COULD CANADA EVER SWEEP KONA?
ALL-GERMAN KONA PODIUM
SO ARE WE ever going to see three Canadians on the top of the podium in Kona? As much as I would love to say its in the cards, right now it’s a big reach. It’s not as though we don’t have the athletes. Historically Canada has had a number of Kona champions and contenders, sometimes even a bunch of them at the same time. In 1997, when Heather Fuhr won, Lori Bowden was second and Lisa Bentley finished ninth. Sylviane and Patricia Puntous went one-two a couple of times, too. It’s not hard to imagine that Brent Mcmahon, Lionel Sanders and Jeff Symonds, who have all won major events and beaten big names, couldn’t have a magical day in Kona.
But it’s kind of like a championship basketball team with just five guys. Sure, it can be done, but you need everyone to fire on the day to make it happen.
This year we saw an all-german podium in Kona and the guy who was second last year, Andreas Raelert, didn’t even finish the race. The only reason they didn’t have the first four positions was because Ben Hoffman pretty much left a lung on the side of the road to get to the line ahead of Andreas Boecherer, who might have still been able to catch the American had he known how much Hoffman was suffering and decided to push to the line rather than high-five everyone in sight down Ali’i Drive.
If you ask Boecherer, the reason Germans are so dominant is simple:
“We have good competition in Germany,” he says. “And our bike rides are so good because it’s the first thing we learn to do. We ride our