Weekend Box May 18, 2014

We cover Ironman Lanzarote, 70.3 Barcelona, 70.3 Aix de Provence, XTERRA Southeast Championships, the Memphis in May mud fest Triathlon and clever triathlon cross training in Germany in the Weekend Box of May 18, 2014. We covered Ironman Texas, Rev3 Knoxville and the WTS Yokohama events in separate features.

Guillaume and Gossage rule Lanzarote

Romain Guillaume captured a big and impressive win in Lanzarote in 8:47:39. His 4:56:07 race best bike split may not sound impressive, but this course is not where you go for records. Athletes go to Lanzarote to see what they have got against nature, and hopefully capture a Kona slot if racing as an age group athlete. Miquel Blanchart was second Pro with a race best 2:48:12 run and a final time of 8:58:06 and Bert Jammaer finished third in 9:00:44.

“Today was cool. Everything went well. It was almost the perfect race. The race of my life,” said Guillaume. “My swim was good and I felt strong on the bike. I didn’t necessarily attempt to create a big gap; I just wanted to do my own race. In the marathon, I tried to follow the pace my coach set out. At kilometer 24, I saw Bert coming so I pushed a little harder. With 5k to go, I knew I was safe. For the longest time everybody thought I was not a good runner. Me included. Which meant in races I always focused on going all out on the bike. My new coach Yves Cordier told me I really am a strong runner. Turns out I am. I am proud. Plus, I am almost sure of my Kona slot.”

Brit Lucy Gossage ran down German Susan Blatt to capture the 2014 Ironman Lanzarote title. Blatt’s 5:27:07 effort on the bike was fastest on the day and beat Stefanie Adam’s split by about 1.5 minutes. Who is Adam? Adam had the fastest bike split in Kona (4:49:54) in 2013 where she raced as an age grouper, but this Belgian now races as a Pro and ended up 6th. Corinne Abraham finished 3rd, but she likely felt happy about her effort, after she broke her sacrum in August last year.

“It was so challenging to not be as strong as I have been previously and to stay positive whilst everyone else was pulling away from me on the bike course,” said Abraham. “The support I got along the course gave me much-needed encouragement. It helped me to keep pushing. In the marathon, I just tried to keep a steady pace, run my own race. I was pleased to run without pain or secondary issues related to the injury, and to pick up a few places. Overall, I am really happy it went well and that I was able to perform for the team.”

Ironman Lanzarote
Lanzarote, Spain / May 17, 2014
2.34m swim / 112m bike / 26.2m run

Top men

1. Romain Guillaume (FRA) 8:47:39
2. Miquel Blanchart (ESP) 8:58:06
3. Bert Jammaer (BEL) 9:00:44
4. Joel Jameson (GBR) 9:08:32
5. Henrik Hyldelund (DEN) 9:09:14

Top women

1. Lucy Gossage (GBR) 9:41:40
2. Susan Blatt (GER) 9:44:59
3. Corinne Abraham (GBR) 9:51:41
4. Kristin Möller (GER) 10:05:55
5. Saleta Castro (ESP) 10:12:35

Inaugural 70.3 Barcelone goes to Sudrie and Pedersen

Rasmus Petraeus was first out of the calm Mediterranean Sea in 22:49, but he had barely 20 seconds on a small group that included several of the favorites.

Sylvain Sudrie and Jan Van Berkel then stomped the bike segment hard and that gave these two athletes the lead. Van Berkel ended up having the fastest bike split with a fine 2:22:01 on this very challenging course, but Sudrie who was only a few seconds slower on the bike ended up with the best running legs of the two. Will Clarke’s 1:13:24 proved to be fastest on the day and that allowed the Brit to charge into second place. The top spot on the podium however went to Sudrie who was solid in every discipline. The final podium spot went to Bruno Pais who also ran down the now struggling Van Berkel.

Camilla Pedersen showed in Barcelona with a super dominating performance that she put aside most of the physical ailments she received in a horrible accident several months ago. The Danish Pro had such a huge advantage after the bike segment that she could cruise home on the run and still had an 18-minute advantage over German Pro Katja Konschak. Fellow German Diana Riesler was third.

Ironman 70.3 Barcelona
Calella, Spain / May 18, 2014
1.2m swim / 56m bike / 13.1m run

Top men

1. Sylvain Sudrie (FRA) 4:02:4
2. Will Clarke (GBR) 4:06:03
3. Bruno Pais (POR) 4:06:53
4. Jan Van Berkel (SUI) 4:08:33
5. Victor Del Corral (ESP) 4:08:40

Top women

1. Camilla Pedersen (DEN) 4:36:16
2. Katja Konschak (GER) 4:53:41
3. Diana Riesler (GER) 4:59:13
4. Tine Holst (DEN) 5:04:48
5. Helena Herrero (ESP) 5:07:52

French athletes strike gold at Aix en Provence

After relatively balanced efforts by French Pros Bertrand Billard and Jérémy Jurkiewicz in every discipline, the advantage at the end went to Billard who managed to take the win at the Ironman 70.3 Aix en Provence in 3:58:27. Billard also had the fastest bike split with a 2:14:11. Jurkiewicz finished second 47 seconds later and Spanish Pro Albert Moreno Molins grabbed 3rd place with a 3:59:44 and the race best run of 1:11:15. World Champion Frederik Van Lierde finished fourth.

French Pro Jeanne Collonge who is well known for her bike prowess and superb position on the bike, captured the women’s race with a magnificent 1:18:49 run in 4:27:11. She had to run down Belgian Tine Deckers who had the fastest bike split with a 2:31:10 effort. Gina Crawford rounded out the podium.

Ironman 70.3 Aix en Provence
Aix en Provence, France / May 18, 2014
1.2m swim / 56m bike / 13.1m run

Top men

1. Bertrand Billard (FRA) 3:58:27
2. Jérémy Jurkiewicz (FRA) 3:59:14
3. Albert Moreno Molins (ESP) 3:59:44
4. Frederik Van Lierde (BEL) 4:00:19
5. Boris Stein (GER) 4:01:57

Top women

1. Jeanne Collonge (FRA) 4:27:11
2. Tine Deckers (BEL) 4:28:38
3. Gina Crawford (NZL) 4:30:30
4. Lewis Lewis (GBR) 4:33:10
5. Susie Hignett (GBR) 4:33:26

Middaugh and Duffy rule XTERRA Southeast

Regional favorite Craig Evans had a 45 second lead over Josiah Middaugh at the end of the bike segment and after the weather played a few games with the athletes. It had rained hard early before the race and was calm as the athletes started the race, but a dark cloud brought more rain and tough visibility as the athletes were racing on their bikes through the woods.

Middaugh managed to chase down Evans to take the win in 2:18:32, but it was not an easy task.

“It was a lot closer than I realized,” said Middaugh. “I know Craig is stronger this year than ever but that was a big surprise to see him off the front and how hard and fast he was running. He was running fast, he was out of sight, and it took me a long time to catch him. It took everything I had today, and that’s the way it should be.”

Evans finished second in 2:19:29, and South African Brad Weiss finished third in 2:20:50. Dan Hugo had an off day and finished 6th.

Flora Duffy seems to have found her calling in off road triathlon and the fast Bermudan knocked one out of the park in Pelham, Alabama at the XTERRA Southeast Championships. She swam and ran fast, but it was her mountain biking that impressed most onlookers. She cranked out the fastest bike split on the way to a superb win in 2:32:04.

“Mountain biking obviously was my weakness last year but I worked really hard on it over the winter and that seems to be paying off, and I think it’s kind of like my secret weapon right now,” said Duffy. “I think I showed my skills are improving, and it’s really a boost to my confidence.”

Emma Garrard finished second and Suzie Snyder captured the final podium spot.

XTERRA Southeast Championships
Pelham, AL / May 17, 2014

Top men

1. Josiah Middaugh (USA) 2:18:32
2. Craig Evans (USA) 2:19:29
3. Bradley Weiss (RSA) 2:20:50
4. Mauricio Mendez (MEX) 2:20:51
5. Branden Rakita (USA) 2:21:02

Top women

1. Flora Duffy (BER) 2:32:04
2. Emma Garrard (GBR) 2:36:05
3. Suzie Snyder (USA) 2:39:31
4. Christine Jeffrey (CAN) 2:41:06
5. Chantell Widney (CAN) 2:41:17

Jimmy Seear and Lauren Brandon take Memphis in May mud fest

Memphis in May features a time trial start where male and female Pros start alternating every 10 seconds. That makes it very tough to know where you are in terms of placing, but this year was made even more so difficult with an extremely muddy transition area after a heavy downpour. The bikes of many athletes looked like cyclocross machines when it was all said and done.

Aussie Jimmy Seear took the men’s race ahead of Colorado residents Rodolphe Von Berg and Jordan Jones. Seear had the fastest swim, and some of the best bike and run efforts on the way to a 1:46:11 overall time.

“I only passed 2 athletes on the bike but jumped off in 3rd and exited onto the run in second,” said Seear to slowtwitch. “Transition was very hectic with heavy rain turning the grass into ankle deep mud. I ran hard and managed to take the overall lead by 1.5 miles.”

The bike of third place finisher Jordan Jones looked every bit like he had participated in a cyclocross event, but Jones ended up with the fastest bike split in Memphis.

Lauren Brandon took the women’s title in 1:59:20, and held off Hallie Blunck and Abby Geurink.

Memphis in May Triathlon
Memphis, TN / May 18, 2014
1.5k swim / 40k bike / 10k run

Top men

1. Jimmy Seear (AUS) 1:46:11
2. Rodolphe Van Berg (USA) 1:46:46
3. Jordan Jones (USA) 1:48:04
4. Barrett Brandon (USA) 1:49:52
5. Justin Metzler (USA) 1:50:07

Top women

1. Lauren Brandon (USA) 1:59:20
2. Hallie Blunck (USA) 2:00:29
3. Abbie Geurink (USA) 2:00:31
4. Calah Schlabach (USA) 2:03:43
5. Molly Roohi (USA) 2:06:40

Clemens Coenen cross training

We often struggle to juggle chores at home with important training sessions and German athlete Clemens Coenen came up with a smart idea to tackle both his lawn and get a bike effort in. The grass looks certainly fine and the next day Coenen finished second at the Sprint Tri in Hameln, Germany. So no more excuses for having to do chores.