Breakthrough Ironman victory
EMERGING from the shadow of training partner and world champion Jan Frodeno, part-time Noosa resident Nicholas Kastelein claimed a breakthrough victory at Ironman Switzerland on Sunday.
Training with Jan at Noosa for half of the year, Nick was returning from a broken collarbone suffered in a bike crash on his way to finishing second at 70.3 Barcelona.
After a two second deficit in the swim in his comeback race, Nick led on the bike from the 37km mark and was never headed.
He stopped the clock in 8:13:28 (48:18, 4:31:13, 2:50:24), more than seven minutes ahead of Ruedi Wild and 13 minutes better than Jan Van Berkel.
“Winning is unlike any feeling. And especially after working so hard for it,” he said.
“It was made extra special because my dad flew from Australia to help me with the preparation.
“I had a film crew documenting my collarbone recovery as well as all the sponsors working with me all weekend..it's a lot of pressure but good pressure.
“I'm just glad I could show all the results of all the hard work that everyone put in.”
That books him a spot at the world championship in Kona, where Jan has already set up his back-to-back defence after he clocked the only sub eight-hour time at Ironman Austria last month.
Even though the German had illness before the race, he still raced head-and-shoulders above the field.
Jan was first out of the 3.8km swim leg with a two-minute lead. He grew that gap throughout the challenging 180km bike course to 10 minutes by the time he hit the marathon, then dug in to increase the lead to 17 minutes at one point. While the chasers clawed back two minutes as they battled for second place, Jan had more than enough time to cross the finish line, collapse in relief, then sit and wave at the crowd.
“Only had one tactical card, go hard on the swim and hope the boys bunch up on the bike and play cat and mouse – I love it when a plan works,” Jan said.
Nick Kastelein claims victory at Ironman Switzerland on Sunday.