As the Ironman World Championship descends upon Nice, France, this weekend, all eyes are on the versatile Kiwi athlete, Braden Currie. In a recent interview with Trizone, Currie shared his thoughts on the challenging course, his preparations, and the competition he faces. With an impressive resume that includes victories at Ironman races and strong showings in various disciplines, Currie's quest for the world championship title in Nice has become a focal point of the triathlon world.
Race Highlights in 2023
As Braden Currie gears up for the Ironman World Championship, his 2023 season has already been marked by impressive performances. He secured a victory at an Ironman event and claimed a second-place finish in Ironman New Zealand, with a notable 2:37 marathon time. Currie's consistent success across the swim, bike, and run disciplines is a testament to his versatility as an athlete.
Training in the Mountains
Braden Currie's journey to the Ironman World Championship in Nice has included a rigorous training block in the mountains of Saint Moritz, Switzerland. His dedication to preparation is evident, having spent the last month in the high-altitude surroundings. This altitude training aimed to optimise his performance for the grueling race conditions in Nice.
Embracing the Challenging Course
One notable aspect of this year's championship is the challenging course in Nice. Braden Currie's background as an adventure racer and mountain biker makes this course particularly appealing to him. The relentless nature of the course, with steep climbs and twisting descents, aligns perfectly with his strengths and preferences.
It's relentless; it just goes on and on, and then you think it's over, and there's another one. For me, it's sort of the perfect kind of course and probably the way I like to race.
Analysing the Bike Course
One of the most crucial aspects of this year's Ironman World Championship is the bike course, which promises to be a game-changer. The hilly terrain, with steep ascents and technical descents, will be a deciding factor in the race. Braden Currie's mountain biking background and technical riding skills could give him a significant advantage, especially during the challenging downhill sections.
He stated, "Obviously, my background was mountain biking. I got into the sport via mountain biking. I did Xterra for years and years. So I'd say, you know, for me, I know my technical riding is really good. If I lock it up and send it sideways, then I'm quite comfortable."
The Importance of Course Familiarity
To gain a competitive edge, Currie and his team have undertaken meticulous course research. They have even used a motorbike to familiarise themselves with every corner and section of the course. This level of preparation underscores Currie's commitment to understanding the nuances of the challenging route.
Race Strategy and Dynamics
Currie acknowledges the unique dynamics of this race, with a course that demands strategic riding. He anticipates that riders will need to be mindful of their positioning and efforts during the flatter sections, where attacks are likely to occur. The ability to maintain focus and surge strategically will be crucial for success.
The Run and Staying Cool Under Pressure
Currie's strong running capabilities are well-known in the triathlon community. While he may not be on his favored mountainous terrain for the run in Nice, his confidence in his flat running abilities is unwavering. His impressive 2:36 marathon time at Ironman Cairns earlier in the year showcases his potential to excel on this course.
The Uncertain Nature of the Race
As the race approaches, Currie acknowledges the unpredictability of the competition. The depth of talent in the field and the unique nature of the course make it challenging to predict outcomes. He believes that around 20 athletes have a genuine shot at victory, emphasising that it will ultimately come down to who has the best day on race day.
The Dream of Winning the World Championship
For Braden Currie, winning the Ironman World Championship in Nice would be the pinnacle of his triathlon career. As an older athlete, he recognises that he may have limited opportunities left to achieve this dream. Currie's family has been an integral part of his journey, traveling with him and supporting him throughout his rigorous training and racing schedule.
As Braden Currie prepares to tackle the Ironman World Championship in Nice, the triathlon world eagerly anticipates an exciting and fiercely competitive race. With a challenging course that plays to his strengths, a strong 2023 season under his belt, and a deep commitment to preparation, Currie stands as a formidable contender. While the world championship title remains uncertain, one thing is clear: Braden Currie's passion for the sport and his determination to succeed make him a true embodiment of the Ironman spirit.