fina certainly doesn’t skimp on the technical features. As the name suggests, the suit is approved for open-water swim events, too.

A little tricky to get into (without the help of a friend) Dare2Tri’s Mach 4.1 wetsuit fits extremely well once in place and the four-way stretch works well with different body shapes without feeling too baggy or constricting. The unique neck closure also ensures that even if you don’t fasten it quite as intended, you won’t feel any scratching, as the Velcro has been reversed so only the soft outer material makes contact with the skin.

Despite how tight the wetsuit may be into get into, especially across the back and shoulders, it is surprisingly supple. Dare2Tri suits are known for their flexibility and ease of movement around the shoulder area, and the Mach 4.1 doesn’t disappoint in this regard. The super-thin 1.0mm superFlex neoprene is reinforced with an UltraFlex lining under the arms that reduces the resistance with each stroke, which increases rotation and reach. Over time (and distance) this helps maintain good technique and reduces the overall fatigue throughout the upper body. In addition, the chest panel is specifically shaped to offer some extra space and flexibility during the recovery phase of the stroke, which further improves technique and reduces the associated fatigue.

The Limestone neoprene used to make the Mach 4.1, has a high micro cell structure which boasts 94 per cent cell penetration, over 30 per cent more than oil-based neoprene. In short, this high density micro structure leads to greater impermeability, stretch, and durability, and it’s lighter and warmer too. Most notable however, are the incredibly buoyant Stability panels on each side of the wetsuit. Made from Airfloat neoprene, they encourage the body to roll between strokes and, together with the 3 mm thickness of the panel on the rear of the leg, help the body maintain an optimum position in the water.

Even though the sleeves are ultra-thin, the materials selected are tear proof, and so, drastically reduce the chance of popping through the legs and sleeves even if you are using the wetsuit far more frequently than you might have pre-covid. It is currently on sale from $375, a great price for a suit that can either serve as racing suit once we’re racing, or a comfortable training option for your open-water efforts.

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The Life of Tri Podcast: Glen Murray is Korupt Vision

Triathlon Magazine Canada 2 weeks 5 days ago

One of the best in the business at shooting stills and moving imagery in the sport, Glen Murray has been covering the sport both in Australia and around the world for many years. Phil Wrochna catches up with the photo legend in this week’s podcast.


Listen to this week’s podcast on iTunes or Spotify

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Kienle’s frank (and funny) Davos recap, and Tallinn preview

Triathlon Magazine Canada 2 weeks 6 days ago

Sebastian Kienle is trying it again. After lining up at Challenge Davos last weekend (before the race was cancelled due storms), the 36-year-old German will race the Ironman 70.3 Tallinn (formerly Otepää) on Saturday, Sept. 5.

How was racing in Davos?

It was horrible. It was like meeting your crush from high school, and she’s the most beautiful woman in the world, and then you’re having dinner with her, you think “oh, nice, I’m dating her,” but actually no, you’re not. She’s just leaving when you go to the toilet. That’s how you feel. You get excited about the race, and then you realize it’s not gonna happen. And it’s really bad, even worse than not having a race at all.

But this Saturday, you’ll have another crack at that date, won’t you?

It will be the second chance to meet her and finally put a ring on her finger, that’s the plan for Saturday. Here’s what I hope: First that the race is gonna happen, that we’re all gonna finish, everybody stays safe, and I want to be as good as possible. That’s why we train and race. I’m a bit behind because I broke my collarbone two months ago, and especially on the TT bike, I’m still struggling a little bit, and this race is 99 per cent on the TT bike. But I’m just happy to be able to race.

The bike is still your strength. How is the bike course in Tallinn?

If you ride easy, a hilly course is always more difficult. But if you want to go fast, a flat course can actually be more challenging than a hilly course because you have to be continually pedalling and constantly putting out the power numbers. Therefore, it’s much more challenging for many people to ride a fast course because you need to be in the aero position all the time and constantly push the power on the pedals. Let’s find out on Saturday. A lot of people were active on Zwift this year, and this is actually like a Zwift race.

Photo: Gertrud Alatare/Ironman Estonia

How was your first flight since March?

The crazy thing is that I’ve been a professional athlete for more than 15 years. I’ve been used to be on the road for more than 180 days, and you’re used to the constant push of adrenaline to go to the next place and race. And then you spend all those months at home, and it can be quite depressing. In the beginning, I really loved it, and it was good to do some work around the house, but at one point, you get itching and want to be on the road again. It was nice to be able to travel again.

How were the safety procedures during the flight and at the registration?

We constantly checked the list of European countries and their infection rates per 100,000 people [requirements from the Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs]. We know Germany would have been close or above 16 [the threshold to above which Estonia required self-isolation upon arrival for people from those countries], but last Friday, we got the news that with a double negative test (one at home 72 hours before your travel, and one in Estonia after landing), we would have been free to travel and race. The procedure was pretty smooth, we only waited 20 to 30 minutes, but we had the result the day after we arrived. It added more cost to the trip (200 euros per person). Still, everybody is just happy to be able to race, and I have a lot of respect for the people who managed to organize this event. It’s easier to cancel an event, but with the right safety measures in place, it’s still possible to race, and that’s what we try to do. Make life as normal as possible, without sacrificing the safety measures.

The post Kienle’s frank (and funny) Davos recap, and Tallinn preview appeared first on Triathlon Magazine Canada.

PTO provides prize purse for Canadian Pro Triathlon Championship

Triathlon Magazine Canada 2 weeks 6 days ago

The Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO) is providing $20,000 for prize money at the upcoming Canadian Pro Triathlon Championship in Caledon, Ont. on Sept. 13.

The non-drafting Olympic-distance event is being put together by Canadian members of the PTO.

“It has been a difficult year for everyone in our sport,” says PTO pro Jackson Laundry, one of the organizers of the race. “PTO Professionals have been very fortunate that the PTO paid out $2.5 million to over 200 professional triathletes to help many survive. We are all eager to race, but the restrictions have been difficult to overcome.”

From left: Cody Beals, Jackson Laundry and Taylor Reid on the podium after one of the C3 “old school” events. Photo: Trent Dilkie

Thanks to help from Barrie Shepley and the C3-Canadian Cross Training Club, the event will utilize the same course as the “old school” triathlon series run this summer. The swim will be done as a time trial separate from the bike and run – the athletes will start the bike in order of their swim finish.

The field is expected to include 10 men and women. Currently entered are:

Women:

  • Dominika Jamnicky
  • Tamara Jewett
  • Karol-Ann Roy
  • Amelie Kretz
  • Rachel McBride
  • Pamela Ann Bachelder St-Pierre
  • Kristen Marchant
  • Kira Gupta-Baltazar

Men:

  • Jackson Laundry
  • Taylor Reid
  • Cody Beals
  • Brent McMahon
  • Jason Pohl
  • Jeremy Briand
  • Charles Paquet
  • Liam Donnelly
  • Tristen Jones
  • Francis Lefebvre

Find out more about the event here.

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