Congratulations to Caroline Steffen of teamTBB who yesterday took out the MetaMan Triathlon on the Indonesian island of Bintan. Caroline proved her fitness as she prepares for the Ironman World Championships in six weeks, dominating the field in extremely hot conditions.
Steffen has put a lot of work into her swim over the past two months, and went into this race with the goal of having a swim she knows she is capable of. Steffen is an ex-swimmer and was honest in admitting she was a little embarrassed of her swim times of late. Finding herself on feet early in the swim, Steffen swam alongside Kiwi Gina Crawford, with both women coming out of the water amongst the lead males. This is the first time Steffen has found herself amongst the lead male group, and thus was happy to see her hard work in the pool paying dividends.
A new bike after Roth saw a review of her position, with Steffen stating she “was never happy with my bike setup last year. This was a test of the new setup and it went really well.” It appears Steffen did in fact gain more comfort and power from the new position aboard her Cervelo P5, powering away from Crawford, and most of the professional males for that matter. The MetaMan bike course is ideal for Caroline who revels in undulating courses where she can use her power to gain advantage up moderate inclines without getting out of the saddle.
Generally racing by feel, Steffen made the decision to race with a heart rate monitor and to focus on a strong swim/bike combination. The goal was always to win, but hopefully being able to save something in reserve on the run with Kona in mind, only six weeks away. With this plan executed successfully, Steffen was able to run comfortably, and reported feeling great after the race.
Tonight Steffen heads to the island of Cozumel in Mexico, where she joins her team mates of teamTBB and coach Brett Sutton, for her final preparation in the islands hot and windy conditions.
Gina Crawford had to settle for second place, and did this comfortably with the day’s second fastest bike split and a 3:22:45 marathon. Crawford was also using this race as preparation for Kona, and what better conditions to practice in! The proze money was also a motivation and with her new race strategy taking shape this was a great place to test it out further.
One curve ball that Gina faced was an unknown person, who may or may not have been her husband, had removed the handlebar tape from the side horns on her aerobars. This meant that every time Gina stood up out of her saddle to climb her hands were slippery and she was not getting any grip. The bike course was 90kms of undulation so there was a lot of climbing.
Speaking of Gina’s handlebars we noticed that Gina has a picture of her son on the right hand side of her handlebars and a picture of her husband and her son on the left hand side. She gets a lot of motivation from these. Next up for Gina is the Sunshine Coast 70.3 and then Kona.
2012 defending champion Candice Hammond, also of New Zealand finished in third, posting fastest marathon of the day in 3:19:40 to finish ten minutes behind Crawford. Candice looked strong all day on the run and never faltered.
In fourth place was Belinda Granger who, whilst looking laboured on the bike when we were out on the course with her, seemed to handle the run with relative ease and didn’t look troubled all day.
New Zealand based German, Simone Maier finished 5th overall after succumbing to a mechanical out on bike course. Maier ran a solid 3:29. Maier heads off to join her New Zealand teammates in China for two adventure races. Maier loves adventure racing. It suits her ‘outgoing’ adventure loving personality.
Runner up at this year’s Ironman Australia, Ange Castle, rounded out the pro women’s field with a slower than normal marathon. Ange looked great during the first half of the marathon but slowed as the heat and the race took it’s toll. Castle is usually a ‘smiley’ runner but we didn’t see it in the second half of the run in Bintan.
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