5 REASONS TO IMPROVE YOUR CYCLING
Lance Armstrong didn’t take credit for saying it, but it seemed most appropriate coming from his lips when he made his brief jaunt into the triathlon world a few years ago: “You bike for show and run for dough.”
He was referring to the feeling in the sport that, while some athletes would often bike their way to huge leads heading into T2, it was the run where races were really decided. While I’m not ready to argue that being able to run well isn’t a critical component to triathlon success, I am ready to say that enhanced bike skills are becoming more and more important to triathlon success.
What makes me say that? Well, just look at the current crop of top competitors in all three disciplines of the sport. When it comes to ITU racing in 2017, Flora Duffy has reigned supreme on the women’s side of things. Duffy spent much of the winter working on her running (which led to an injury that laid her up for the first two World Triathlon Series events), but her dominant bike leg remains her killer weapon. She used it to perfection to win the Grand Final in Cozumel last September and has continued to use a killer bike leg as the means to the top of the podium in 2017.
While we don’t see it as often on the men’s side of the ITU race scene, Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee showed us in Leeds that the same strategy can certainly work. The two rode away from the rest of the men’s field and then held them off on the run to take the title. It probably doesn’t hurt that Alistair has chosen to focus on longerdistance races this year, which would lend itself to that sort of a strategy.
Speaking of longer-distance races, when you look at 70.3 racing the dominant players are also frighteningly fast on the bike. Holly Lawrence hasn’t lost a middle-distance race in over a year thanks to a stellar bike split. The best example of just how fast the best athletes are cycling over 90 km these days, though, came at the Challenge Championship.
“I thought it was two motorcycles going by me,” Michael Raelert said of Lionel Sanders and Sebastian Kienle when they passed him on the pancake flat course in Samorin, Slovakia. “I didn’t think you could make a bike move that fast.”
Here’s what’s crazy about that comment – it’s coming from a two-time Ironman 70.3 world champion.
Kienle continued that same super-fast bike routine at the Ironman European Championship, riding a 4:02 bike split
BELOW Lionel Sanders on the bike at The Championship 2017 with Sebastian Kienle hot on his tail