1st Lanzarote 70.3


September 25th, 2014 by



I had an amazing week in Lanzarote. Took a big, hard earned win against some great athletes, caught up with 1/2 of the Uplace-BMC Team and spent lots of time relaxing before and after the race at the Active Sands Beach resort in the sun. 

I have to say that things were really rolling in my favour ever since returning from Mt Tremblant World 70.3 Champs. I was carrying a lot of fitness from my time altitude training in Boulder and after the race in Canada I had renewed confidence, and was sufficiently sharp and race fit plus after 2 weeks backing off I was pretty fresh as well.

lanzabike2

The field had some very good names but most notably, my main threat was the animal Victor Del Corral who killed me by almost 5 minutes last year on the same course. He’s one of the best guys in the Ironman World, racking up amazing run splits and to make it worse this is his favourite course! He also lives here full time which makes him a little bit invincible in this race! Other then that, to be honest I am one of the faster runners so my main worry was just keeping everyone else in touch on the swim and bike.

The swim in Club La Santa lagoon was pretty solid, unfortunately it was wetsuit legal so it got very, very hot in there but never the less we all exited the water as expected although Victor was a good chunk of time behind us which is normal for him and doesn’t mean you write him off…

lanzabike3

At the start of the bike I felt good and tried to break it up by riding the hills hard but it was mostly in vain because we all pretty much stayed together. Then at 20k Romain Guillaume attacked and it was obvious that we had to let him do his own thing. I knew that a 5 mins gap was probably possible to catch back and I think if anyone had tried to stay with him they’d be on their hands and knees in he 1/2 marathon! Good news is at the foot of the main 30min climb Tabyesco we had 4 mins on Del Corral and after hearing this I thought he’d have big problems to catch us.

I felt good on the climb breaking our group down to 4 athletes and stringing it out, we didn’t drop anyone because we mostly needed each other to get home! Team mate Axel Zeebroek made it over the top so was good to have him to ride with. However as we got near the top news came through that Victor was now only 2 mins behind us. In my experience he could easily catch us before the end of he bike and my chance to win against him would be then looking very slim!

We rode as hard as our legs could manage for the rest of the ride and luckily Axel decided to sacrifice himself to keep the pace high. Thanks mate! We finished up 4:20 behind Romain and just 50 seconds ahead of Victor!

After 3hrs of slogging it out, I was a gutted to see how close to us Victor was. I knew I probably needed more time then I had to beat him but I set off running at an ambitious pace, I had to start making in roads to Romain anyway who’s little pistons carried him a long way ahead…!

I was clipping along pretty well considering we just rode very hard but at every turn I could see that Victor was still catching me and fast. Coming into he last lap we had caught Romain but Victor was now only he was now only 15 behind me.

running sea front

As soon as I saw that my head began to fill with negative thoughts, “I’m dead and he’s just stronger then me”, “all the pain would stop now if you just accept 2nd place”, “2nd is still a good result”. Too often this has been my downfall and this time I made a conscious decision to replace the negative thoughts with positivity and stop being a pussy. “You’re not f**ked, you’re fine, if he was feeling good he’d have caught you by now”, “push super hard for 1k and see what happens”.  So I did that and gave it everything I had for the last 7k.

I ran past our team manager and parents and all were saying the same thing: “just go for it, attack, this is yours!” He was now just 10 seconds behind after over 4hrs pushing, then I kicked so hard up the hill that I vomited straight away onto my shoes! However soon enough I made it onto the track and was home and dry and could enjoy the last 50m and give some high 5’s!

I was super happy to win but I was more satisfied to win against a champion like Victor when the chips were probably stacked against me.  For me settling can be a problem, waving the white flag and accepting 2nd place because it’s a way out of the hurt when you’re so sick of it after 4hrs. I’m not a Brownlee it’s not enjoyable for me to me to go that deep but today I learnt something. Maybe sometimes I don’t believe in myself enough. I hope it unlocks more and more of these wins.

fnishlanza

Big ups to Victor for 2nd and Romain for just hanging onto 3rd place after a super bike effort. Not an easy way to race. I’m hope he kills it in Kona this year and also  Helle Frederiksen for her amazing win! What a weekend for Team Uplace-BMC :-D

Next up for me is Silverman 70.3 Las Vegas. I’m going to duke it out one last time this year, although I’m tired now! It’s my friends Stag party directly afterwards so ultra fitness will be replaced very quickly post race with something on the other end of the spectrum! I don’t want to imagine the flight home!!!

 

podium

10th 70.3 World Champs.


September 12th, 2014 by



Mont Tremblant 70.3 World Champs and the big goal of the year finished for another year.

It didn’t all go smoothly, but I’m feeling proud of how I executed my race and how I over came the adversity to rescue a 10th place and the last prize money position.

It was the best 70.3 I’ve been to so far, they kicked off the Pros with a Fighter Jet fly by followed by the horn blowing. Pretty inspiring!

fighter jet

 

I had a decent swim, as usual nothing particularly special! 50 secs behind the leaders. Needs work next year for sure.

I have to say once I got on the bike my legs felt amazing, and we ended up riding up to the leaders by the 30km mark. I didn’t do anything to help, Joe Gambles and Terenzo powered us up there. I know my level and played the game, thinking I’ll save it for the run. Hats off to you boys for riding so strong!

worlds bike

 

By 75km we had established ourselves as a group of 10 and had a healthy lead on some very handy athletes then I hit a stone in the road square on and it punctured my front (and eventually my rear disc) I put my hand up and fortunately a motor bike with spare wheels was not too far behind. So I was changed within 2 mins and back on my way.

I muscled to T2 in 11th and now had a 2:30 gap to the leaders. I knew I could catch some of the guys but also knew that I’d get caught by some as well.

I didn’t feel too swift any more unfortunately but I did end up running myself back into 10th by the finish line after getting caught by Lionel Sanders and Bart Aernouts. Surrounded by some real World Class quality athletes.

Run mt T

 

Just a shame because if I had finished the bike at the front I’d have been racing for 5th place as our run splits were similar.

Fair play to the podium guys, Javi Gomez and Frodo were a different level and Tim Don killed it to snatch the 3rd place and the ladies especially Dani Ryf and Jodie Swallow.

Recovery time now but heading off to Lanzarote 70.3 next. A super enjoyable race and I’m motivated to give it a really good crack.

 

Steffano

 

group shot

First 70.3 win at Wimbleball


June 18th, 2014 by



It felt great to finally get that win this weekend in Wimbleball. When you race big races every time it can be a long time between winning races unless you’re the best!

Freddy and me

We had beautiful weather in Exmoor finally, even hot at times and the whole course glistens when it’s like this. It has to be one of the most beautiful 70.3’s out there…maybe one of the worst when it’s raining though!

My bike was really well prepared by our BMC mechanic David, thanks for that! I went for Shimano C75’s on front and back due to the steep nature of the hills and I think it was a good decision.

mechanic

The swim is where I knew I had to try to do some damage. I prepared to swim fast in the weeks before because if I could help it I didn’t want the boys at the front getting away from me and I wanted to try to leave Ritchie Nichols in my wake because I know what he can do on his best days.

I felt great in the swim and managed to exit with my training mate Mark Threlfall and Dan Hawksworth. I love my Sailfish wetsuit and swear I’m racing beyond my level in this suit! Mark ramped it up in the last 600m, I could see the chop coming from him and I just managed to hold on so we had a decent split on the other guys and we made the most of it on the hilly course. I had no idea through the ride what was happening behind but we just got our heads down and Dan and the other German guy we were with rode hard. I felt decent the whole way with minimal bad patches but there were times where I thought the other two guys were turning the screws on me and I felt tired.

I think I actually ended up being the strongest in the pack to my surprise and in the end we actually managed to drop Dan on the last set of climbs.

Out on the run we had about a 90 second gap to a pack of 5 who were not too far behind us the whole ride. Harry Springall was chasing me hard on the run and it was a long way back to Ritchie and after a few laps of good running I knew I had enough gas to get round for a semi comfortable win.

Winning pic

Congrats to Harry Springall for his first 70.3 podium in 2nd. First of many I’m sure and Ritchie for battling it out for 3rd.

The crowd were amazing at the finish and it was nice to see Freddy, my new born son come to watch me for the first time win my first 70.3 on fathers day! Great timing!

Thanks for the interaction everyone! I hope those who raced got what they wanted out of it, what a tough course!