GREAT BRITAIN

There were only seventeen British athletes in Kona, and I'm surprised the total was that low. This country has a lot of fast short course athletes, both men and women, and there just hasn't been very much of a segue into Ironman distance racing. I've heard the opinion voiced more than once that Simon Lessing could've already had a couple of Kona titles under his belt had he chosen to go in that direction, but he never has. Ironically, Lessing's arch rival through most of both their careers is Britain's star Ironman racer: Spencer Smith.

There's been a sputtering, off-and-on attempt to get an Ironman sited in the British Isles, but what with last year's foot and mouth scare and various other hiccups it's been hard getting one off the ground. That's all this country needs—its own Ironman—and then there'll be long course fever here (the British are always game for a challenge).

Of the seventeen who did come to Kona ten of them rode road race bars, seven pursuit bars. A dozen rode shallow and five chose steep seat angle configurations.

This is Profile Design country, which is funny considering Syntace is a European brand. Eleven rode Profiles, two were on Syntace and two were on Cinelli bars as well.

Only one out of the seventeen in the race rode on a 650c-wheeled bike.

Nine of the bikes were made of aluminum, five of carbon, three of titanium, and none of steel.

There was no overwhelming choice of bike model. There were three Treks ridden by British riders and that brand was the "winner." There were two each Litespeeds, Principias, Looks, and Giants.