In the end it wasn’t even close – as predicted, sitting behind a group of cyclists made all the difference to the Sub 7/Sub 8 project as all four athletes involved were down the points.
While timing as the world’s best will never be confirmed, there were some interesting things we saw and learned from today’s epic day of racing.
We reported earlier this week about Kristian Blumenfelt’s prototype Cadex bike that he used to race this weekend, The bike was developed with the Sub7 target in mind, but Blumenfelt also used it last month to take home the Ironman World Championships in St George. During the race we also learned from Alistair Brownlee that the Skipper’s team was using a new rear water bottle set up that was literally created through 3D printing this week after testing on the track. Blumenfelt was also swimming in another different-looking Deborah wetsuit. The company developed the latest version of Floh 2.0 to help its athletes in St. George, and also did some special work for Norwegians for this race. Blumenfelt was also running in the new Asics MetaSpeed shoes (we’re guessing, based on his running style, the Sky+). We wrote about the new shoes when they were launched in April.
Matthews was also running in Metaspeed shoes – we’re not sure if she was in the latest version.
Bike to show, run for the dough
The long-used adage came true once again today as Skipper’s team took off at an astonishing 55 kph, taking off in 3:16:42 compared to Blummenfelt’s 3:24:22 . In the end, however, the captain lost more than five minutes in the water, then was only six minutes slow at the end. Blumenfelt’s 2:30:50 marathon was more than enough to help him out of Britain and become the first man under the seven-hour hurdle.
In the women’s race, Kat Matthews may have run a minute slower than Nicola Spirig (2:46:09 compared to 2:45:07), but Spirig got through the final 12 km, crucial part of the run. was unable to catch it. Matthews came out strong through the marathon leg of any marathoner, which is why she was able to take the day and eliminate the eight-hour hurdle.
Kat Matthews Is The Real Deal, But So Is Nicola Spirig
It seems like we’re saying this too late, but that’s because she continues to impress every time she races. In March, when he dominated the Ironman 70.3 Lanzarote in a fashion defending then-Ironman World Champion Anne Hogg, it seemed clear that a relatively new pro was on its way to greatness. An unprecedented runner-up confirmed in his first Ironman World Championship appearance, as did today’s impressive effort.
Nicola Spirig is apparently retiring after today’s event, completing an incredible career that won her Olympic gold and silver, along with other big half-distance victories, her only Ironman race in 2014 – Cozumel I didn’t mention victory. Spirig broke his collar bone and punctured his lungs in a bike accident in February, but still came close to winning today, breaking back and breaking the eight-hour barrier. If she drops it after this race, she ends her career as the sport is arguably one of the best sports ever.
christian blummenfelt is frightening
Not that we didn’t know it exactly, but it’s hard to believe this is a guy who was winning sprints and Olympic distance races less than a year ago. It doesn’t appear that Blumenfelt won’t be competitive these days. It’s hard to believe that she won the triathlon world title in a sprint finish in Edmonton last August, then a 7:21 Ironman victory in Cozumel a few months later. (Granted, with a down-current swim.) Today’s performance won’t be a record by any means, but proves once again that Blumenfelt really is the man to beat in this game, regardless of distance.
It’s not easy to sit back
While the time gains were clearly huge, Kristian Blumenfelt’s day came to an almost abrupt end when one of the riders in front of him came close to crashing. Riding at the speed they were going, the athletes had to be incredibly focused on both their aero bars to maintain their position, but further ahead to get the most out of the draft from the athletes ahead. Close to the wheel.
The draft advantage, however, meant that the athletes were pushing about 40 watts less than they would when riding alone.