IRONMAN Austria – A thrilling chase!
In Klagenfurt there was just one Kona slot on offer compared to many other long-distance events around the world this summer, that means: Next stop Upstate New York for IRONMAN Lake Placid.
His swimming in Klagenfurt was better than ever before. For the first kilometer he could keep touch with the first chasing group. After the first turning buoy, it became more difficult as the group was disturbed by the wake from a boat close to the leader, wonder-swimmer Lukas Wojt.
Michi emerged from the water in sixth place, “only” losing just 5 seconds per 100m to the chasing group, which wasn’t much for him.
A lonesome bike course
The advantage of the small pro field: no groups forming on the bike course. The disadvantage: you are mainly on your own.
He was alone all the way, right from the start it was hot, with overheating quickly becoming a threat. It was a tactical bike-split with an average of 295 watts. Good power management throughout meant that the climbs up Faakersee and Rupertiberg on the second half of the course were a pleasure for him. The bike-split took 8 minutes longer than last year due to the higher temperatures.
From the very start Michi took a more defensive strategy, knowing full well that due to the heat, the race outcome would ultimately be decided by the run-split.
Experience was key on the run course
It was business as usual for Michi on the run course. He started cautiously but could strike a constant pace from the start and remained calm and collected.
Quickly he jumped to fifth place and slowly climbed up the leaderboard. First, he overtook Joao Ferreira from Portugal, then in Krumpendorf after almost 24km his teammate Georg “Enzi” Enzenberg from Schuller Pro Tri Team, until he finally caught the long-time leader Wojt form Germany about 8km before the finish line.
The best finish line in the world
It was a goosebump moment for the Gumpoldskirchen athlete as he approached the finish line arena, being cheered wildly for his second place. He really lapped up the positive vibes from the spectators and did a couple of extra rounds in the arena, high fiving with the fans.
Side Fact about IRONMAN Austria: next year there will be no race in Klagenfurt for Michi, as there will only be a female-pro race taking place.
Now it’s time for recovery and recuperation! He has three weeks’ time now to get ready for IRONMAN Lake Placid on July 24th and prepare for the next assault on qualification for the IRONMAN World Championships in Hawaii in October. There is no shortage of motivation for this race!
The motto: straight forward - Kona calling!