Daniela lays it on the line at Bahrain 70.3. Photo Credit: TrimaxMag
Now the dust has settled from last weekends race, we can make a clear analysis of both the race, and of the season.
Firstly, hats off to an absolute brilliant return to top level racing for The Captain Matty Trautman. Just a brilliant return from spinal injury, with two titanium rods in his back. Our saffa proved he could be the next man of steel. His best ever non wetsuit swim, a decent if not spectacular bike to be in T2 in 10th, before grinding out a run to find his rhythm and finish in 5th place. Just incredible.
Captain, on behalf of every member of the Trisutto family, I want to publicly say how proud we are of your race, and how pleased that you are already near your very best.
Matty exits the water with the front pack. Photo Credit: TrimaxMag
Moving on to the race by the Angry Bird, Daniela Ryf. This was the final race of her brilliant season.
The question of the Triple Crown and could she pull off the million dollar slam has been answered. While many saw this as a foregone conclusion coming into last weekends race, few considered the realities of what is involved. Without her injury in the early part of the year, Dani may have had the opportunity, however once the rehabilitation became too long, there were decisions to be made.
I was honest with her and said, ‘it’s either the triple crown, and we forget Kona and Ironman training, as we can win 70.3 Worlds, and take Bahrain. However if we go for 70.3 Worlds, then back up with Kona, I do not think we have done the earlier work to be able to go to the well 3 times’.
Well, I was wrong, as the bird did go to the well, and did herself proud. She toed the start line, and when the gun went off, so did the bird. For 85% of the race, she stood tall, flew very high, and gave it everything.
Chasing out of the water, and on the bike before forcing a gap and leading into T2, it took the quality athlete that is the previous years World Champion to overcome her. It was apparent this wasn’t the usual free flowing bird, discovering her limits as Kona caught up with her. However she didn’t go down without a fight, tucking in on the run, before the quality athlete that Holly Lawrence is claimed the win.
This was a real fight. I couldn’t be more proud of Dani, who produced one of her best ever performances. Without Holly there it would have been a very different race.
I’m also proud of her for a second reason. When given the choice of Kona or the money, she never hesitated. ‘I want to win the 70.3 Worlds, and do a 3 peat in Kona. We go after these two goals, as the history of the sport is on the line. I want to be a 3 time winner at Kona.’
So congratulations Daniela Ryf, it has been a wild ride.
What is next for the bird? If she is training with me, she will now have a very long rest. I will (once again) personally ask Ironman the same question most of the top pros and former winners of Kona have attempted to change. That the podium finishers should not have to pre-qualify for the next seasons event. It is no coincidence that the champions of the modern era have a shorter shelf life than those that came before them.
So while I try one more time to get some positive solutions to the sport burning out our very best, Bird will be on a very long holiday. This part of her career has now come to a close.
Daniela Ryf closes out a brilliant year. Photo Credit: TrimaxMag