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Abu Dhabi Triathlon Press Conference Wrap by Pete Murray

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The Abu Dhabi Press Conference was held at the official hotel , Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan by Rotanna. The amount of local and especially international media present was unbelievable. This race has received extensive media locally and it is great to see it being beamed around the world. As the emcee, it is always awesome to get up close and personal with the best in the world and hear their thoughts about training, preparation and most importantly racing.

Frederick Van Leirde and interested spectator

On the men’s side we had defending champion Frederick Van Leirde, Chris Lieto, Faris Al Sultan, Dirk Bockel and Enecko Llanas. Federick Van Leirde knows the challenge a head of wearing the number one plate on the front and the target on his back. He is confident of a great race before heading to Australia for Ironman Melbourne.

A lot of press was for Chris Lieto, mainly due to cycling prowess. Coming off a top ten finish at Panama 70.3 two weeks ago where he set the pace on the bike with Tour de France legend, Lance Armstrong. This guy is one ‘cool cat’ and is looking to turn it up on Saturday. Dirk Bockel, came out swinging and was probably the most confident. He basically let everyone know that after a 2nd and 3rd place in Abu Dhabi, both podium finishes less than 20 seconds from the top position, he is ready to claim the title. A scary thought for the rest of the field.

Enecko Llanas is a man on the mission. He is in awesome shape and being the course record holder, he knows what it takes to be number 1 again. Finally, the local charge is headed by Faris Al Sultan who on his day can cause some serious havoc to the field. Faris also talked about the huge increase in local entries this year, especially with the first Arabic woman competing in the Long Course Triathlon for the very first time. Awesome to see!

The women were next to take to the stage. Julie Dibens, even though not racing, predicted a very tight race among the girls. She saw serious threats coming from Jodi Swallow, Angela Naeth, Rachael Joyce and Melissa Rollison. However, her money was on Caroline Steffen to take her crown, especially after a strong 2nd place last year. Jodi Swallow is ecstatic to be back in pro racing and has no real expectations but believes if things work according to plan, it could be interesting.

Leanda Cave knows the Abu Dhabi course and is expecting that to be an advantage over the field. She has experienced a podium finish in 2010 with a 2nd place, although she wouldn’t mind the step up to the top of the dais.

Mel Rollison sat there listening to the thoughts of the other girls before it was her turn. Mel came out basically letting everyone know that she is ready and prepared to step up to long course racing and if in the mix on the bike, let the girls know they would have to work hard for the $50,000 prize and the crown in Abu Dhabi.

I can’t wait to commentate all the action on Saturday Both races are going to be crackers, not forgetting about the world class age groupers who are padding up for their race.

Bring it on!

Stay tuned Follow trizone or myself (Pete Murray) muzzano1 on twitter for race up dates.

Karl is a keen age group triathlete who races more than he trains. Good life balance! Karl works in the media industry in Australia and is passionate about the sport of triathlon.

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Super League: Corporate Mix Teams Hungry for the Lead

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The run course along the Elizabeth Marina board walk. Photo: Googsi Creative / The Studio M

In the second day of Super League Jersey Corporate Mix racing, Team Comprop is once again leading the rankings, its members coming out firing on all cylinders to win the team relay race against 16 other teams from nine corporate entities. First Names Group Team 2 and the Ravenscroft Titans followed across the finish line, maintaining the top three overall. Like in Day 1, the competition was held over the Sprint Pursuit format, which involves racing over a 300-meter swim around the Elizabeth Marina, a 5-kilometer cycle leg on a cobblestoned and technical course and a 2-kilometer run done over two stages with a pursuit-style start in Stage 2.

Team Comprop is still in the lead after two days of racing. Photo: Googsi Creative / The Studio M

Team Comprop and First Names Group Team 2 took first and second respectively in both Sprint Pursuit stages, but the Jersey Triathlon Club Junior Team 1 put up a brave fight to take third in Stage 1. The Ravenscroft Titans had a slow start off the blocks and crossed the Stage 1 line in ninth place, but made up for their deficit and recovered third place in Stage 2.

The Corporate Mix overall win relies on the total of a team’s points garnered from their relay finish position and the points from their pro male and female athletes’ finish positions. Team Comprop has pro men’s leader Kristian Blummenfelt on its roster while First Names Group Team 2 has women’s leader Katie Zaferes, and if both athletes hold their form, they will deliver the top two spots in the Corporate Mix to their teams.

Both teams from Santander International may have a chance to rise higher in the overall rankings with better finishes today than yesterday. Their pro athletes Fernando Alarza and Carolina Routier will certainly do their best to better yesterday’s results in their Eliminator races later today. The Eliminator will put them through three stages of swim-bike-run, with only the fastest 15 and then the fastest 10 getting through to the next stages. It will remain to be seen whether they can get to finish and earn those all-important series points.

Corporate Mix swimmers line up for their pontoon start. Photo: Googsi Creative / The Studio M

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Recovery Smoothie – Supercharged Green and Berry Smoothie

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Photo: Shutterstock

After a long hard workout I like to get fueled right away. I find it easiest for me to get down a smoothie rather than solid food. By making a smoothie I am able to pack it full of nutrient dense foods. Below is my “go to” –

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Green & Berry Super Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 16 oz Coconut water
  • 8 oz Hemp milk
  • 1 Banana
  • 2 cups Baby Spinach
  • 1 cup Frozen Blueberries
  • 6 leaves Tuscan Kale
  • ½ Gold beet large
  • ½ nugget of fresh turmeric root
  • 1 serving Favorite plant based protein powder I use Vega Performance protein berry flavor for this
  • 2 tbsp Chia seed
  • 1 tbsp Acai powder
  • 1 tbsp Maca powder
  • 1 tbsp Spirulina
  • 4 large ice cubes

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients into a high power blender such as Vita mix. Process until smooth. Consistency can be adjusted with cold water as you are processing.

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Super League: Katie Zaferes stuns in Triple Mix on Day 1

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Katie Zaferes of the USA stunned dual Olympic medalist Nicola Spirig at the inaugural Super League Triathlon women’s race in Jersey, Channel Islands. The ascendant American was never too far off the front throughout, and took the overall win with a 19-second lead over the speedy Swiss. Compatriot Summer Cook rounded out the first women’s podium for the revolutionary race series. Triple Mix is a three-stage race with a 10-minute break between stages and a pursuit-style start in Stages 2 and 3.

Stage 1: Swim-Bike-Run

Carolina Routier, Sophie Coldwell, and Emma Jeffcoat found clear water off the pontoon start and came out of the 300-meter swim together, but most of the athletes emerged together to form a huge chase pack which swallowed the lead swimmers once on the bike leg.

Coldwell and British compatriot Jodie Stimpson worked to put pressure through the first few laps of the five-kilometer bike ride. With the field splintering between a large front group and solo athletes trying to bridge the gap, those off the back fell victim to the 90-second elimination rule. Sameera Al Bitar found herself more than 90 seconds behind the lead athlete and was forced to retire partway through the bike.

Pontoon start for the Women’s Triple Mix Stage 1 of Super League in Jersey. Photo: Googsi Creative / The Studio M

Stimpson, Coldwell, and Claire Michel of Belgium came off the bike together, but with the athletes so close together, Spirig emerged out front with Zaferes right on her shoulders. Summer Cook managed to stay in contention despite struggling with the technical bike course, while Lucy Hall and Mariya Shorets were eliminated after the bike leg.

During the two-kilometer run, Michel, Spirig, and Zaferes took turns out front, but it was Michel who took the tape ahead of Spirig and Zaferes. Cook ran herself into fourth.

Stage 2: Run-Bike-Swim

With only 10 minutes to recover before starting another two-kilometer run and only seconds separating the lead three women, it didn’t take long for Zaferes to move up front. However, Spirig, Cook, and Michel came with her surge to create a 20-second gap to chasers Stimpson, Coldwell, and Rachel Klamer.

Jodie Stimpson, Sophie Coldwell, and Rachel Klamer run as a chase group. Photo: Googsi Creative / The Studio M

Spirig put pressure on and gapped the leaders with her trademark bike power and great handling, but after a while Zaferes answered the surge. Apparently, Zaferes had thought one of her tires had gone flat, but once confirmed that was not the case, she confidently rode back onto Spirig’s back wheel before taking the front into transition.

Zaferes made sure to hit the water ahead of Spirig, and her stellar technique ensured she crossed the Stage 2 finish line first.

Thanks to the gap the two had created to the rest of the field, an additional seven women were eliminated, while Laura Lindemann took a nasty bike spill but was able to continue.

Stage 3: Bike-Swim-Run

The Swiss-American tandem played tag team throughout the opening bike leg, maintaining their lead while a race for third happened behind them. Coldwell teamed up with Kirsten Kasper to leave the rest of the field, but once the race entered the water the athletes bunched up again while Zaferes and Spirig stayed clear.

Out onto the run, Zaferes began stretching her legs and her lead to Spirig, who was never able to reclaim the front. The former collegiate track star made the final few hundred meters of the run look easy, celebrating into the finish chute.

Katie Zaferes and Nicola Spirig riding hard. Photo: Googsi Creative / The Studio M

“When I first got on the bike I was a little off technically with the corners, but I got more comfortable and moved up and was happy with how the race progressed as it got on,” Zaferes said. “The swim feels as horrible as all the boys told us it did, so at least I was prepared for that and didn’t panic. I felt nervous especially after having raced last weekend, but I felt good. I really hope to approach tomorrow just like I did today and hope the same result comes away from it, but Day 2 gets significantly harder. I’ll go for it for sure though.”

It has been only a few months since Spirig gave birth to her second child, but today’s race showed she is still one of the most fearsome athletes to contend with on any starting line. She said, “Thank you very much for all the support from all of you. It has been great being here. I was just, it was amazing, I had good fun and I hope I’m a bit of an inspiration for all moms.”

Meanwhile, Cook used her stellar run to take herself into third place overall, the youngest on the Triple Mix podium. She said, “I’m feeling really good about today, I wasn’t sure about what to expect coming in; I felt like it could go either way. I was really proud of myself to just go out there and compete, not be afraid to put myself close to the front and just race my hardest. I haven’t really thought about tactics going into tomorrow yet. I’m kind of just trying to stay in the moment today and focus on what I needed to do. I guess I’ll have some thinking about a strategy to do tonight.”

There is one more day of racing to go to claim the first Super League Triathlon women’s trophy. These athletes will have to give it their all to stay on top. The Eliminator awaits, and only the fastest will survive.

Jodie Stimpson, Sophie Coldwell, and Rachel Klamer run as a chase group. Photo: Googsi Creative / The Studio M

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Super League: Kristian Blummenfelt takes out the Triple Mix on Day 1

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Kristian Blummenfelt of Norway blasted away in the final half-kilometer to finish the overall winner for today’s Triple Mix at Super League Jersey after staying out in front all day with South Africa’s Richard Murray and British crowd favorite and dual Olympic medalist Jonathan Brownlee.

Triple Mix is a three-stage race with a 10-minute break between stages and a pursuit-style start in Stages 2 and 3.

Stage 1: Swim-Bike-Run

While Jake Birtwhistle received pole position on the pontoon at yesterday’s slot draw and led out of the 300-meter swim that kicked off Stage 1, Brownlee was right on his shoulder and got the jump out of transition onto the 5-kilometer bike leg. After five laps over the flat yet technical YESSS Power bike course going over cobblestones and through tight dead turns, the Australian contingent of Birtwhistle, Matt Hauser, and Aaron Royle took the lead. It was on the run where Brownlee, Blummenfelt, and Murray asserted the dominance that would mark the rest of the race regardless of what order swimming, biking, and running would take.

Pontoon start of Triple Mix Stage 1 of the Super League triathlon in Jersey. Photo: Googsi Creative / The Studio M

Blummenfelt finished the two-kilometer run in first, with Murray and Brownlee in close pursuit. Olympic Bronze medalist Henri Schoeman came in a distant fourth as the rest of the field splintered into smaller chase groups.

Stage 2: Run-Bike-Swim

After a 10-minute break, the pursuit-based start for Stage 2 sent the top three off on the run with an 11-second lead. In the hands of these fleet-footed athletes those 10 seconds quickly ballooned to call into play the 90-second elimination rule. With a time gap of greater than 90 seconds to the leader, Ben Shaw was eliminated unceremoniously, as were Dan Halksworth, Crisanto Grajales Valencia, and Joao Pereira.

After a 10-minute break, the pursuit-based start for Stage 2 sent the top three off on the run with an 11-second lead. In the hands of these fleet-footed athletes those 10 seconds quickly ballooned to call into play the 90-second elimination rule. With a time gap of greater than 90 seconds to the leader, Ben Shaw was eliminated unceremoniously, as were Dan Halksworth, Crisanto Grajales Valencia, and Joao Pereira.

Jonathan Brownlee on the run. Photo: Googsi Creative / The Studio M

Once on their bikes, Blummenfelt, Murray, and Brownlee worked together to grow a monstrous lead with clear road behind them. Still joined at the hip by the time they jumped back into the water, Brownlee surged ahead by a few strokes leaving Murray to chase him through the finish chute. Schoeman kept fourth place with a great swim after slipping backwards in the bike pack, while reigning world champion Mario Mola crept up into sixth.

Stage 3: Bike-Swim-Run

The final stage of Triple Mix started with the bike leg. With the big three once again out in front, the stage saw a few more eliminated by the 90-second rule including pre-race swim favorite Richard Varga and world number five Fernando Alarza. Ben Dijkstra crashed out on the bike leg, leaving British hopes entirely in the capable hands of Brownlee.

Once into the swim, the three men played tactical, holding positions with Brownlee out in front, Murray sitting on his feet, and Blummenfelt just a little further back. The race would be decided on the run.

It was Blummenfelt who had a bit more gas in the tank as he and Murray dueled through the run leg; ultimately, the Norwegian sprinted ahead for the day’s win. Their race-within-a-race relegated Brownlee to third place, while Schoeman held strong in fourth.

The peloton rides past during the bike leg of the Triple Mix on Day 1 of Super League in Jersey. Photo: Googsi Creative / The Studio M

“It feels so good. Especially Murray he’s really strong on the run so I wasn’t really sure of a way to get him but super pleased. I think the fact that we started the next stage with a gap played a huge role. We went hard in the beginning and kept going and worked well together,” said Blummenfelt, who is third in the year-end world rankings. “My plan was actually to stay a little bit more calm in the first stage but it’s too hard with this many people around cheering you on. I didn’t plan to go that hard in the beginning but seems the day played out well.”

Brownlee, a first-time racer in the Super League Triathlon formats, had a bit of adjusting to do. He said, “I took out the start in the first swim and it was full on and we had to keep going. And then I made a mistake there towards the end and it cost me the race… I’m really tired but I’ve got to do it all again tomorrow. I had the advantage of a home crowd, and it’s great to see lots of Jersey people around supporting me, so thank you.”

Defending champion Murray did not lack in taking his chances on the day. “I realized it was a four-kilometer run on the trot and I decided that was the moment to try and go for it today. Luckily I had these two men next to me to come with and it was definitely a really hard day. It was my first breakaway ever and the crowd was amazing and it’s very hard to be in a breakaway so kudos to the guys who do it every race,” he said. “Blummenfelt managed to get the better of me today but it was great from these two guys.”

Blummenfelt now sits atop the point standings with 25 points. Murray is four points behind at 21, while Brownlee has gained 18. This gives them plenty of wiggle room to take out the overall win tomorrow after the Eliminator, but as today’s race has showed, you need to race every stage like you want to win it.

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Wahoo Fitness Announces Partnership with Superstar Jan Frodeno

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Wahoo bolsters its elite athlete program with the addition of two-time Ironman World Champion and Olympic gold medalist Jan Frodeno

Wahoo Fitness, the leader in workout apps and connected fitness devices, has just announced an official partnership with Olympic champion and two-time Ironman World Champion Jan Frodeno. Given the unique, multi-sport training requirements of triathlon, the Wahoo product ecosystem is perfectly tailored to maximize efforts and enhance the performance of all triathletes, including those competing at the world’s most elite levels, like Frodeno.

As an official partner, Wahoo’s complete ecosystem of innovative products will be supporting Frodeno’s training efforts. This includes the dual-band TICKR X Heart Rate Monitor, the powerful and aerodynamic ELEMNT BOLT GPS cycling computer, and Wahoo’s acclaimed indoor stationary smart bike trainer; the KICKR, whose signature flywheel technology replicates the smooth feel of the road. Rounding out the Wahoo ecosystem is the groundbreaking new KICKR CLIMB, a grade simulator which enables Frodeno to replicate the resistance and grade changes found on the profiles of real-world TT courses, providing a competitive edge unmatched by any other indoor trainer.

Frodeno, like other Wahoo athletes including Tour de France-winning Team Sky, will play a key role by providing direct input into the design and development of future Wahoo products ensuring they are tailored to meet the needs of the most demanding professional athletes. This valuable insight will help ensure Wahoo products continue to remain best-in-class for triathletes with the highest performance standards.

“I’ve always considered myself a Wahooligan, as I’ve been using Wahoo products to support my training efforts for many years, but now I’m happy to say it’s official,” says Wahoo’s newest athlete Jan Frodeno. “It’s very important to me that the brand cares about delivering a seamless user experience between each of its products – and Wahoo’s full ecosystem suits my training needs perfectly, enabling me to train with greater efficiency than ever before,” continues Frodeno.

“We’re extremely proud to introduce such an incredible athlete to the ‘Wahooligan’ family,” says Chip Hawkins, Wahoo Fitness CEO. “It’s long been Wahoo’s mission to support the performance of athletes at all levels, and our product ecosystem is uniquely positioned to provide a truly comprehensive, connected training experience for discerning weekend warriors and elite triathletes like Frodeno who demand nothing but the absolute best.”

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First-ever Super League Triathlon Corporate Mix draws competitive local teams

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The first-ever Super League Triathlon Corporate Mix commenced this morning in Jersey with Team Comprop finishing out front, followed by the Ravenscroft Titans and First Names Group Team 2 in second and third place in a thrilling sprint finish. With 17 teams from nine different corporate entities competing, the Corporate Mix has allowed the local community and businesses to be part of what has become one of Jersey’s biggest sporting events. Local teams were in fact among the most competitive, with the top six fastest teams coming from the Channel Islands.

Comprop is a leading privately owned property developer of both commercial and residential sites in Jersey and Guernsey. Its corporate mix team is composed of some of Jersey’s most dedicated athletes including pro coach Nick Saunders and full-time triathlete Ollie Turner.

After assessing the course and the safety needs of what were largely age-group participants, race officials decided to change the Corporate Mix run course to follow the pier, instead of taking place on the same section of road as the bike course since not all cyclists would be off the course by the time the first runners would start.

Officials also implemented the Sprint Pursuit format instead of the planned Enduro (nonstop swim-bike-run-swim-bike-run). The Sprint Pursuit involved two stages of swim-bike-run with ten minutes of rest between stages. At the start of the second stage, swimmers were released by the previous stage’s finish order as well as the time gaps between their team finishes.

Though out for the rest of the season due to hip surgery, Alistair Brownlee found a way to be a part of Super League Jersey, pinch-hitting as a swimmer for the MaccaNOW Foundation team. It was one very special highlight not just for the Corporate Mix competitors to swim alongside the dual Olympic gold medalist, but also for the Jersey locals who thronged the barricades to join the festivities and spectate.

While Team Comprop currently rules the leaderboard, the corporate teams’ final standing today will be determined by how their sponsored championship athletes perform in the men’s and women’s races happening later.

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