What an exciting weekend for the Uplace-BMC Pro Triathlon team with Corinne Abraham topping the podium in Ironman Cozumel and Bart Aernouts finishing a close second in Challenge Languna Phuket.
Finishing 3rd in IM70.3 Austin a few weeks ago, we knew Corinne was on her way up again after a long injury spell earlier in the year. After a good training block in Austin and preparation in Cozumel, it was time to shine again in IM Cozumel. Corinne started the day with a solid swim, coming out off the water in 13th, with a 5-minute deficit on the strongest swimmers. Corinne pushed the pace hard on the bike, with the fastest bike split she rounded off the bike in 4th, 3 minutes behind the leader. Putting on a very smart race, she made up time step by step and took over the lead halfway the marathon. By then Corinne was flying to the finish line, bringing home the win in a very fast time of 9:06:40! Leanda Cave and Camilla Pedersen finished 2nd and 3rd in a time of respectively 9:13:29 and 9:14:08.
"I am delighted to have finished on the podium! I felt like I was fit enough to race, but didn’t really think that I was in ‘winning’ shape. But it just goes to show that you never know and you can only race your best…! The swim suited me and I when I finished the race, I was pleased to find out that I was only -5min from the front when I came out of the water. I didn’t get a time split until the end of the 1st lap of the bike, when I think I was about 4min down but I knew that I just needed to concentrate on drinking & getting my nutrition right & of course keep pushing! For the run I felt terrible - absolutely terrible for about the first 2-3km and Camilla Pedersen came straight past me and made a good lead very quickly. But my run legs started to come through at about 5k and then I found my rhythm and started to make good time and catch the girls in front. Then I just kept running! I’m very happy that I could finish my season and time with the team on the top of the podium and give huge thanks for all of the support that I have received. Thank you!
Earlier in the day Bart Aernouts started in Challenge Phuket with a solid swim, coming out off the water in 19th place. During the 90km bike section he showed his good form and moved his way up to 5th position. With a 3-minute gap off the lead, we knew anything was still possible during the half marathon, knowing Bart his run capacities. Bart showed again that he’s a flyer on the run, and gradually closed the gap with the leaders. Bart eventually finished off in 2nd and came less than one minute too short for the win. Ruedi Wild won the race in 03:54:45.
Bart was happy with his performance and his second place finish:”I had a really good swim start, but unfortunately after 400m I had to let the lead group go. I exited the water with just over 2 minutes deficit on the leaders. The bike course was very fast with some short but hard steep climbs, up to 22% gradient. I felt good on the bike and was on my own for most of the time. But in the end the gap to the leaders stayed the same. I started the run in 5th position. The half marathon in Phuket is very often a real battle for survival due to the heat and humidity. During the run I felt good straight away and I pushed as hard I could to run to the front. Unfortunately I didn’t catch Ruedi Wild anymore but I didn’t give him the victory for free. I really enjoyed the race and the challenge to battle for the win. But Wild was the well deserved winner and I am satisfied with my second place. It was a very strong field and you noticed everybody wanted to go to the limit. I started my season in January and we are now at the end of November. I will now focus on recovering well and Saturday I will go all out one more time this season in Bahrain."