An action-packed April 6 brought an Ironman win and a second place for the Uplace-BMC Pro Triathlon Team. Sofie Goos kicked off her season with an impressive victory in the Ironman 70.3 Texas. Helle Frederiksen finished second in the South Beach Lifetime Tri in Miami. Ronnie Schildknecht, on the other hand, was unlucky in the Ironman South Africa. A kick in the stomach during the swim ultimately forced him out of the race.
Sofie Goos started her season in the Ironman 70.3 Texas. Despite a forecast of thunderstorms, the swim was on and Sofie made it a good one. She came out of the water in fourth position, just a minute behind fastest swimmer Amy Marsh. After a fast transition, she hopped on the bike second. The bike leg was flat and windy. Sofie, lightweight but feeling strong, only had to let Lidbury and Piampiano pass. She ran into T2 in fourth position with a 4:31 deficit on Marsh. But Sofie had brought her running legs. After 5k, she had moved into third and after 8k, she was in second. Halfway through, Sofie had grabbed the lead, running her way to a convincing victory. Her final time was a very fast 04:06:23. Emma Kate Lidbury (GB: 04:11:05) and Sarah Piampiano (US; 04:11:57) completed the podium.
Sofie was delighted with a surprise win: “For years I started the season with a terrible performance. Last night I literally gave myself zero chance to win. I even bought tickets for a basketball game tonight. But some days everything just works and you feel great all day. That was definitely the case today. I settled into a good group in the swim and found a good pace on the bike. When I got to T2, I felt so strong; I knew my run would be good. And it was. Seeing the girls in front of me definitely helped too. It is so wonderful to start the year with a good race and a solid KPR total. Never mind the basketball game; I will happily cancel to go to the awards ceremony.”
Helle Frederiksen showed her outstanding form in the Olympic Distance South Beach Lifetime Tri. A solid swim put her just 35 seconds behind a leading group that included Haskins, McLarty, Brandon and Duffy. Halfway through the bike leg, Helle had moved into second position, 40 seconds behind Haskins. Helle made it a terrific run, reducing the gap to as little as 25 seconds, but ultimately Haskins remained too strong. The final podium times: 1. Sarah Haskins: 2:01:59; 2. Helle Frederiksen: 2:02:34; 3. Alicia Kaye: 2:05:08.
Helle was pleased with an excellent Lifetime Tri result one week before the Ironman 70.3 San Juan: “I’m happy with my performance today. My body is feeling so much better than three weeks ago in Monterrey. The conditions were tough and the field was the strongest I have seen in Olympic non-draft racing for a long time. This fast race should set me up well for the Ironman 70.3 San Juan next weekend. The race season is definitely underway.”
Ronnie Schildknecht had traveled to South Africa determined to defend his 2013 title. However, a kick in the stomach at the turnaround point of the swim ended his race before it really began. Ronnie went under and swallowed quite a bit of salty water. He managed to finish the swim, more than 5 minutes behind fastest swimmer Frommhold. The entire bike leg, Ronnie suffered from nausea, entering T2 in 5th position more than 16 minutes down. In the run, the vomiting and his inability to keep his nutrition in caught up with Ronnie. He had to abandon the race halfway through the marathon.
Naturally, Ronnie was disappointed, “This obviously wasn’t the race I had hoped for. I came here to defend my title. On the other hand, I know it was an accident, not poor preparation or bad race tactics. After the initial disappointment has settled, we will take a look at the next steps in my season planning.”
Nils Frommhold (Germany; 08:26:07) won the Ironman South Africa. Kyle Buckingham (South Africa; 08:32:39) and Faris Al-Sultan (Germany; 08:33:19) completed the podium.
Sofie made Ironman.com headlines with her IM 70.3 Texas win