First Look: HUUB Anemoi Aero Triathlon Suit

New in for testing: HUUB Anemoi Aero Triathlon Suit – £289.99

Chris Hovenden will be busy over the coming weeks and months with some brand new kit and equipment that has arrived for testing. One of those items is the latest triathlon kit from HUUB, the Anemoi Aero Triathlon Suit.

We’ll be bringing you a full review once Chris has had a chance to put it through its paces, but here are his initial comments on a product that has seen a collaboration with one of Great Britain’s fastest cyclists.


Website link / contact: www.huubdesign.com

HUUB has cultivated an image of pushing the boundaries when it comes to innovation. The HUUB Anemoi Aero Triathlon Suit already appears popular with professional long-distance triathletes (such as Elliot Smales, winner of IRONMAN 70.3 Weymouth 2018) and the Derby based company claims it is: ’The fastest trisuit on the market today…’

Elliot Smales IRONMAN 70.3 Weymouth 2018 - Huw Fairclough for IRONMAN
Photo: Huw Fairclough for IRONMAN

To design the Anemoi, HUUB linked up with former age-group triathlete turned cyclist (multiple national champion on the track and in time trials), Dan Bigham. Dan, more importantly, also happens to be an aerodynamicist. With Bigham’s input HUUB has sought to build on the popular Dave Scott Long Course Triathlon Suit, in particular its ability to help save you time on the bike leg.

It is commonly accepted that when on the bike your body accounts for approx. 80% of your drag and that aerodynamics are a significant factor when travelling at anything above 10 mph. If you’re serious about improving at triathlon you should be considering how to become more aero on the bike.

HUUB Anemoi Aero Triathlon suit

In its drive to provide the fastest suit possible, the HUUB Anemoi Triathlon suit looks to incorporate some impressive tech:

Aerodynamic materials are faster through the air than your bare skin (even if shaved) – that’s why pro-cyclists often sacrifice a good tan-line for shorts that end closer to the knee than mid-thigh and HUUB has taken this on board when designing the Anemoi, the arms come close to the elbow and the legs end just above the knee.

HUUB Anemoi Aero Triathlon suit

The shoulders and back are ribbed to help you cheat the wind, whilst the underarm is netted to aid ventilation. There is also a netted rear pocket which is said to be ‘aero’.

HUUB Anemoi Aero Triathlon suit

HUUB says that the cut of the suit uses its Arms Neutral™ design to aid swim comfort as well as aero efficiency on the bike.

Interestingly, neoprene strips (Neoprene Trip Technology – patent pending), run down your thighs. I expect the concept is similar to that of the ATS™ strips and calf-guards, both normally found on your lower leg, that are extremely popular in domestic time-trialling.

HUUB Anemoi Aero Triathlon suit

The HUUB Anemoi Aero Triathlon suit is available in two colour ways: Black/Petrol or Black/White.

I’ll be putting the Huub Anemoi Aero Triathlon Suit through its paces in the coming weeks and the early season. Full review to follow.

HUUB Anemoi Aero Triaathlon Suit

Slovenian Martin Lavrič wins Zwift Academy Program

Earlier this year we saw (HERE), Zwift launched the Specialized Zwift Academy Program within triathlon, where Great Britain’s Bex Rimmington was one of the four selected athletes.  She subsequently qualified for and then raced at the 2018 IRONMAN World Championship in Kona.

That triathlon project followed on the heels of previous Academy initiatives in cycling, a direction which continues to gain huge interest with 30,000 entrants signing up for the recent Zwift Academy Program, to try and win a contract with the U23 Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka cycling team.

A Brit did make the final three this year – Ollie Peckover – but the winner has been announced as Martin Lavrič from Slovenia. Full press release below – along with an excellent video insight into their final selection process in Cape Town recently.


Slovenian rider emerges as the strongest of 30,000 Zwift Academy entrants to claim professional contract with Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka U23 UCI Pro Cycling Team

Zwift, the global online fitness platform for cyclists, has confirmed Martin Lavrič as the winner of the second annual Men’s Zwift Academy Program. Lavric will join the U23 Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka for 2019.

The groundbreaking talent ID program saw a record 30,000 riders enter for 2018. While most participate as a means to improve fitness, U23 athletes seized the opportunity to compete for a professional contract with Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka.

19 year old Lavric emerged as the pick of the three finalists who travelled to Team Dimension Data’s end of season camp in Cape Town, South Africa.

“This is a dream come true!” says Martin emphatically. “I entered Zwift Academy with an eye on a semi-final place, as I wanted to win an Elite smart trainer, but I walked away with a pro contract! I have experience racing at a UCI continental level, but this was a huge opportunity for me to get noticed by a top professional cycling team. It will be a huge change, but I’m really relishing the opportunity.”

Zwift Academy
Photo: Craig Kolesky

Lavric fended off Alex West (New Zealand) and Ollie Peckover (Great Britain) to secure a 1 year contract for 2019.

“Quite of few of us here at Dimension Data are big fans of Zwift, so the Academy is is something great to be a part of.” commented Level 25 Zwifter Edvald Boasson Hagen. “A few of the senior riders live in Tuscany, where the U23 team are based and I’m sure they’ll keep a watchful eye on Martin.”

All riders were under heavy scrutiny, having to complete a strict series of workouts and races both in the main draw, and throughout the semi finals. Completing the workouts gave Zwift’s panel of expert coaches the opportunity to look at each rider’s power profiles and ascertain where their strengths and weaknesses lay. The Zwift races meanwhile, serve as a great test of racecraft, proving that these riders not only have impressive power profiles, but that they also know how to deploy that power in the most effective means possible. Zwift Academy races presented opportunities for various types of riders and included circuit races, for powerful riders, climbing circuits for lightweight riders and also TT races for those able to go solo. All three finalists really impressed the Zwift Academy Coaching panel with their raw ability.

Zwift Academy
Photo: Craig Kolesky

“We’ve seen some really strong riders come through the Academy again this year.” says Elliot Lipski, Coach to Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka. “In fact, I think the pool of talent goes even deeper this year. It’s not just a numbers game, it’s also important to see how the riders react to different scenarios out on the road, how they communicate and how they fit in with the team. These are all incredibly important skills when fitting into a team that spends a lot of time on the road and needs to function as a unit. Having spent some time with the riders here in Cape Town, We’re really confident in Martin. He showed real instinct out on the road, and the other riders took to him well. He’s got a great program with us at Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka and a direct route into the World Tour if he proves himself. Now is just the beginning.”

“This year’s Zwift Academy has been a step up again.” adds Eric Min, Zwift Co-Founder and CEO. “On a personal level, I got a lot from it, both in terms of fitness, and also through the enjoyment of leading rides and interacting with the community. I’d like to offer my congratulations to Martin. I’m really excited to see how he performs next year – we’ll be behind him all the way!”

The 2018 Zwift Academy, along with the Ride for Qhubeka challenge which took place during the week of the training camp, saw 850 bikes donated to Qhubeka, which will be distributed throughout South Africa in order to bring people in rural communities closer to healthcare, jobs, and education.

Zwift Academy

Video: The AeroCoach Tri Bike Shootout

VIDEO INSIGHT – THE ‘OLD VS. NEW’ AEROCOACH TEST

Two 1990s icons take on a modern super-bike in the wind tunnel

(Press the play button above to watch the full video)

We had an interesting email a couple of weeks ago from Xavier Disley, the founder and Director / guru / technology geek (!) behind AeroCoach (www.aero-coach.co.uk). Xavier is one of the ‘go to’ men in the industry on all things aerodynamics, technology, clothing and more, that are influencing many cycling and triathlon developments around the world.

They were heading to the wind tunnel at the new Boardman Performance Centre in Evesham to do some interesting research which had a fascinating triathlon connection. How would two classic and innovative 1990s bikes perform when measured against a modern superbike, which was produced within the more restrictive UCI rules?

Would we like to come along and watch it all happen? You bet we would… and so last Thursday we headed up the M40 to Worcestershire, to see how the data stacked up.

The Bikes

The modern bike would be one of the benchmark triathlon and time trial machines of recent years – which still performs fantastically – the Cervélo P5. The actual frameset being tested was previously owned by Frederik van Lierde, who also won the 2013 IRONMAN World Championship on a P5. It’s a bike with a well proven heritage.

AeroCoach 1990s Triathlon Bikes Wind Tunnel Shootout

The Cervélo would be tested against two 90s machines, the Zipp 3001 beam bike and – quite appropriately given the location and Chris Boardman’s connection to the brand – a Lotus 110.

1990s Triathlon Bikes Wind Tunnel Shootout with AeroCoach

Chris Boardman famously won Individual pursuit Gold at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics on a Lotus. He later set the Hour record (which still actually stands, now known as the ‘UCI Best Human Effort’ or ‘Ultimate Hour’, prior to rule changes introduced in 2014), of 56.375km, utilising the “superman-style”.

The Lotus 110 (pictured below) is the road/TT version of that iconic machine designed and developed by Mike Burrows / Lotus.

1990s Triathlon Bikes Wind Tunnel Shootout with AeroCoach

The Test

*** WATCH THE FULL VIDEO ABOVE FOR THE BEST INSIGHT ***

All three bikes were tested – both with and without the rider – having been set up as closely as possible in terms of components. The same front and rear wheels / tyres were used on all three bikes (an AeroCoach AEOX front and AEOX disc rear). The same 1X chainset was used on all three bikes. The Cervélo was tested with its standard 3T Aduro handlebars, while the Zipp and Lotus used a 3T Ventus bar (which was swapped between tests).

AeroCoach 1990s Triathlon Bikes Wind Tunnel Shootout
2017 UCI Gran Fondo World Champion Jessica Rhodes-Jones

The same rider, Alex, rode all three bikes in the same kit in the same position on all bikes, which is why you’ll see additional risers on the tribars on the Lotus, due to its lower stack height. While the P5 comes with integrated Magura brakes, the Zipp and Lotus had TriRig Omega X calipers.

1990s Triathlon Bikes Wind Tunnel Shootout with AeroCoach
Former National 10 Champion, Richard Bussell, in mechanic mode between runs

Testing was carried out at a range of yaw angles from 0 to 15 degrees in 2.5 degree increments (the bike is attached to a rotating force plate within the wind tunnel). The yaw angle in simple terms reflects the effective wind angle that the rider experiences (a combination of the direction and speed of travel, with the direction and speed of wind).

1990s Triathlon Bikes Wind Tunnel Shootout with AeroCoach
The wind tunnel force plate

Looking only at ‘head on’ aerodynamics does not give a complete picture, with most considering the 0 to 10 degree range is reflective of the typical range of yaw angles you would experience in the real world.

AeroCoach 1990s Triathlon Bikes Wind Tunnel Shootout

The Results?

It was close… but modern wins. Watch the short video below for Xavier summing up the results, the initial findings and his thoughts shortly after the testing was completed.

YouTube video

Data?

Every aero data-geek likes a graph, right? First up, the CdA (Coefficient of Drag area), for each of the three bikes – with rider – across a range of yaw angles from 0 to 15 degrees. Aerodynamic drag is the major resistive force slowing you down on a bike, applying to both the bike itself and to a much larger degree, the rider. In simple terms, the lower your CdA the more aerodynamic you are, and the faster you can ride with the same power output.

As we can see here, the P5 out-performed the Zipp and the Lotus at all yaw angles.

1990s Triathlon Bikes Wind Tunnel Shootout with AeroCoach

Next, taking that data and converting it to power outputs (watts) required to travel at 45kph. This highlights that the Zipp 3001 and Lotus 110 were very close in terms of performance. The Cervélo was a clear winner – but the margin of victory was relatively small (four to five watts difference), suggesting that these 20+ year old bikes were still impressive performers, despite the advances in technology and developments over the past two decades.

1990s Triathlon Bikes Wind Tunnel Shootout with AeroCoach

What does that mean in practical terms?

Ok, so unless you are Cameron Wurf or Andrew Starykowicz, the chances are that you are unlikely to be completing an Ironman at 45kph average. So, what advantage might the P5 (in this example, for this rider), have over the Zipp and Lotus for a more typical Age-Group athlete, all other things being equal?

“For this athlete completing an Ironman bike split in five hours on the Cervélo, their power requirement would be just over 200 watts. That same physiological performance on the Zipp/Lotus would see them finishing approx. 1.5-2 minutes slower. For a six hour Ironman athlete, that time saving would be approx. 2.5-3 minutes.”

There is another interesting aspect to perhaps consider too. One of the advantages of the Zipp frame is that some athletes can find it more comfortable over longer distances because of the elastomer suspension of the beam. That 1.5-2 minutes ‘saving’ could easily be wiped out if back pain means you are not comfortable enough and have to sit up out of the aero position regularly.

Summary 

A fascinating result all round really. The modern classic, the Cervélo P5 – designed within the restrictions of the current UCI regulations – still performs faster than the two competitor bikes in this test. And that is measured against restriction free designs considered ground-breaking in their day.

At the same time, that we are two decades further on and these ‘old’ bikes still measure up well against a “cream of the crop” bike that you can buy today, means that should you be lucky enough to have one, you can also be quite content with your ride too.


A big thank you to Xavier and his AeroCoach team (Jessica Rhodes-Jones and Richard Bussell), for their invitation to follow this testing in person. Thanks for your time and answering our (many) questions on the day too. We’ve got more content coming from the day to be released soon.

For more information on AeroCoach, follow them on these links:

Lucy Gossage, Tom Vickery win LCW Mallorca. Again.

Favourites retain their titles over three days in Alcudia, Mallorca

As highlighted earlier today, the absence of Day Two leader, Caroline Livesey, from today’s Marathon on the third and final day of racing at Long Course Weekend Mallorca indicated that everything was pointing towards repeat winners. That proved to be one of the easier predictions to make, with both Lucy Gossage and Tom Vickery also winning the Marathon event overall, to finish with a comfortable winning margin in the overall standings.

Tom Vickery - Long Course Weekend Mallorca 2018
Photo – Rafa Babot / LCW Mallorca

Still on the return to fitness, Caroline did run the Half Marathon today – “Just took it steady and pelvis was pain free which is the main thing!” – and so she can be very content with her LCW experience, despite not being able to take on the full distance on the final day.

After a disappointing ride yesterday, Caroline’s husband Mark bounced back with a strong 2:56:54 marathon which brought him right back up the standings, just missing the podium by 31 seconds.

https://twitter.com/MarkLiveseyTri/status/1056964163589861377

Third place in the Long Course Weekend women’s standings went to super-veteran, Michelle Parsons, who remains just as tough as she has for the last 20+ years having recently won the Hispaman Xtreme Triathlon at 52 years young.

Marathon Results – Monday 29th October 2018 (Day Three)

Women

1st – Lucy Gossage – 3:05:10
2nd – Karina Gomez Dixon – 3:09:54
3rd – Dominique Lothaller – 3:12:32
4th – Michelle Parsons – 3:14:11
5th – Anne Renshaw – 3:22:27

Men

1st – Tom Vickery – 2:45:39
2nd – Stuart Cobb – 2:50:23
3rd – John Collier 2:53:03
4th – Torben Wöhling – 2:53:39
5th – Mark Livesey – 2:56:54

Tom Vickery - Long Course Weekend Mallorca 2018
Photo – Rafa Babot / LCW Mallorca

Long Course Weekend Mallorca 2018 Results
Swim plus Bike plus Run

Women

1st – Lucy Gossage – 9:25:11
2nd – Karina Gomez Dixon – 9:50:27
3rd – Michelle Parsons – 9:55:05
4th – Ruth Ziethe – 10:43:40
5th – Emma Richards – 10:56:00

Men

1st – Tom Vickery – 8:38:39
2nd – John Collier – 8:56:24
3rd – Brian Hosty – 9:07:20
4th – Mark Livesey – 9:07:51
5th – Ryan Williams – 9:16:19

Follow Long Course Weekend Mallorca:

Long Course Weekend Mallorca Day One: Caroline and Mark Livesey lead the way

Team Livesey lead the way in Alcudia after opening swim

The Husband and wife duo of Mark and Caroline Livesey hold a narrow lead after the first discipline at the second edition of Long Course Weekend Mallorca. Day One of the ‘iron-distance over three days’ format comprises the 3.8km swim in Alcudia Bay, followed by a 172km bike leg on Sunday and the Marathon on Monday.

The 2017 winners – Lucy Gossage and Tom Vickery – are second and third respectively after the 3.8km swim.

I’m particularly pleased to see Caroline back in racing action. As you may remember, Caroline suffered a road rage attack in May 2017 which resulted in a broken sacrum, something she has been dealing with the results of ever since and struggling to try and get back to full health and fitness, something we spoke to her about in January this year. Fingers crossed that the next couple of days go well for you.

Mark Livesey and defending champion Tom Vickery below!

Husband Mark – like Lucy Gossage – is using the Long Course event as preparation for the Patagonman Xtreme Triathlon taking place in Chile on 8th December.

Long Course Weekend Mallorca – Saturday 27th October 2018
3.8km Swim, Alcudia Bay

Women

1st – Caroline Livesey – 56:29
2nd – Lucy Gossage – 58:44
3rd – Sally Flewitt – 1:00:59

Men

1st – Mark Livesey – 52:05
2nd – William Poll – 53:53
3rd – Tom Vickery – 55:11

Mark Livesey - Long Course Weekend Mallorca 2018 / LCW Mallorca
Photo: Rafa Babot / LCW Mallorca

Lucy Charles: “Every single thing seems to be aching!”

“Thanks so much for the support… it really does mean the world”

The 2018 IRONMAN World Championship will be one for the memories – and certainly one that will require a re-writing of the record books! Second again (and inside the previous course record), it was another great day for Lucy Charles (read all about it HERE). Still feeling the pain of her efforts on Saturday, Lucy reflects here on a very special day.

Watch her video message above for her thoughts on an incredible race.

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#GBKona 2018: A personal message from Tim Don

“There were times this year I didn’t think I would get here”

It’s been one of the triathlon stories of the year, brilliantly reflected through the emotional documentary, The Man with the Halo.

12 months after breaking his neck on the course of the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, Great Britain’s Tim Don is back – and tomorrow, he will be entering the water on Dig Me Beach and starting the most iconic race in the sport alongside the world’s best. It’s been an incredible journey and a truly inspiring comeback.

With less than 24 hours until the cannon fires, Tim has sent through a personal message to Tri247 readers. Take his advice, enjoy your Kona party, cheer on the Brits – and perhaps raise a glass to a remarkable recovery.

Good luck Tim!

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2020 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship heading to Taupõ, New Zealand

2020 World Champs to New Zealand – with a late November date

Thursday’s Press Conference at the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, Hawaii also provided the opportunity for Andrew Messick, CEO and President of IRONMAN, to announce that the 2020 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship will be heading to Taupõ, New Zealand. Next year’s race will of course be held much close to home in Nice, France.

Here is the full announcement.


IRONMAN ANNOUNCES TAUPÕ, NEW ZEALAND AS HOST OF THE 2020 IRONMAN 70.3 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

IRONMAN, a Wanda Sports Holdings company, announced today that the right to host the 2020 IRONMAN® 70.3® World Championship triathlon has been awarded to Taupõ, New Zealand. This will be the first time IRONMAN® holds a world championship event in New Zealand and the second time this world-class event has been hosted in the Oceania region. The event will also move from its traditional late August-early September race date and will now take place on November 28-29, 2020 with the women racing on Saturday and the men racing on Sunday. This shift will take advantage of New Zealand’s peak time of year with mild temperatures in their late spring early summer months.

With a strong IRONMAN history that spans 20 years, Taupõ, New Zealand has been a host city to the IRONMAN New Zealand triathlon since 1999, and in 2017 received the IRONMAN Athletes’ Choice Awards for Best Host City Experience, Best Race Venue, Best Overall Run, Will Attend Next Year; becoming one of IRONMAN’s most iconic and popular events. The city also plays host to IRONMAN 70.3 Taupõ triathlon which earned the IRONMAN 70.3 Athletes’ Choice Award for Overall Satisfaction. The world championship is the pinnacle event in the IRONMAN 70.3 Series, and with the event’s global rotation that began in 2014, it showcases the best venues IRONMAN has to offer around the world.

https://www.facebook.com/IRONMANtri/videos/784671921877405/

“We are pleased to bring the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship back to the Oceania region,” said Andrew Messick, CEO and President of IRONMAN. “Taupõ is unique and beautiful destination with a local community that has embraced IRONMAN events and the thousands of athletes for 20 years now. We are excited to welcome some of the world’s most elite triathletes to what will no doubt be a fantastic world championship event.”

Athletes will have the chance to qualify for the 2020 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship triathlon at over 110 global qualifying events in locations such as Austria, China, Germany, Spain, South Africa, Sweden and the Americas.

“The two-day event attracts around 5,000 competitors, 13,500 supporters and media from all four corners of the globe,” said Taupō District Mayor David Trewavas. “This is as big as it is ever going to get. We are talking the best of the best. Winning the hosting rights for this event not only re-emphasises that our district is the Events Capital, but it also further cements Taupō as being the home of all things IRONMAN in New Zealand.”

The Great Lake Taupõ District is rich in history and is one of the world’s most unique and picturesque areas. Located within a short drive of New Zealand’s main centers, the Great Lake Taupõ district is at the epicenter of the North Island. Situated in the center of the North Island of New Zealand, you will find fascinating volcanic landscape and a cultural heritage dating back to the arrival of Māori in New Zealand in the 14ᵗʰ century. The Great Lake Taupõ District is one of the most pure, beautiful and unspoiled areas in the country and encompasses the lakeside towns of Taupõ, Turangi, Kinloch and Mangakino. As a popular year-round destination, it houses the largest freshwater crater lake in Australasia, geothermal attractions, and the mountains and ski areas of Tongariro National Park, a dual World Heritage National Park.

“We are thrilled to announce Taupõ, New Zealand as the host of the 2020 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship,” said Diana Bertsch, Vice President of World Championships for IRONMAN. “Taupõ is an incredible location and natural fit. New Zealand’s historical, cultural and familial ties to Hawai’i are significant and further connect our IRONMAN World Championship and IRONMAN 70.3 Championship events. This is an important milestone and we look forward to putting the scenic Great Lake Taupõ district on the world stage.”

The swim portion will take place in the beautiful waters of Lake Taupõ, followed by a single-loop bike course, and a run course that will entail two loops on Lake Terrace and the Lions Walk adjacent to Lake Taupõ. Athletes will finish on Lake Terrace next to Colonel Roberts Reserve. The IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship is part of a week-long festival that will include a range of lifestyle events for the community and visitors to enjoy.

“In IRONMAN circles, this is equivalent to the Rugby World Cup or Americas Cup so we have the opportunity to deliver something really special,” said District Events Manager Steve Giles. “This will give our community a chance to not only volunteer in an international event, but also to showcase our district like never before.”

Prior to the 2020 edition taking place in Taupõ, the 2019 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship is taking place on September 7 and 8, 2019 in Nice, France; it will be the first time IRONMAN holds a world championship event in France.

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Lucy Charles reveals Olympic Games Triathlon ambitions

“I haven’t ruled out the Tokyo Olympics”

It’s not the first time that it’s been suggested or talked about, but in a great video released this week by Zwift, Great Britain’s IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship Silver medallist, Lucy Charles, has spoken about a potential switch to ITU racing in the lead up to Tokyo 2020.

“I’ve definitely thought about doing the Olympic Distance… I’m definitely still young enough to have the speed for it… I haven’t ruled out the Tokyo Olympics”

Lucy would certainly have the support of one industry veteran, Brett Sutton, the coach of Lucy’s greatest rival over the 70.3 and Ironman distance, Daniela Ryf. He is also the coach of Nicola Spirig, Olympic Gold medallist in 2012 and Silver medallist at Rio 2016:

The Olympic Games certainly has a strong attraction for Charles, who had hoped to make it to London 2012 as an Open Water Swimmer. A change of sporting direction shortly after that would prove to be triathlon’s gain.

Is it a realistic target? Well, I think we can safely say that she has swimming ability covered and would, at the very least, be a match for the likes of Jess Learmonth, Flora Duffy and Katie Zaferes who have broken away in the water on numerous instances in recent years and often not been seen again until the finish.

Cycling – some additional technical skills of the draft-legal format would surely be towards the top of her ‘needs’ list, but given the ability she has shown to be able to pick up new sports and excel in those, that shouldn’t be a stumbling block. In truth, we’ve seen World Triathlon Series race winners achieve success in recent years while looking technically awful on two wheels. Flora Duffy is arguably the bike-handling benchmark right now, but Lucy would not have to reach her heights to be successful. In 2018 Daniela Ryf has shown that she is almost certainly the strongest female cyclist we have ever seen in Middle and Long distance triathlon, and during her ITU career Daniela won on the World Triathlon Series in Seoul (2010). Lucy came off the bike with her in South Africa this year. She can ride a bike.

Overall, with the appropriate adjustment in training, I don’t see anything to suggest that she wouldn’t be capable of reaching T2 with the leaders at WTS/World Cup level in relatively short time.

Running – as we know, you need to have run speed to reach the top in ITU racing and that might, at first glance, appear to be the biggest obstacle. However, check out Lucy’s progress over 5km over the last five years, all on the same Gunpowder parkrun course.

  • 2014 – 19:33
  • 2015 – 19:02
  • 2016 – 18:07
  • 2017 – 17:54
  • 2018 – 16:46

What’s interesting to note is that this progress has been achieved while focussed on – and improving ever year – at Middle and Long Distance triathlon. Her best 16:46 5km time was achieved one week before the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. That time would suggest that her current 10km time – run only – would be circa 35 minutes, arguably a little quicker than that given that the parkrun course is held on gravel tracks. That’s a very solid starting position for a just turned 25 year-old who has shown consistent year-on-year improvement – who doesn’t have a decade plus of running pedigree either.

The biggest obstacle to Lucy’s potential thoughts of serious ITU racing may well be the strength-in-depth of the current GB squad. With Vicky Holland, Georgia Taylor-Brown, Jessica Learmonth, Jodie Stimpson, Non Stanford and Sophie Coldwell currently leading the way and with others not far behind, simply getting race experience and access to top level racing could be difficult. Olympic selection begins in 2019 and competition for places to gain access to those selection races will be intense.

If Lucy is serious, the best thing she can do is post-Kona, sit down with the British Triathlon Performance Squad management and explain her ambitions and seek guidance as to where and how she can get ‘in’ to the racing programme as a non-funded athlete. Checking out the schedule for early season ETU Triathlon European Cup races might be a wise move too…

Will we be seeing much more of Lucy Charles on her Specialized road bike rather than the Shiv Tri bike from 2019?!

Lucy Charles Polar Cannes International Triathlon 2018

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Jonathan Brownlee: “I’ve had a terrible season”

“I’ve doubted myself quite a lot over the last few months”

After finishing fifth at this past weekend’s Super League Triathlon Jersey event, I spoke to 2012 ITU World Champion and two-time Olympic medallist, Jonathan Brownlee, about his SLT experience and his frustrating 2018 season.

A win at the Beijing International Triathlon, second at the Lausanne ITU Triathlon World Cup and a series of World Triathlon Series top ten finishes would be a dream season for some, but for an athlete that once went almost four years with close on 50 consecutive podium finishes, it is one – in his words – he regards as “terrible”.

In this piece Jonathan discusses mistakes he has made this year, getting injured, lacking confidence and outlines some of the things that he’s learned along the way. “I used to be able to throw any training I wanted at my body and it could take it and I would get fitter and come out the other side…”

Vicky Holland: World Champion talks Super League Triathlon Jersey

Vicky Holland is ready for the “pain” of Super League Triathlon

After an epic race at the 2018 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Gold Coast, Great Britain’s Vicky Holland became the 2018 ITU World Triathlon Champion.

12 months ago she was in Jersey for Super League Triathlon – but due to injury, in the role of presenter and commentator. This time around she is here and ready to race after a fantastic 2018 season.

I spoke to victory this morning about her season, that Grand Final battle with Katie Zaferes, the additional demands of a World Champion and what she’s looking forward to this weekend.

Watch the full interview above – and get in the mood for the weekend with the highlights reel from 2017 below.

https://www.facebook.com/Tri247/videos/325607331580586/

Challenge Sardinia 2018 is fast approaching

Challenge Forte Village Sardinia 2018

27-28 October 2018 – Forte Village Resort, Sardinia, Italy

As we hit mid-September, thoughts may be turning towards the off-season and taking your foot off the gas for a while. However, if you are still feeling strong, started your season late or would like to combine a late-season holiday with a race in a stunning location, then there are still options out there.

Now in its sixth year, Challenge Forte Village (www.fortevillagetriathlon.com) will be the final race of the 2018 Challenge Family European season. That will certainly ensure a top quality professional field as one of the last opportunities to secure points in the Challenge Family World Ranking and earn a share of the $165,000 bonus pool.

The event has always attracted British athletes, with Susie Cheetham winning in 2015 and Laura Siddall second in 2017. Laura will be racing again this year – and has this message to British athletes out there considering joining her.

YouTube video

The venue for the event if the 5* Forte Village Resort and the event is renowned for its great organisation and attention to detail. Competitors who choose to stay at the resort will benefit from a discount on their race registration, while staying at the venue also means having transition only seconds away from their rooms. Importantly, your carbo-loading will be aided by breakfast served being served from 4.30am on race day!

To get more of a feel for the event, check out these great images from the 2017 edition, courtesy of José Luis Hourcade.

Challenge Forte Village Sardinia (Photo: Jose Luis Hourcade)
Challenge Family Ambassador, Alistair Brownlee, was swimming in a Relay team
Challenge Forte Village Sardinia (Photo: Jose Luis Hourcade)
A big field of Age-Group athletes
Challenge Forte Village Sardinia (Photo: Jose Luis Hourcade)
Swim exit
Challenge Forte Village Sardinia (Photo: Jose Luis Hourcade)
Italy’s Giulio Molinari, winner of IRONMAN 70.3 Staffordshire 2017
Challenge Forte Village Sardinia (Photo: Jose Luis Hourcade)
ITU star Vicente Hernandez was performing well on the TT bike
Challenge Forte Village Sardinia (Photo: Jose Luis Hourcade)
There was a deep field of Pro athletes racing in Sardinia
Challenge Forte Village Sardinia (Photo: Jose Luis Hourcade)
Laura Siddall was soon at the front of the race…
Challenge Forte Village Sardinia (Photo: Jose Luis Hourcade)
…and it would be a head-to-head with Heather Wurtele (CAN) for most of the day
Forte Village Challenge Sardinia
Stunning coastal views on the bike course
Challenge Forte Village Sardinia (Photo: Jose Luis Hourcade)
Alessandro Degasperi (ITA)

Challenge Forte Village Sardinia (Photo: Jose Luis Hourcade)

Challenge Forte Village Sardinia (Photo: Jose Luis Hourcade)
Bart Aernouts would run through to second place

Challenge Forte Village Sardinia (Photo: Jose Luis Hourcade)

Challenge Forte Village Sardinia (Photo: Jose Luis Hourcade)
Laura Siddall continued to chase Heather Wurtele
Challenge Forte Village Sardinia (Photo: Jose Luis Hourcade)
The men’s Pro podium
Challenge Forte Village Sardinia (Photo: Jose Luis Hourcade)
The women’s podium

Social Media for the event:

Challenge Forte Village Sardinia

Watch Vicky Holland win the ITU World Championship

Video highlights: ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Gold Coast – Elite Women

You can read the extended report from the event HERE.

Final Series Standings:

  1. Vicky Holland, GBR, 5540
  2. Katie Zaferes, USA, 5488
  3. Georgia Taylor-Brown, GBR, 4183
  4. Kirsten Kasper, USA, 3887
  5. Jessica Learmonth, GBR, 3810
  6. Ashleigh Gentle, AUS, 3750
  7. Jodie Stimpson, GBR, 3658

ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Gold Coast

Mario Mola wins title, Vincent Luis the Grand Final

Vincent Luis repeats as World Triathlon Grand Final winner

12 months ago (HERE), the title was “Grand Final to Vincent Luis, World title for Mario Mola” – the same again this year for Gold Coast, as it was for Rotterdam.

Mario Mola’s ITU World Championship three-peat matched the three back-to-back championships of Javier Gomez from 2013 to 2015, as Spain continues its stranglehold on men’s ITU Senior Championship title. Such is his consistency, you certainly wouldn’t bet against him adding a fourth in 2019.

Also worthy of note is this – the top three finishers in this years World Series are all coached by former British Triathlon Head Coach, Joel Filliol.

Two weeks after second place at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, it wasn’t a good day for Alistair Brownlee who – along with Russell White (IRL) – was disqualified for not going around a swim buoy.

Here is the extended report from the ITU.


Luis wins WTS gold and Mola earns World title in magnificent Gold Coast finale

Vincent Luis capped a brilliant day for France on the Gold Coast on Sunday afternoon, following the team’s U23-Junior Mixed Relay World title with a WTS gold of his own on a blowy afternoon in Brisbane. Mario Mola’s own place in the sport’s history books was rarely in doubt as he crossed the line in second place looking typically assured en-route to securing a remarkable third Series win. South Africa’s Richard Murray crossed the line for a hard-earned bronze, while Jacob Birtwhistle’s seventh place saw him take Series bronze.

“I have a lot of feelings,” said Spain’s 2018 ITU World Champion Mola afterwards. “It has been a great season and finishing with a second place behind my training partner – it was a great race. I’ll try to make it four in a row next year and it’s in my hands to come back next year and be better.”

Vincent Luis was delighted with his second WTS Grand Final gold in as many years, a result that also saw him take second in the 2018 overall Series, saying; “I didn’t expect that. I felt good in the run and I thought ‘Why not attack? I’m third in the world, I have nothing to lose’. Plus, if I have to finish second to anyone, I’m happy it is Mario.”

The choppy waters made for difficult swim conditions, but Luis spearheaded the lead group at the halfway point, ever-present Richard Varga tucked in behind him with South Africa’s Henri Schoeman and Jonathan Brownlee in close pursuit.

The front trio looked that way through the first transition and onto the Gold Coast highway for the 40km, 8-lap ride. Schoeman, Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt, Luis and Brownlee pushing hard with France’s Dorian Coninx and Belgium’s Marten Van Riel, until Luis’ back wheel left him and he and van Riel hit the tarmac.

Quickly back up and riding, the only damage done was to the rhythm and momentum of that lead group, Van Riel then deciding to try and push out alone at the 20km mark, opening up an 11-second lead one lap later. He was soon caught, but then pushed on again, this time with Blummenfelt in tow, the pair driving forward with everything they had to try and earn some light ahead of the likes of Mola ahead of the run.

ITU World Triathlon Grand Final 2018

On the final lap it was Van Riel and Blummenfelt out front by 35 seconds while Mola joined Luis and Richard Murray who were jockeying for second place in the series with Birtwhistle, part of a train of more than 30 athletes mere seconds behind.

Then, with just over 1km to go and all the hard work of carving out that gap done, Van Riel suffered the heartache of a chain drop and Blummenfelt was into T2 solo with the prospect of a mentally difficult individual run ahead as he donned his trademark white headband.

ITU World Triathlon Grand Final 2018

Van Riel came into T2 now 28 seconds behind him but was lifted by the crowd. Just a few seconds back came the combined talents of Murray, Luis, Brownlee, Mola and Birtwhistle among a host of others.

Blummenfelt’s lead was shaved back by half by the time he came through to complete the first lap, followed 17 seconds behind by Henri Schoeman and Mario Mola.

At the u-turn with 6.5km to go, Blummenflet could clearly see the red suit of Mola bearing down on him and it wasn’t long before the inevitable next chapter played out. With 5km left of the run, Mola and Luis were right with the Norwegian. South Africa’s Murray and Schoeman and Pierre le Corre of France were also in touch while Vincent Luis had his eye firmly on second place in the overall 2018 standings, Birtwhistle chasing further back alongside Jonathan Brownlee.

It was Luis who took the bell, Murray and Mola right alongside him, and with 2.5km to go the Frenchman dropped them both. The Spaniard inevitably gave chase but Luis had timed his move to perfection, soaring through to the line with Mola crossing 13 seconds behind followed by Murray. Pierre le Corre outsprinted Blummenfelt down the chute for fourth, Birtwhistle’s seventh place ensuring him third in the overall standings and a frustrated Van Riel came in ninth.

Asked how he felt repeating compatriot Javier Gomez’s hat-trick of back-to-back world titles, Mola said; “Javier is an inspiration to me my whole career, someone I always look up to and who has set the path for all Spanish athletes, but I never imagined having three titles. I have to thank my coach for the last five or six years and my girlfriend – they have been there and created a perfect environment to keep me happy and going forward.”

Vincent Luis added afterwards; “I was a bit up and down around the Rio Olympics but I have a good balance now of all the things you need to put together before a race and to stay fresh. Mario is really consistent, he has won more WTS in three months than I have my whole life! If anyone had to beat me, I’m happy it is him.”

ITU World Triathlon Grand Final 2018

Richard Murray was delighted with his Grand Final bronze and his year as a whole. “The first World Series Olympic distance win this year, I proposed to my girlfriend and she said yes. That is awesome and finishing the season on the podium I couldn’t be happier. I wanted third overall in the year, that was my goal at the start of the season and I was short 40 or 50 points from third, so a bit of a bittersweet ending but overall coming third today after the way I came out of the water, I am pretty happy with it.”

Australia’s Jacob Birtwhistle was equally enjoying his moment on the Series podium, saying; “I had no idea what was going on but I was doing everything I could. Me and Jonny had a good little battle, and I knew every point counted, so I’m really happy with today and couldn’t have done any more. It was tough. It was one of my better swims but the bike was full on and took it out of the legs. The goal for the year was the Series podium, so I’m really happy to be getting up there with Mario and Vincent.”

Grand Final Race Results; 1500m swim, 40km bike, 10km run:\

1st – Vincent Luis (FRA) – 1:44:34
2nd – Mario Mola (ESP) – 1:44:48
3rd – Richard Murray (RSA) – 1:44:56
4th – Pierre Le Corre (FRA) – 1:45:01
5th – Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR) – 1:45:014
6th – Henri Schoeman (RSA) – 1:45:06
7th – Jacob Birtwhistle (AUS) – 1:45:46
8th – Jonathan Brownlee (GBR) – 1:45:51
9th – Marten Van Reil (BEL) – 1:45:56
10th – Tyler Mislawchuk (CAN) – 1:45:57

23rd – Thomas Bishop (GBR) – 1:47:16
DQ – Alistair Brownlee (GBR)

ITU World Triathlon Grand Final 2018

Final Series Standings:

1st – Mario Mola (ESP) – 6081
2nd – Vincent Luis (FRA) – 5060
3rd – Jacob Birtwhistle (AUS) – 4884
4th – Richard Murray (RSA) – 4792
5th -Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR) – 3936

11th – Jonathan Brownlee (GBR) – 2873
19th – Thomas Bishop (GBR) – 1884
60th – Marc Austin (GBR) – 286
62nd – Grant Sheldon (GBR) – 266

ITU World Triathlon Grand Final 2018
Vincent Luis, Mario Mola, Jacob Birtwhistle

Tayler Reid beats Sam Dickinson to U23 World Championship Gold

Silver for Great Britain’s Samuel Dickinson in Australia

After 12 Age-Group medals yesterday over the Sprint distance, Samuel Dickinson earned the first British Elite medal of the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Gold Coast today, with second place the 2018 ITU Triathlon U23 World Championship. Part of a leading trio until late in the run, New Zealand’s Tayler Reid took a hard-earned victory.

Alex Yee started the run in 35th place and almost four minutes behind Reid, and produced the fastest run of the day (30:01) to move up 25 position to tenth, but that still left him over a minute away from the podium at the finish.

Here is the full race report courtesy of Doug Gray at the ITU.


Reid crowned U23 World Champion after summoning up an almighty finish

New Zealand’s Tayler Reid became the 2018 ITU U23 World Champion on Friday afternoon in the Gold Coast sunshine, conjuring up a brave finale having been side-by-side with Britain’s Samuel Dickinson and France’s Leo Bergere for the majority of the 10km run. Reid had been among the leaders from the first strokes of the swim but had to work hard with the attentions of a strong field ever present, only to pull away with 2km to go and never looked back.

With Dickinson holding on for silver, an astounding final push from Hungary’s Bence Bicsak saw him over the line in third ahead of Bergere.

“I can’t even believe it. I’ve never felt something so good, this is what I have wanted,” said a delighted Reid. “I have wanted to be world champion for ten years but never been close. Today it all came together, it was great. I saw my family all come around on every lap and I just felt good and I thought I am going to go for it now, full gas, full gas to the finish.”

Gold Coast ITU Triathlon U23 World Championships 2018

At the end of the two-lap, 1.5km swim, it was the USA’s Alec Wilimovsky who was first out of the water, Reid right with him and Mark Devay (HUN) a few seconds back. By the time the athletes came out of transition, the New Zealander was out front, but was joined quickly as an organised group of eleven worked efficiently to build up a lead.

That was the way much of the 40km ride played out, the leaders’ advantage growing gently with each passing lap while the two chase groups drew closer, Hungarian Bicsak driving the first 80 seconds back and Britain’s Alex Yee the third, a further 100 seconds and three minutes off the leaders.

By the time the front runners came into T2, the lead was a solid 92 seconds, the likes of Norway’s Jorgen Gundersen, Japan’s Ryousuke Maeda and Dickinson all spying their opportunity for a podium place.

Gold Coast ITU Triathlon U23 World Championships 2018

Like the bike, the run settled into a pattern early on. Reid, Dickinson and Bergere were shoulder to shoulder as they broke away, seemingly tapping into each other’s energy reserves such was their proximity. Gundersen was eight seconds back after the first lap, while further behind, Bicsak was beginning to power through the field, as was Yee.

Gold Coast ITU Triathlon U23 World Championships 2018

At the bell, it still looked like nothing could touch the front three, Gundersen held 4th and Bicsak was still 32 seconds off the leaders, but the drama all unfolded over the last 2.5km.

First of all Reid made a brave early move, not wanting to risk a fight down the chute. Bergere tried to react but Reid stood firm and pulled away, leaving Bergere and Dickinson to battle second and third. The Brit’s legs went with 1km to go and it looked like he might falter, only to find another gear and push on. All the while, Bicsak was closing in on Bergere, finally passing him in front of the grandstand and powering over the line in delight.

Tayler Reid - Gold Coast ITU Triathlon U23 World Championships 2018

“I centred myself and the gamble paid off. I didn’t want it to come down to the last bit, I wanted to try and seal the deal and it just happened. I am so stoked,” added Reid as his family celebrated with him. “It was important to make the move when I did. There was great work from Leo (Bergere) and Sam (Dickinson) so I was definitely fearing them coming back at me. Credit to the boys they made it really hard out there.”

Second-placed Dickinson was physically and emotionally spent as he crossed the line, but delighted with second, saying; “It is definitely up there as one of the hardest races I have done. I tried to kick with Tayler but I was already on the limit, if I am being honest with you. From there I knew it would be a foot race with Bergere. To come away with a silver medal is a really good result but obviously congratulations to Tayler who was the faster man on the day and had a really gutsy run to finish off. Leo also pushed me all the way and a big shout out to the other two Brits in the race who were phenomenal. We all like to race for the flag when we hit the start line so I am really super proud to do it for GB.”

Bicsak was equally thrilled with third, saying; “It was unbelievable. I had a terrible swim, it was a crazy day in the water for me. I was in the second group on the bike and I tried to work very hard not to let the first group get too far ahead. Before I started running I wasn’t thinking I could make the podium – it was more than one-and-a-half minutes away. It is unbelievable that I got the podium finish.”

Gold Coast ITU Triathlon U23 World Championship – Friday 14th September 2018
1.5km / 40km / 10km

1st – Tayler Reid (NZL) – 1:44:08
2nd – Samuel Dickinson (GBR) – 1:44:20
3rd – Bence Bicsák (HUN) – 1:44:31
4th – Léo Bergere (FRA) – 1:44:39
5th – Jørgen Gundersen (NOR) – 1:44:44

10th – Alex Yee (GBR) – 1:45:41
15th – Barclay Izzard (GBR) – 1:46:29

Tayler Reid / Sam Dickinson / Bence Bicsak - Gold Coast ITU Triathlon U23 World Championships 2018

Gustav Iden surprises the favourites for Lausanne ITU World Cup victory

Second place in Switzerland for Jonathan Brownlee

Another great day for Norway, this time in Lausanne

After taking all of the podium positions earlier this year at ITU World Triathlon Bermuda, the fine season for Norway continued as Gustav Iden secured his second ever World Cup victory at the Lausanne ITU Triathlon World Cup in Switzerland. Great Britain’s Jonathan Brownlee out-sprinted another Norwegian, Kristian Blummenfelt, in what most thought would be the battle for Gold, rather than Silver, at the venue for next years ITU Grand Final.

The opening (non-wetsuit) 1.5km swim did little to determine the direction of the race. Mark Devay (HUN) lead the way in 17:53 but with 34 athletes hitting T1 within 30 seconds, it was pretty much all square and a case of the race starts on dry land. With the bike course splitting the women’s race apart, would the same be true for the men?

Looking for a win to return some confidence to his 2018 season, Jonathan Brownlee attacked early and was joined by Switzerland’s Andrea Salvisberg, but in truth they never gained more than 10 seconds and with a huge chase pack including the strong riding Norwegians amongst them, it never amounted to anything significant.

Unlike the women’s race, the challenging circuit did not seem to have the selective effect expected. Blummenfelt and Iden attacked. Leo Bergere (FRA) atttacked, Jonas Schomberg (GER) attacked – and it all pretty much had no impact. With just one lap (of seven) remaining on the 40km bike leg, 33 athletes went through transition within three seconds. It was surely all going to be decided over 10km of running.

Tom Richard (FRA) gained a few seconds over the final cycle lap, but with the same 33 athletes hitting T2 within 10 seconds, the bike leg – much like the swim – had been relatively uneventful. As well as Jonathan Brownlee, Great Britain’s Sam Dickinson was also right in the mix. Any logic based on form from this point would suggest this would have to be a Brownlee vs. Blummenfelt race. Would logic prevail?

The race finally started to take shape on the run, with Gustav Iden (NOR) and Bence Bicsak (HUN) joining the expected favourites in the front four early in the run.

Brownlee and Blummenfelt traded the lead during the early stages, but it neither appeared to be going “all in” just yet – more shadow boxing and the odd jab than throwing powerful left hooks. It was still all to play for as they went into the final 5km.

And then the Norwegian attacked… but it wasn’t Kristian Blummenfelt, it was Gustav Iden. Within one 2.5km lap he gained almost 20 seconds and just eight minutes of running remaining, the race was his. He was showing no signs of going too soon and looked strong and in control.

Iden continued to extend his lead to what would be a very comfortable 30+ seconds, while behind, Blummenfelt was pushing hard, but when Brownlee sprinted with around 300m remaining, he had no response and the Brit would prevent a Norwegian one-two.

In summary, a big win for Gustav Iden on what is becoming quite a season for Norway. A step in the right direction too for Jonathan Brownlee, but you still feel he is still a level (or two) away from his truly impressive best.

Onwards now to the Gold Coast ITU Grand Final in September.

Lausanne ITU Triathlon World Cup – Sunday 18th August 2018
1.5km / 40km / 10km

1st – Gustav Iden (NOR) – 1:49:48
2nd – Jonathan Brownlee (GBR) – 1:50:19
3rd – Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR) – 1:50:24
4th – Bence Bicsak (HUN) – 1:50:48
5th – Jorik Van Egdom (NED) – 1:51:06
6th – Jason West (USA) – 1:51:19
7th – Leo Bergere (FRA) – 1:51:33
8th – Casper Stornes (NOR) – 1:51:38
9th – Hayden Wilde (NZL) – 1:51:42
10th – Erwin Vanderplancke (NED) – 1:51:49

31st – Sam Dickinson (GBR) – 1:56:17

Nicola Spirig dominates Lausanne ITU Triathlon World Cup

European Champion wins on home soil in Switzerland

Was any other result ever going to be possible at today’s Lausanne ITU Triathlon World Cup? From the perspective of this Editor and pretty much everyone else in the industry, no.

Fresh from a stunningly impressive sixth European Triathlon Championship victory in Glasgow last week, another tough, Olympic Distance course – combined with live TV coverage – meant that Switzerland’s Nicola Spirig was the overwhelming favourite for victory today. She was not in any mood to have the script spoiled for her adoring home nation.

With a course on the banks of Lake Geneva, home to the Triathlon World Championships in 2006, the Grand Final will be returning to the stunning venue next year, providing a dress rehearsal for September 2019.

As expected, Great Britain’s Lucy Hall pushed the pace at the front of the non-wetsuit swim, in the close company of Maya Kingma (NED), Tamara Gorman (USA), Anna Godoy Contreras (ESP) and Olivia Mathias (GBR). Just nine seconds separated them at T1, but five quickly became three early in the bike, as Godoy Contreras and Mathias were unable to get onto the wheels of the leading trio out of T1.

Nicola Spirig was around 50 seconds back through the water – and India Lee was right with her – but that was never going to be enough to hold off the London 2012 Olympic Champion, especially on a course this tough.

It may have taken her well into the second half of the race last week to catch Learmonth and Beaugrand in Glasgow, but it took her little more than 20 minutes this week. She brought Taylor Knibb (USA), Mathilde Gautier (FRA)  and Verena Steinhauser (ITA) with her – the only two that could stay on the ‘Spirig Train’ – while Maya Kingma and Tamara Gorman soon went the other way, leaving a leading group of five together midway through the 40km bike leg.

In typical style, Spirig kept the relentless pressure on up the challenging climbs and it was Great Britain’s Lucy Hall next to be dropped, to now see five turn to four – the leading group now made up entirely of Spirig and her chasers.

There was no chance for any of the large chase back to bridge back to the front of the race, leaving Spirig and friends to build a comfortable lead at T2 – at which point, predictably, Nicola said farewell and disappeared up the road on her own. Game over, an 10km to cover and prepare the post-race interview quotes.

Overall then, a predictable result, but one that just shows the class of an athlete. It’s all well and good knowing what an athlete is going to do – but when you simply cannot do anything about it, well, that just shows that Nicola Spirig was simply on another level today. Watch out Tokyp 2020 – Spirig wants a fifth Olympic Games appearance… and expects to be racing for Gold too.

Lausanne ITU Triathlon World Cup – Saturday 18th August 2018
1.5km / 40km / 10km

1st – Nicola Spirig (SUI) – 2:05:11
2nd – Taylor Knibb (USA) – 2:06:02
3rd – Verena Steinhauser (ITA) – 2:06:25
4th – Barbara Riveros (CHI) – 2:07:16
5th – Julia Hauser (AUT) – 2:07:29
6th – Jeanne Lehair (FRA) – 2:07:45
7th – Lisa Perterer (AUT) – 2:07:52
8th – Kaidi Kivioja (EST) – 2:07:55
9th – Deborah Lynch (NZL) – 2:08:00
10th – Zsofia Kovacs (HUN) – 2:08:09

19th – Lucy Hall (GBR) – 2:10:36
26th – Olivia Mathias (GBR) – 2:13:52
DNF – India Lee (GBR)

No European Championship start for Grant Sheldon

An update with the 2016 World University Triathlon Champion

Still not 24 until the end of August, Grant Sheldon has already represented Scotland twice at the Commonwealth Games, earned a Bronze medal in the World Junior Championships, finished on the podium in his first ITU World Cup start and won the World University Triathlon Championship.

I spoke to Grant last week in central London at a Descente London Duathlon Masterclass event that Grant was helping at, alongside Sophie Coldwell (who I also interviewed HERE), held at the Descente store in Carnaby Street.

With the European Championships taking place this week in Strathclyde Park, Glasgow, that had been a major target for an athlete who grew up nearby. As we discussed however, he won’t be racing on Friday due to injury. Check out the full interview in the video above, where we also talk about an unfortunate DNF in Leeds and his plans for the remainder of the season.

Grant Sheldon

Sophie Coldwell – getting better every year

A chat with Sophie Coldwell

Early August, and 2018 has already been a fantastic season for Great Britain Elite athlete, Sophie Coldwell.

After finishing sixth at the Commonwealth Games in April (just seconds away from making that Duffy / Learmonth breakaway), Sophie has gone on to take her first ITU World Cup victory in Tiszaujvaros, Hungary, and then quickly followed that up with her first Senior international title, running away from the field at the ETU Sprint Triathlon European Championships in Tartu, Estonia.

After taking second 12 months ago over the Standard distance, her continued progression is impressive to follow. At just 23 years of age, her best years should still be ahead of her too.

Sophie Coldwell ETU Sprint Triathlon European Championships

Last night (Thursday), Sophie was in central London providing her insight and guidance to athletes at a Descente London Duathlon Masterclass event, held at the impressive Descent store in Carnaby Street.

I took the opportunity to speaK to Sophie about her season to date, what she has planned for the rest of the year and her excitement at seeing if her Loughborough team can make the podium tomorrow (Saturday) at the Accenture British Triathlon Mixed Relay Cup. If you can’t get to watch that in person, follow it live online from 6:05pm. Check out the full interview in the video at the top of this page.

Zwift Releases 2018 UCI Road World Champs Innsbruck-Tirol Course

New Zwift course released today

Having announced in June this year (HERE) that is was coming, Zwift after today released the UCI World Championships Innsbruck-Tirol course to their online training platform for cyclists.

Online riders will now have two different options to have the Innsbruck experience, after competitor software Bkool added the 2018 World Championship course to their platform at the end of June.

Here is the full announcement from Zwift of today’s course addition.


Zwift Releases 2018 UCI Road World Championships Innsbruck-Tirol Course

New course offers the opportunity for cyclists globally to get closer to the 2018 UCI Road World Championships

Zwift, the global online training platform for cyclists, has today released its latest course, Innsbruck. The course is based on the route that will be used for the 2018 UCI Road World Championships Innsbruck-Tirol.

The 24km circuit is based on the ‘Olympic Lap’, that will be tackled seven times during the Men’s Elite Road Race and three times during Women’s Elite Road Race. The focal point of the course is the 7.9km (5 mile) climb at an average gradient of 5.9%.

Zwift Innsbruck-Tirol Course

“We’ve been really excited about this new course since Zwift unveiled plans earlier this year,” comments Bradley McGee, Cycling Australia Technical Director (Road). “Typically the first time our riders would get to see the course would be when they arrive to race. Having the ability to train on the course in Zwift is going be a huge benefit this year not only from a tactical perspective, but it will serve as a huge confidence booster for the riders too.”

Iconic landmarks from the Tirol region are featured throughout the course. These include the Kufstein Castle, Ötztal Area 47 adventure park, the Old Town of Rattenberg and the Swarovski Crystal Worlds Giant and the Olympic Ski Jump in Innsbruck.

Zwift Innsbruck-Tirol Course

“Zwift provides us with a terrific opportunity to bring the Innsbruck-Tirol region to a global audience. The 2018 UCI Road World Championships Innsbruck-Tirol will live on far beyond September.” Esther Wilhelm, Head of Communications of the Organising Committee in Innsbruck comments. “The region is a fantastic place for cyclists to visit and we hope that Zwift will help us give people their first taste and experience of what we have to offer in the region.”

With just over 50 days remaining before the official start of 2018 UCI Road World Championships taking place, the timing of the Zwift Course release means that professional riders have the chance to properly familiarise themselves with the course profile ahead of the race taking place.

“Ensuring we could unveil the course in advance of the 2018 UCI Road World Championships taking place was extremely important.” says Eric Min, Zwift CEO and Co-Founder. “We have well over 200 professional riders on Zwift. These riders are always searching for new ways to achieve success, whether that be through different training techniques, better equipment or indeed, through intimate knowledge of a race course.”

Zwift Innsbruck-Tirol Course

The new 2018 UCI Road World Championships Innsbruck-Tirol Course will continue to live on Zwift long after the championships have concluded in September this year.

Zwift also has plans for a pop up event space in Innsbruck for the duration of the 2018 UCI Road World Championships. A full Zwift experience will be available with Zwift demo stations to try alongside daily challenges and Zwift races. The Zwift space will also be a central meeting point for daily ride outs into the local areas.

With fine coffee, food, drink and music also available daily, the space will be a place for riders and fans alike to relax, socialise, and of course, watch the action unfold.

Zwift Innsbruck-Tirol Course