Terenzo Bozzone beat an impressive field at Ironman 70.3 Kansas and has looked very strong so far this year. Fueled perhaps by his disappointment of not making the Kiwi Olympic Team, he now seems tough to beat at the 70.3 distance.
ST: Terenzo, congrats on winning Ironman 70.3 Kansas. That must be very satisfying.
Terenzo: Of course, winning, there is no other feeling like that of winning a race and conquering your goals. Going into Kansas I knew that it was going to be the hardest of the races, not only because it would be my third Half in 15 days but also with one of the tougher fields with Crowie (Craig Alexander) and Simon Lessing. But I did feel it out there and had to have patience the first half of the race when the leaders where riding away from me, but luckily the blood started pumping to the legs at the 40km mark and things started to come right for me.
ST: If not for the penalty at Eagleman 70.3, you may have been 3 for 3 in terms of recent starts and wins at 70.3 races. Can you share your thoughts?
Terenzo: The idea of these Non-Drafting races were so appealing to me because of the huge decrease in politics from the ITU/ Olympic stuff, but it is hard getting a 4 minute penalty for something so pathetic. At World Champs in Clearwater last year Jimmy Riccitello stated that if there is a line of athletes separated by 10 meters then an athlete who wanted to pass, would have to pass the whole group, not slot in half way through forcing another athlete to jam their brakes on. In any case, when Bryan Rhodes passed me and he slipped within 10 meters of the guy in front of me and he should have gotten the penalty, but I got the penalty, after Rhodes forced me to slow down in the first mile of the bike on a technical part of the road. But that wasn’t the only joke of the day, Chris Legh also received a penalty after riding the second group up to the leaders then who knows what, but it was obvious he was one of the stronger guys in the group. I suppose with anything you do in life there are going to be times like this and I think the big challenge for me is how well I can handle these situations and not let them pull me down. In regards to going 3 for 3, it would have been epic, I might need to give it a go next year!!!
ST: You made quite an effort to make the Olympic Team in triathlon and narrowly missed that 3rd spot. How did you deal with the disappointment?
Terenzo: It was bigger than a huge disappointment. At the end of 2006 when I wasn’t running (I had a knee injury after crashing into a car), I decided that the Olympics is what I wanted and I was going to do everything I could to put myself in the best position to win. After going in for surgery in February, I started running at the end of March and started racing ITU triathlons in May to earn enough points to get a start at World Champs, where I ended up finishing 7th. I got taken out on the bike in our 1st selection race and had a strong but not perfect race at our 2nd selection race in Mooloolaba. I didn’t meet the top 5 criteria and so it was now up to selectors discretion. This did worry me a bit because there is some history of skeletons in their cupboards. The biggest disappointment to me though was that I didn’t feel I achieved the results I was prepared for. I had my biggest learning curve in my last 2 ITU races and found some important key points that I needed to understand in order to race this type of event well. It would have been great to be on the team with Bevan, Kris and Shane, and I have a lot of respect for them and enjoy racing along side them. But with only 3 guys going, I hope that NZ gets the medals they were hoping for.
ST: What else do you have on your race schedule this season?
Terenzo: 1st and foremost, I need to get some base training under my belt, so that is what July and August will be based around. I have really enjoyed the racing over the past month so I am going to keep a few races going through this phase, so I will plan to race Timberman and Singapore 70.3’s in August and Vineman 70.3 in July. I am going to Kona to hang out with the Specialized team and see what the big race is all about. Then to finish off the year I will aim to hit Clearwater nice and hard.
ST: What is your athletic background and who or what inspired you to race triathlons?
Terenzo: I used to be a breaststroke swimmer at a national level but my freestyle was nothing to write home about. It took me a while to get that up to speed for the ITU racing.
But to make a long story short, I perforated my eardrum wake boarding at the age of 13 and was eventually operated on and had to stay out of the water for a while. I couldn’t just do nothing so I borrowed a bike and gave a duathlon a go. I had always done a bit of running and managed to finish 8th in the junior division of the High School Nationals. I just loved the variety of the sport and when I was allowed back in the water just naturally progressed into tris.
ST: Please describe a typical hard training week for us.
Terenzo: I won’t spill any secrets here but part of the reason I enjoy the longer stuff is because the harder you train the better you perform to a certain extent. I do welcome anyone to come down to sunny NZ over our summer and train with me, the weather is great and the terrain is the best in the world. I am fortunate to have a good friend of mine Paul Angland come out and smash my running miles with me when I am home, I am heading up to Portland, where my brother Dino is on a running scholarship, to train with his team.
ST: How you typically spend the off-season?
Terenzo: People often wonder and ask me why I always come home after a bunch of races or between training blocks, the answer has always been that I love it here, there is no place like home. I enjoy being around my family and my girl Kelly Lawrence who is starting up a handbag and jewelry range called ZABANA, so check out zabana.com in a few weeks. The weather here in winter is a little dodgy and we are in the middle of nowhere.
ST: Do you have any gripes about triathlon?
Terenzo: Of course, but life is too short to worry about things you cannot control. So I have learnt to do what I can where and when I can and not to worry about the things out of my control. But in saying that I know we do have it a lot better than some other sports out there and at the end of the day I do this sport because I love it, I love swimming, I love biking, I love running and love thinking about things I can do to go faster, and in this sport there is a shit load of information to think about.
ST: How are things going for you in terms of sponsorship?
Terenzo: Things are good, but you know… could always be better. Saucony and Specialized, my two main US sponsors picked me up two years ago and we have been working together great. Saucony has put a perfect new triathlon race shoe out, the Type 2A and Specialized has been great with all my bike needs and helped me save a few watts with my bike set-up, plus have you seen their new TT bike? I also have a large association here in New Zealand with Plumbing World. I am honored to be involved with them as they are all doing great things with the community. I remember back when the Tsunami hit Phuket, Plumbing World helped sponsor the development of a new school and hospital on a Phi Phi island. They also have a charity event to raise funds for the youth at risk in New Zealand and one of the charities that I am an ambassador for is a beneficiary of some of the funds raised.
Oakley are the shades that transform the geek and Profile–Design with their large range of product makes it possible for me to play with my set up to achieve maximum aero dynamic advantages. Blue Seventy have put out the most buoyant and flexible wet suit around and Zipp, well they just produce the fastest wheels out there. IQ Pilates here in Auckland have been helping me with my core and flexibility over the past few years and has made a huge difference, and my coach Jon Ackland of Performance Lab and I have been working together since early in my career and have been achieving a large number of our goals. There are also a number of other companies and individuals helping me to become the best triathlete in the world. So all in all I have a great team around me and I am extremely grateful.
ST: Regarding your bike fit, do you feel you are as dialed as you’d like to be?
Terenzo: If you have seen any pictures from the past 3 races, you will notice the Landis praying mantis aero set-up, it is definitely more aero but not at all comfortable. I always look for the edge wherever I can find it and there is definitely a large room for improvement with regards to set-up and aerodynamics.
ST: Do you follow any other sports?
Terenzo: I love watching extreme sports, like all that Red Bull stuff. Probably the only sport other than triathlon that I follow is tennis; it is the only sport I can watch for hours.
ST: Can you share with us some of your food likes and dislikes?
Terenzo: I try and stick to wheat and dairy free food, it helps me recover and feel better, but it is often quite hard to be healthy when you are living on the road and I find myself eating subway twice a day just because it is simple!!! But anyone close to me knows I am like a human vacuum cleaner, I just eat anything and enjoy it all, I don’t think I have any favorites, I just like eating period.
ST: What about music? Anything you listen to more often?
Terenzo: Here in New Zealand we have this one band called elemenop, they play some catchy tunes and have just released a new album, which I am going to buy this week. Other than that just what ever is going. My good friend and sometimes-training partner Kieran Doe, is big into the techno dance music and he trains pretty hard, so I might look into wrecking my eardrums that way.
ST: What was the last book you read?
Terenzo: Lance Armstrong- Tour De Force. Freaking awesome
ST: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Terenzo: 5 years, that is a little way down the track. Hopefully I would have done something epic and still be going strong, but I am a big believer in fate, so I know whatever happens is going to happen for a reason and I am sure something cool will come from it eventually.
ST: Is there anything else we should know about you?
Terenzo: Nope, I think I almost covered my life story in this interview, sorry for boring you.