Triathlete Europe Europe's leading source for triathlon news and information. Sat, 28 Feb 2015 13:37:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Bozzone & Ryf win Challenge Dubai Sat, 28 Feb 2015 13:37:24 +0000

Photo: Getty Image / Challenge Family

With the biggest prize purse in triathlon on the line, it’s no wonder that the inaugural Challenge Dubai attracted some of the most ]]>

Photo: Getty Image / Challenge Family

With the biggest prize purse in triathlon on the line, it’s no wonder that the inaugural Challenge Dubai attracted some of the most talented triathletes in the world. Terenzo Bozzone and Daniela Ryf took the wins at a race played out on a flat, fast course.

New Zealand’s Terenzo Bozzone put the rest of the world on notice today with a resounding win over a class field at Challenge Dubai from Tim Reed (AUS) and Michael Raelert (DEU).

“I’m just so thankful that I could be part of it and would like to thank everyone.

“This is awesome,” said Bozzone.

Daniela Ryf (SUI) made her first visit to Dubai a memorable one with a powerful display on the bike to set up a win from Heather Wurtele (CAN) and Helle Frederiksen (DEN).

“I had a great swim and fantastic run and I’m really happy,” said Ryf.

The wins for Bozzone and Ryf allow them a shot at winning the Triple Crown Series (Challenge Oman, Challenge Bahrain) and the chance of becoming triathlon’s first million dollar recipients.

American Andy Potts led the men out of the swim but Javier Gomez, Pete Jacobs, Manuel Kung (SUI), Raelert and Rasmus Petraeus were all out within six seconds of each other.

In his first race in 18 months Martin Jensen was making up for lost time and dominating at the front of the bike, reveling in the blustery 32kph windy conditions.

He continued to led the way at the 20km mark with Raelert, Matthias Knossalla (DEU), Ben Collins (USA), Potts and Gozmez all within 30sec.

The conditions were taking a toll on the field and the biggest casualty was Javier Gomez withdrawing not feeling well. At the front of the field approaching 60km Jensen looked strong but it was Bozzone who was flying through the dessert and into the lead.

Kung and Raelert were a further 90sec down, then Potts and Collins another 30sec behind them.

Bozzone was first to arrive back to the final changeover but Kung was just 30sec behind then Jensen and Raelert nearly two minutes off the pace.

The former world champion brought his A game to Dubai and although Raelert was closing in on Bozzone in the final stages he would not be denied today.

Raelert was disappointed by acknowledged that Bozzone was the better athlete today.

In what is the best result of his career Kung held on for the final podium spot.

“The is my first proper race since 70.3 Worlds champs and I wasn’t sure where my body would be, I just responded the whole day and whenever I asked it to give me a little more it gave me a bit more.

“When you look at the quality of the field the quality of the event it’s great that HH Sheikh Nasser and his family have put together the Triple Crown and Challenge are getting behind these events.

In the women’s race American Lauren Brandon was the surprise early leader in the women’s race after making the best of the tough and choppy swim conditions taking a direct course and earning herself a 1min 17sec lead from Jodie Swallow (GBR), Alicia Kaye (USA), Ryf, Meredith Kessler (USA), Frederiksen, Annabel Luxford (AUS) trailing.

Brandon rode strongly through the early stages of the bike extending her lead out to 2mins Kaye, Swallow, Ryf and Kessler, a further 25sec back was Frederiksen and Luxford. Heather Wurtele was moving herself into contention with a stomping bike.

At the 72km mark Ryf decided it was go time powering into the lead, putting 90sec into Swallow and Wurtele a further 20sec back. Frederiksen, Kaye and Luxford were losing time to the front group.

“I actually had some problems with my gears, I was stuck in fifth gear. If there was a bump I could switch so that was a bit of a problem,” said Rfy.

As Ryf exited transition she had built nearly a 3min lead to Swallow, Wurtele was next onto the run a further 10sec down. Frederiksen would need to produce a personal best run to try and snare a place on the podium.

Ryf’s pre race talk of not being in top shape was soon put to rest as she strode out on the run recording the fastest run split and a win and check for USD$65,000.

Wurtele ran herself into second place today with Frederiksen overtaking Swallow to round out the podium.

“It was definitely a challenge out there, the swim was hard today, it was rough and choppy the viewing was not easy to see where to go.

“The race was great and everything Challenge has organized has been fantastic,” said Rfy.

Please note the official results differ from those posted on line. A penalty was imposed on five athletes for unintentionally not following the correct course.

The inaugural Challenge Dubai attracted nearly 850 athletes from 45 countries, hailing the event an enormous success and secured it’s future on the calendar in the Middle East.

2015 Challenge Dubai

Top 5 Men
1. Terenzo Bozzone (NZL) 3:45:45
2. Tim Reed (AUS) 3:46:35
3. Michael Raelert (DUE) 3:46:49
4. Bart Aernouts (BEL) 3:47:13
5. Martin Jensen (DEN) 3:47:19

Top 5 Women
1. Daniela Ryf (SUI) 4:05:01
2. Heather Wurtele (CAN) 4:09:21
3. Helle Frederiksen (DEN) 4:11:43
4. Jodie Swallow (GBR) 4:13:35
5. Annabel Luxford (AUS) 4:15:55

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F3 Events team up with Xendurance Sat, 28 Feb 2015 10:00:32 +0000

The team at F3 Events is delighted to announce that they are joining forces with Xendurance, who are to become their official nutrition ]]>

The team at F3 Events is delighted to announce that they are joining forces with Xendurance, who are to become their official nutrition partner across their 2015 race portfolio.

Xendurance is a sports nutrition company with a simple goal – that is to ‘develop an all-natural, drug-free product, which would improve an athlete’s performance by improving both aerobic and lactate acid threshold’. It does so by reducing lactic acid, improving aerobic threshold, speeding up recovery and reducing muscle soreness. These benefits make it an excellent product for athletes who want to perform at the very top of their game, and who seek to go fast, long, and finish ahead of their competition.

Martyn Edwards, Director of F3 Events believes that there is great synergy between his event series and Xendurance, and he says, ‘Xendurance is a premium quality brand, and they are very highly regarded in the sports industry, as one of the very best in the business. We are proud to be able to associate ourselves with such an innovative company – and look forward to helping them to promote their range to our athletes’.

The Xendurance team is just as excited about the partnership and they say, ‘we have worked with the team at F3 Events in the past and have always been blown away by their passion, experience and professionalism which shows in everything they do.’

They continue, ‘we will be at each event with samples of our product range, and will also be offering items for podium winners to take home with them. So make sure you come along and see us, we would be more than willing to answer any questions you might have.’

Are you interested to find out more?

To see the full calendar of F3 Events website, or follow the team on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news and updates.

You can also find out more about Xendurance by visiting or by following their team via their Facebook and Twitter accounts.F3-Events-Mid-Week-Triathlon-Swim-Start_2

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60 minute session: Mixed stroke swim sets Fri, 27 Feb 2015 13:30:38 +0000

Photo: Shutterstock

Every Friday we’ll feature a different coach’s workout you can complete in 60 minutes (or less!). This week’s workout comes from Tony ]]>

Photo: Shutterstock

Every Friday we’ll feature a different coach’s workout you can complete in 60 minutes (or less!). This week’s workout comes from Tony Zamora, the head coach of TZCoaching. “Most triathletes focus strictly on freestyle workouts,” Zamora says. “What I like about this workout is that it mixes up swim strokes, which is beneficial to help work different muscle groups and have a good feel for the water in different swim positions. Plus you could also benefit from the different strokes in a triathlon—you may need backstroke if you need to recover in a long swim, and breaststroke while helping to sight or swim around buoys!”

200 easy swim, freestyle, 60 sec recovery
3×100, increasing speed each 100, 30 sec recovery

Main Set:
1×50 butterfly, 30 sec recovery (If you can’t do a 50 at first, shoot for 25, recover, then do the other 25).
2×100 backstroke, 30 sec recovery
3×150 breaststroke, 30 sec recovery
4×200 freestyle, 30 sec recovery

250–500 easy swim

Total = 2250–2500

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Shoe review: Newton Gravity & Motion IV Fri, 27 Feb 2015 12:15:29 +0000

When Newton introduced the version III of the Motion and Gravity shoes they were the first versions to utilise the Point of Power (POP) ]]>

When Newton introduced the version III of the Motion and Gravity shoes they were the first versions to utilise the Point of Power (POP) five lug system. The shoe had what is designated POP1, which is the “Dynamic and Power Packed” version – in other words the quicker version. It’s therefore no surprise with the POP platform only being recently launched that this remains unchanged in the version IV and all enhancements are in the shoe’s upper.

These changes are more than changing one vivid colour for another and a slight detailing update. In the version III of these shoes there was some criticism around the breathability of the upper the location of seams through utilising different materials and overlays. This has been addressed by a complete redesign of the upper now featuring a seamless engineered mesh upper that provides excellent flexibility over the metatarsal and instep. What hasn’t been changed is the shoe’s ability to accommodate both a broad and narrow forefoot comfortably within the toe box.

You’ll first notice the new upper when you go to lace up the shoe as all padding from the tongue has gone and the upper feels quite minimalist.

As expected with the same platform as version III the shoe performs likes its predecessor in terms of support and responsiveness, if you liked the version III then you’ll appreciate the more comfortable upper and fit that enhances this shoe. If you haven’t yet tried the five lug POP sole then it does somewhat address previous gripes I’ve had about Newton shoes in terms of wear as it does seem to balance the shoe out a little more, especially when cornering. For the mild over-pronator then the motion adds an unperceived stability and also helps to combat excessive wear at the sides, which is just as well as there’s no denying that Newton sit at the top-end of the running shoe price bracket. The gravity is the neutral version of the shoe and both feel similar in testing.

First impressions were that the feel was a little odd, the lugs underfoot feel more pronounced especially when walking in them. Once running for the first time the ‘odd’ feeling only lasted half a mile or so and adaptation is swift. You are certainly aware of the 5 lugs but the new system gives a more balanced feel to the shoe, the distribution matching the 5 toes in the foot and the metatarsal area.

Moving from a standard lightweight distance shoe I didn’t feel the lower leg soreness that I have had when previously using Newton. The shoes should be used normally and any thoughts of trying to run on your toes to facilitate a quicker transition to Newton shoes should be discouraged. The shoe promotes a mid-foot strike while providing more cushioning through the lugs, over the period of use this happened naturally. I felt like I was cruising effortlessly with no more stress on my calves than normal without me having to make any noticeable changes to my run form.

The lightweight look out of the box translates when running, the upper is so light it almost feels like it’s not there, the lacing gives a secure feel and I noticed no heel lift from the ankle area. Having wide feet I was pleasantly surprised by the space in the toe box. Comfort factor was high, no rubbing and no blisters over the testing period.

The Gravity and Motion are classed as performance running shoes so miss some of the features you’d expect from a triathlon specific shoe. Most notably for me was the loop on the tongue, as found on the Newton Tri-Racer, which with the minimalist tongue on these version means that transitions won’t be as swift as you’d like. However, we’re talking a few seconds, not so important in a longer distance race for which these shoes are more suited.

Overall, Newton have improvements in the right areas, the Gravity and Motion IV shoes are great looking shoes, light, breathable, stable and with a minimalist feel. With such a hefty price tag it takes a leap of faith to make the switch to Newton but with the Motion and Gravity IV I think there’s a strong reason to try.

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Pro bike gallery: Challenge Dubai Fri, 27 Feb 2015 11:00:53 +0000

Michael Weiss' Falco

With a potential prize purse of $1 million on the line, it’s no surprise that Challenge Dubai has attracted its fair share of top ]]>

Michael Weiss' Falco

With a potential prize purse of $1 million on the line, it’s no surprise that Challenge Dubai has attracted its fair share of top pros. And top pros mean top bikes. Ian Osborne took a wander around pro transition to see what he could find.

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2XU celebrates #HEARTNOTHYPE with new competition Fri, 27 Feb 2015 10:00:26 +0000

2XU, the world’s most advanced engineer of compression apparel, has launched a competition to win the ULTIMATE PERFORMANCE TRAINING CAMP, ]]>

2XU, the world’s most advanced engineer of compression apparel, has launched a competition to win the ULTIMATE PERFORMANCE TRAINING CAMP, to be held in California, USA. Winners from around the globe will experience a truly unrivalled training, performance and recovery experience like never before – all under the guise of 2XU Athletes and Performance Experts.

At 2XU, we exist to multiply human performance. We live and breathe training, performance and recovery – it’s in our DNA. Every day we push ourselves to be better than we were previously – to achieve beyond what we thought possible.

For international fitness fans equally addicted to performance excellence and achieving their personal best, 2XU is offering the chance to experience something money truly can’t buy – training with ‘the best of the best’, in one of the world’s foremost health and wellness hubs, California.

Engineered by 2XU’s Jeff Nichols, exercise physiologist and former US Navy Seal, the 2XU Ultimate Performance Training Camp will also offer industry leading insights on nutrition and psychology; arming every winner with everything required to achieve their best possible performance – both physically and mentally.

Now live on the 2XU #HEARTNOTHYPE microsite, the contest will run through to midnight March 26, 2015. To enter, fans are invited to:

1.Watch the brand’s new #HEARTNOTHYPE film

2. Upload their response to “What does putting heart into performance mean to you?” via 100 words or less AND/OR a video AND/OR photo

3. SHARE their entry on social media and encourage their friends to vote. The more votes, the greater the entrant’s chance of winning!

To take part in the competition, entrants must be over 18 at the time of entry and a resident of a participating country*. Entrants must also be available between the dates of April 12-19, 2015 when the 2XU Ultimate Training Camp will take place in California, USA.

Full terms and conditions are available at

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Catching Up With Challenge CEO Zibi Szlufcik Fri, 27 Feb 2015 09:00:01 +0000 It’s an exciting time for the Challenge Family with the start of their $1 million Triple Crown Series in the United Arab Emirates. We caught up with Challenge CEO Zibi Szlufcik to find out how the brand has grown and how it will continue to evolve.

How has your role evolved during the last three years as CEO?
Part my big focus has been international development and we have expanded from six or seven races when I joined to 44 races now. We knew we had to expand to become a truly international brand with a global presence.

Challenge Dubai and the Triple Crown race series are big. Tell us more?
With a partnership with his Highness Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa we created a team and a number of sponsors to pull together something that will change the game and help the sport of triathlon to reach the next level. In Bahrain we set the bar high and the outcome was amazing. We had a fantastic professional and age group race on the day, but the way it was seen by the outside world set a new standard. The live stream was out of space and watched by numbers, correct me if I am wrong, that have only been exceeded by the Olympics.

Are there more races to be announced?
There will be developments you will hear about within the next 14 days.

Will we see a Challenge Family world championships?
It’s something the athletes, media and industry are asking for, but it’s not just about creating another championship event. We would want to run an event that is the best of the best. It needs to change the face of the sport and I am willing to wait a couple of years to do this properly. We are working hard regarding this, and as you can see from the smile on my face I am very excited about this. There will be news soon.

In the next 14 days?
I couldn’t possibly say (laughs).

Has it been tough for Challenge with some of the tactics from your competitors?
I have to say it’s disappointing that there’s a private equity firm owning one of the brands and damaging the sport by buying races out of existing contracts. It’s unfair competition and unfortunately has been something we’ve had to fight in legal way. That is the last thing we want to do in the sport of triathlon. We want to help the sport develop, evolve and create. I think we are all in the same boat whether it’s race organisers or governmental institutions like the ITU and ETU, athletes, the media or people working in the triathlon industry. We should have the joint interest to grow the sport rather than trying to put each other out of business or steal something. I am disappointed when this happens.

How hard has it been for Challenge to expand yet keep its core values?
Our business model is to focus on licensing, equity ownership or joint ventures. We are not buying anything or anyone out, and we are developing true partnerships around the globe. It’s all about managing partnerships and sharing the same values, approach and perspectives. The success of this has been shown by more of our races selling out quickly. At the end of the day validation of any strategy is what the athletes think about our events. We are thankful for their commitment and passion towards the Challenge Family.

Has social media helped with this?
It really has and we can’t thank our athletes enough for sharing in our passion. It’s interesting that Peter Henning (the man best known for his NBC coverage of Kona and now working with Challenge as their primary television consultant), the god of moving content in the triathlon world, said to me to me recently that one of the most critical parts about the Challenge brand is just how positive the Challenge Family is. We agree and love nothing more than seeing a positive reaction when athletes cross the finish line after enjoying an exceptional experience.

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Preview: Challenge Dubai pro race Thu, 26 Feb 2015 19:00:58 +0000 With Challenge Dubai getting going we thought we’d bring you our race predictions and who to look out for. In the men’s race a huge focus has been on two-time 70.3 world champion Michael Raelert and ITU world champion Javier Gomez. It’s fair to say these two guys, barring any incidents or accidents will be fighting for the top spot, but there are lots of other good triathletes to look out.

We have to mention 70.3 Asia Pacific champion from Australia Tim Reed, who is strong in all three disciplines, and has the advantage of coming in race ready following a strong start in the southern hemisphere. We also think that former 70.3 world champion Terenzo Bozzone from New Zealand has a shot, along with Ivan Rana from Spain. There are a few racers who might be a little slower in the swim, including James Cunnama from South Africa and Bart Aernouts from Belgium, but if they can make up time on the bike could be in the mix with their strong bike and run combination.

When it comes to dark horses in a field of over 70 male professionals we think Australia’s Richie Cunningham and Great Britain’s Will Clarke could come out of the woodwork. Cunningham is consistent over the middle distance and races well in the heat, while Clarke has some real speed when it all comes together.

In the women’s race all eyes are on Helle Frederiksen from Denmark who won Challenge Bahrain and Hy Vee in 2014. She faces stiff competition from Daniela Ryf, who won the 70.3 World Championships in 2014 and was second at the Ironman World Championships.

While these two are strong all rounder’s they face stiff competition from Great Britain’s Jodie Swallow, who was second at the 70.3 World Championships and fourth at the Ironman World Championships. She’s possibly the fastest swimmer in the field and has a strong bike to match. Swallow likes to race hard from the front so will be in the mix from the start.

These three may have been the most talked in the media but we can’t count out Meredith Kessler from the USA, who was recently was recently crowned 70.3 Asia Pacific champion. Annabel Luxford from Australia, who won Challenge Shepparton, Challenge Melbourne and the Australian 70.3 Championships in 2014, could also add a turbo change to the women’s race.

There are plenty of other fast girls that have a shot at the podium too including former Ironman world champion Leanda Cave from Great Britain and Canada’s Heather Wurtele, who won three 70.3 events and was third at the world champs over this distance. Our dark horse for the race is DENMARK’S Camilla Pedersen, who won the ITU Long Distance World Championships in 2014.

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Tri bike inspection: BMC TM01 Thu, 26 Feb 2015 13:30:49 +0000

Get a look at the 2015 BMC TM01 Triathlon bike, which was on display at Tri Palooza last weekend. The TM01 is designed to be one of the ]]>

Get a look at the 2015 BMC TM01 Triathlon bike, which was on display at Tri Palooza last weekend. The TM01 is designed to be one of the most adjustable bikes on the market.

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Brett Sutton: Discussions on racing weight Thu, 26 Feb 2015 12:15:15 +0000

Brett Sutton responds to a previous article written by two-time Ironman World Champion, Chris McCormack, on finding the ideal racing weight ]]>

Brett Sutton responds to a previous article written by two-time Ironman World Champion, Chris McCormack, on finding the ideal racing weight for optimal performance on the race course. This response originally appeared on

I would like to take the time to further explain a very important, if not the most important, item in our sport. This concerns the matter of an athlete’s weight.

Last week many people alerted me to a re-release of an article written by Chris McCormack discussing optimal weights for individual athletes.

I’d like to thank him for his words and intelligent insight into this matter. However, I would also like to clarify some observations about my own thoughts on the weight debate given the very real implications for athletes reading such material.

“I came through the Australian system of triathlon under the guidance of legendary coach Brett Sutton. In his opinion, lean was too fat, skinny wasn’t skinny enough and, put simply, the leanest you could get while maintaining the workload was optimal. For many of us who passed through this system in the ’90s, the proof was in the pudding, with the success of the athletes he was churning out.”

Yes, Macca is right here. When I was national coach for Australian triathlon I did adopt the position that being as light as one safely could—would indeed help performance. Specifically run performance.

However, context is key. At that time we were training short-course and Olympic distance athletes who were coming to grips with a very significant change that had just affected our sport—the switch to legal drafting races. This left many of our athletes, predominately the strong swim-bikers, stranded as overnight they saw their triathlon strengths totally diminished.

Now Macca being one of the few triathletes genuinely strong in all three disciplines was able to adapt better than most. He was also a big man compared with the new generation of wet-runners now on the ITU circuit and so a drop in weight was something that did help his short-course performance.

“During this time, I have to admit, I found that the leaner I got, the faster I went. It just seemed so simple. I was young, and my natural speed, flexibility and youth fed this lighter body. In a race that is short, dynamic and fast like Olympic-distance racing, it worked.”

However this does not apply across all individuals and it most certainly does not apply to long distance or Ironman racing. Indeed, too much weight loss will negatively affect performance on the swim and bike, which affects racing at all distances.

I think the most instructive athlete regarding this issue is Craig Walton. A mountain of a man and the person I believe is the best ‘real’ triathlete (swimmer, biker, runner), including Mark Allen, that I have ever seen.

Given the change in formats Craig spent his career seesawing in weight. When he first came to train with me after a loss of form we butted heads over his drastic loss of weight. He’d explain that ‘I can run a minute faster at this weight’ to which I’d counter ‘but you ride three minutes slower.’

Each time I trained with Craig we’d get him back to his beloved steak and chips and put 3kg of meat onto his hulking frame.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a better sight in ITU racing than watching the big fella in his prime get out of the water 30 seconds up and then putting another 2 minutes into a peloton of 30 ITU boys, all screaming at each other to ‘Take a turn! Take a turn! We got to shut him down!’ and being utterly powerless to do so.

At his right weight the giant ‘motorbike’ out front just kept powering ahead for yet another World Cup victory. I think seven in total with God knows how many non-drafting victories. A truly awesome all-round swim, bike, run performer. *I will also add Chris (McCormack) did the same thing a few times as another great all-round champion.

The point is Craig at his ‘I run faster’ weight would still get the 30 seconds on the swim and maybe on a great day another 1 minute on the bike, but it would leave him vulnerable to the huge pack with the speedy runners in it. But at his correct heavier weight and on the right course he could just crush all-comers on the bike with power not seen before nor since.

So let’s leave ITU racing and go to Ironman.

This is another sport entirely.

Post-Kona I addressed a lot of the issues regarding my thoughts on maintaining a healthy weight and the need for fats (any fats) for the working engine. I also discussed how many of the ‘favourites’ (men and women) hadn’t presented the threat they had in previous years given their impressively ripped, but in my opinion seriously underweight frames.

Whether you are an age-group or a pro athlete Ironman is a strength sport, not a speed sport. If you lose strength for any reason; sickness, over training or diet then an Ironman is quite literally going to swallow you up.

So my advice is if you are into the short-course drafting events and looking to run faster, then yes, as Macca points out, being lighter will make a difference. If in the same races your swim and bike is your advantage, make sure you don’t take that advantage away looking for a small gain on the run by overcompensating with the ‘eating is cheating’ mentality.

If you’re an Ironman and look in the mirror without a shirt and can see every muscle my advice is this: Get in the car so you don’t burn too many calories, take yourself to the nearest supermarket and stock up on chocolate and ice cream. If you can see a chiselled six pack when you’re not exercising then a cheesecake is a must as you are already seriously redlining it.

You will find that you race much better in an Ironman carrying a little too much than a little too less. You can bet on it.

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