Two Podiums over the Weekend for Triathletes in Mallorca and Vietnam9. May 2016 — Triathlon Team
Bart Aernouts of the BMC-Etixx Pro Triathlon Team finished second at IM 70.3 Mallorca thanks to a fantastic run split of 1.14:49. His teammate Sofie Goos finished sixth in the women’s race. Liz Blatchford was third at IM 70.3 Ironman
The Balearic Island of Mallorca, usually better known for its great sunny weather showed its other side this weekend at the 70.3 IM Mallorca. The two Belgian triathletes of the BMC-Etixx Pro Triathlon Team, Bart Aernouts and Sofie Goos, tackled their second race of the season in lashing rain from the second the gun sounded to crossing the finish line. Although Bart Aernouts is not known as the best swimmer among the pro triathlon contingency, he came out of the water with a solid performance in 28th place and less than four minutes behind the leader. On the bike it was then his time as he passed one rider after another on his Timemachine TM01 to come into T2 in fourth position. On the run Aernouts he then even moved up soon to second place and eventually crossed the finish line in the same position behind the first three time winner of the race, Andreas Dreitz.
Afterwards Bart couldn’t have been happier about his race. “Today, second was the highest place possible, but I’m really stoked with it. I feel I have taken a big step forward since the race in Cannes a few weeks ago. Over the last month, training didn’t always go as smooth as usual and I had to manage my training load. But after this race I feel I am turning a corner and that I’m getting back in shape for the important races coming up. Every discipline went better and better today. I had to fight a lot in the beginning of the swim, but in the second part I felt that I got in a much better rhythm. Also, during the second part of the bike I felt I was able to keep riding strong and on the run it was the same thing. It went ok the first kilometres but towards the end I felt really strong. The conditions were very tough though. I’ve never participated in a race like today, with rain from start to finish.”
Sofie didn’t except much from her race in Mallorca since she has just recovered from illness. After the swim she entered T1 in 9th position, 1’38 behind the race leader Nicola Spirig. At the first check point at the 14km mark on the bike she was still holding on to 9th position and was trailing a podium spot by 1’20. Feeling good on the bike, she managed to battle her way up to 5th place towards T2. However, through the middle of the run the BMC-Etixx athlete felt the remainder of her illness and eventually crossed the finish line in 6th place.
Liz Blatchford Clinches Second Podium of the weekend for the Team at 70.3 IM Vietnam
Liz’s race couldn’t have started off better. She had a really good swim entering T1 in 2nd place, following the footsteps of race leader Vodickova. The three leading girls then completed the whole bike leg together. Meanwhile, the heat became more and more of a factor to keep in mind. In the run, Blatchford then had to let the other two girls go and eventually finished three minutes behind the winner Caroline Steffen.
Liz looked back on a brutal day in Vietnam: "I didn't have the ideal week leading into 70.3 Vietnam, coming down with a throat infection which became a painful ear infection over the course of the long haul flight to Vietnam. To top it off, on arrival my bike was missing. I saw a doctor who confirmed my infections and gave me some antibiotics. I went to bed on Friday night (2 nights before the race) 90% sure I wouldn't race. On Saturday morning I woke up and my throat felt a bit better and the airline had delivered my bike overnight! I decided to start and see how I was feeling. The swim felt fine, I was in 2nd place on Radka Vodikova's feet with Caroline Steffen just behind me. However, on the long run to transition my HR was quite elevated and I knew I was in for a long day. I gritted my teeth and hung on to the girls the best I could on the bike, definitely having a few second thoughts. Caroline and Radka took off out of T2 and I knew it wasn't smart for me to go with them. I settled into a pace and told myself that I would build into the run as I felt better. Well, I never really felt better! In fact I probably just got progressively worse, but managed to hang on for 3rd. A physical and mental struggle of a day for sure but a few important things gained - a) knowledge that I can tough it out on a bad day, b) valuable points toward qualifying for 70.3 Worlds and c) a podium! Never to be sneezed at! Congrats to Caroline and Rads on great races."