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Cadence for MTB Racing

Cadence for MTB Racing

Thomas Schafer doing what he does best on a bike: hammering.  

Since Brett’s (Sutton) initial blog on low cadence there has been a lot of discussions on the right cadence for special events and different athletes here on

One of the questions asked was: ‘What would you recommend for mountain biking?’

Now this could seem to be a little bit off topic for a squad that is highly specialised on triathlon performance. But it’s not. Not only because we have both a bunch of XTERRA athletes and a bunch of pure cyclists among our athletes. This questions goes to the heart of our individual approach. There is no one size fit’s all recipe. Every coaching decicion consists of weighing different aspects against each other. And this is exactly what the answer to that question shows.

Cadence is always a compromise of different things:

First the energetic demands – where generally a lower cadence is more efficient and burns less energy, and the muscular load, where higher cadences are easier to handle and less tiring. The higher your power, the higher your cadence needs to be. For triathlon, especially Ironman racing, power is very low compared to for example a TT stage in road racing. This is why triathletes are better off with a low cadence, but the Cancellaras of this world do their 6,5W/kg efforts at a cadence of well above 100. They couldn’t generate and sustain a power this high with a 50 cadence. Cam Watt layed out this aspect precisely on his latest cadence blog The Great Cadence Debate.

Guy athlete Guy Evans competing in XTERRA.

Next you have to consider race situation: Do you have to do sprints, counter surges or attacks, move with a peloton? If in such a race situation you’re stuck at 60 cadence your competitors will be gone before you even could shift into a smaller gear and speed up. This is one of the reasons why road racers have to ride in a relatively high „stand-by“ gear to be able to act or react immediately.

And finally you have to consider the physical make of the athlete. Is he a „born“ sprinter of nature, who has more fast-twitch fibers and is generally better suited with high cadence (and shorter racing) or has he a built-in diesel engine with lots of slow-twitch fibers, an endurance monster with a monster gear?

Triathletes and XTERRA athletes also have to be able to run off the bike. That also makes for a different riding and cadence compared to a pure cycling race.

Considering all these aspects is what goes through a coach’s mind. Depending on your kind of racing and race distance, one has to find the right balance of all these aspects.

But back to mountain biking: Off-road one cannot chose cadence as freely as in road racing, or even more freely in triathlon. On the mountain bike, cadence is to a very high degree dictated by course profile and race situation. The shorter and faster the race, the more difficult the course, the less room to think or even choose cadence. You simply have to react. So it’s very unrhythmic racing, with lot’s of short burst, extremely high spikes, and a lot of out of the saddle action. That’s a very different dynamic to triathlon where you can ride one and the same cadence for literally all courses out there, not being bothered by terrain or competition. You do your thing and nothing should disturb you.

Thomas_MTB_3In off road racing cadence is dictated by course profile.

Not so in MTB racing: Traction and keeping the momentum plays an important role in steep and difficult gravel sections. Riding a very low gear will cause the wheel to lose contact. So a higher cadence is needed to keep the momentum and make it up steep ramps smoothly. On the other hand, you cannot ride a 100+ cadence on rough terrain or standing standing on the pedals.

Also, you are very limited in big gears with the gear ratio in modern MTB – you simply lack big gears when it comes to flat stretches of racing. So quickly you will end up with quite high cadences for those sections as there simply is no bigger gear available. This was a bit different in the old days, when you had triple rings at the front, but therefore all that shifting hassle as well.

In terms of racing needs and race cadence, MTB racing is generally in between triathlon’s low cadence (even power / low, aerobic load) and road racing’s high cadence (big jumps in power, all kind of surges and bursts, lots of VO2max riding).

Thomas_MTB_4MTB racing is much closer to road racing than to triathlon.

Mountain biking, especially the short racing, has an even bigger range of power distribution than road riding. A lot of extremely short, extremely high spikes in power. And if you have a closer look, also extremely high spikes of force (power = force x distance) not seen in road racing. Theortically those power spikes would need a very high cadence to smooth out the force spikes and make the effort more sustainable – but at the same time, you’re limited by terrain and out of the saddle action in high cadence. In MTB racing, there will be always more intensity than in triathlon and always more muscular load than in road cycling.

But, hey that’s also, what it makes different and entertaining!

So to break down all theat aspects in a simple summary:

Cadence in triathlon is easy: You chose the most efficient range which is between 60 and 80, depending on athlete and distance.

Cadence in road racing: You chose on race dynamics and high intensity which gives a cadence between 90 and 110.

Cadence in MTB: MTB racing is much closer to road racing than to triathlon, as you have also high race dynamics and power loads, but at the same time you’re much more restricted by terrain (which makes for lower than “ideal” cadence) and gear ratio (which makes for higer cadence than “ideal”). So the range is much wider and a bit lower than in road racing. However, the longer and more steady your race is (MTB marathon) the more that range will narrow and shift to the slower side 60 to 80.

In 2015 Jo Spindler coached over three professional Ironman winners. online triathlon coaches are available to help improve your performance here.

Born Winners – Victories for Squad

Born Winners – Victories for Squad

Mary Beth Ellis – 2015 Ironman Mont-Tremblant Champion.

She’s just a winner. Yesterday’s Ironman presented every conceivable obstacle for Mary Beth to have a bad day. Trained to dog tired condition, she raced Alpe D’Huez two weeks ago, which in itself was a follow up to her runner’s up position at Ironman Zurich. A plane trip, a change of time zones, no sleep the for two days as we arrived late as we could. Lesser human beings would have just raced this one for training. However they’re not the Honey Badger. When the gun goes off it doesn’t just start the race – it defines what MBE is, was and always will be: ‘The ultimate competitor’.

A little over 9-hours of giving it every thing she had. And when her body said no more? She just dug deeper and did what very few can do – improvise and overcome. Make no mistake Mary Beth is a born winner and is going to finish her career with Ironman Titles into the double figures.

Carina_BThird place for Carina Brechters at the Allgäu Triathlon Half Distance.

This weekend I was also very happy with Carina’s second attempt at the Half Ironman distance. We are working towards teaching her to ride a bike like the big dogs do. This takes time, effort and commitment. She is now showing the latter two. Time will tell if she has what it takes to do that for three years.

Recap from Coach Jo Spindler:

Andrej V1

Embrun, France – Andrej Vistica’s already impressive 2015 season continued today with a fantastic win at the 32nd edition of Embrunman.

In addition to it’s long tradition Embrunman is famous for it’s very difficult course. With more than 3800m of ascents on the 186km bike leg and a run course that is far from easy, this race is formidable and known as the toughest iron distance event in the world. The race has cult status not only among French triathletes.

As per tradition the race started at 6:00h, in complete dark. For the first 20 minutes participants need to follow a boat with a light reflector. Vistica exited the water with Victor del Corral and with a 3 minute gap to lead group with all the main favorites.

After the first 40km of the bike ride Vistica caught the lead group and went for a solo break. His lead grew steadily and he reached second transition with 6 min lead to James Cunnama, 9 min to del Corral, while all others had double-digit gap. The ride was made even harder by the rain that started on top of Col d’Izoard. The temperature on the top was only 5 degrees Celsius.

Although Andrej’s lead was reasonable, the race was far from decided. Both Cunnama and del Corral are known as very strong runners. In the first 3km Cunnama took a minute out of his gap and it looked like a matter of time that he would take the lead. However, by the half-way point Cunnama only managed to get another 45s closer and then Andrej’s lead started growing again. At the end, Vistica added fastest run split (2:53h) to his fastest bike split and won the race with a huge margin of 12 minutes to Victor del Corral and James Cunnama.

At the finish line, Andrej was very pleased with his effort:

“This is my best race performance so far! I’m very happy! Coached by Jo Spindler, I spent the last 4 weeks in St. Moritz preparing for this race in Brett Sutton’s group and it obviously paid off.”

Andrej PodiumMen’s podium: James Cunnama, Andrej Vistica and Victor del Corral.

At the German Allgäu Triathlon (Olympic distance) our Philipp Gubler placed 2nd in his age group, beaten only by Sebi Kienle. Philipp placed 6th overall only a few seconds behind Faris al Sultan who came in 5th!

Steffen Warias raced ICan Nordhausen in Germany. The gourmet chef from Merseburg raced hard and the work paid of with a 3rd place in his Age Group. He had a solid swim and bike and at the end he hammered the half marathon in 1:36h which ended up in a 4:57h total. After a broken collarbone we’re looking forward to his first long distance at Cologne226 since 3 years now.

Thomas_SThomas Schäfer second at the ICan Nordhausen.

Finally, our para cyclist Thomas Schäfer raced the ICan Nordhausen as well but only in his parade discipline: cycling. Thomas team achieved the 2nd place in the relay category. He hammered the bike and had the 2nd fastest bike split of 2:10 over 90km of the day. Well done to all our athletes competing today.

Recap from Coach Bella Bayliss:

I feel happy and I have a big smile on my face today because we had some very, very good performances this weekend. The winning will come when these people work as hard as they do.

This weekend Esther and Victor were our role models for the kids at TriActiv Lanzarote.

Victor_DCVictor del Corral: Runner’s Up at Embrunman.  

I have competed in tough races all over the world, but having also raced Embrunman many times I know it is one of the hardest iron distances out there. Starting the swim in the dark at 6am, a 190km ride up and down the French Alps including the Col d’Izoard which is over 2300m, then the marathon up and down the hills of the village of Embrun. Victor has been dealing with an annoying niggle in his ankle since Ironman UK, so although we had planned to go to Embrun we knew the ankle may make the race difficult.  He had a very good swim and bike, finishing the bike in 3rd place ahead of race favourite, Marcel Zamora. After 18km on the run his ankle began to get sore and difficult but he kept his concentration, he ran 2.56 with the bad foot, passing James Cunama to come 2nd!  Congratulations Andrej Vistica who was the champion of the day with a great race. On the podium were all athletes who have been helped by Brett or by Brett’s coaches!

EstherEsther Rodriguez 2nd at TriNautico sprint distance.

I took Esther Rodriguez on at the beginning of the summer, I am very happy to be working with Esther because she is a gutsy and hard working girl, but in the need of being pointed in the right direction with some solid training.  I am really enjoying seeing Esther take this training on board and getting stronger by the day. I work with Esther at Sands Beach, she helps me with the kids training so we are a little Team. TriActiv Lanzarote continues to go from strength to strength.

Esther came 2nd at the TriNautico sprint triathlon on Lanzarote yesterday, after a solid swim bike and run.  She was a great role modal for all our juniors also racing. Now we continue with the training for her upcoming Spanish Championships and 70.3 Lanzarote.

Bella Squad

James Mitchell raced the same sprint triathlon. After some injury problems it was lovely to see him enjoy the afternoon race with no problems. Hollie Craddock racing also back on track after some recent injuries.

Mia Leadbeater raced the adult sprint race continuing to show her hard work and dedication to us all.  Congratulations Mia on your great race. Marcos Knight, Jorge Wilkes, Adrián Rodríguez Hernández, Juanma all raced the kids race showing us all how it is done. Well done all of you. Lots more to come from all of you and I’m very proud of you all,

Aya Stevens came 4th at the Slovakian Mountain Bike Championships as training in preparation for the upcoming Xterra UK! Richard Newey smashed his 50mile TT pb by 4 minutes in England while he continues to prepare for 70.3 Worlds then Hawaii. Great work Richard.

Recap from Coach Susie Langley:

MarianaMariana winning the 10km event at the Maratona de Santa Catarina.

Congratulations to Mariana Andrade for another win this week, this time in the 10km event at the Maratona de Santa Catarina. Sharpening up the run legs before heading to Challenge Maceio next week.

Jessie Donavan and Anne Basso both raced at Ironman Mont Tremblant. Jessie rode very strongly through the field and fought on hard to secure a 6th place finish.

Anne performed consistently across all 3 disciplines and finished in 11th place. Encouraging signs for both women. team member, Trevor Desault, representing the boys in Canada also finished a solid 6th. Great job guys.

Recap from Coach Luis Villavicencio:

Lottie Riddle


So proud of our Squaddie Lottie Riddle who in her 3rd Half Ironman distance has achieved something very special. She did a great job doing a PB and winning her Age Category! Well done Lottie, very happy for you.

Recap from Coach Robbie Haywood:

GiselaReichmuthGisela Reichmuth was 1st place in her category!

Well done to two of my Swiss athletes racing this weekend in cool and wet conditions in Switzerland and Germany.

Sandy Benz was 1st place female overall in the Rhyathlon at St Gallon, a local sprint triathlon.  A training race for Sandy, as she prepares for the ITU World Championships in Chicago in September.

Gisela Reichmuth was 1st place in her category, and 6th female overall at the Allgäu sprint triathlon in German.  A good results off the back of Ironman training this season 🙂

Well done to all of our athletes competing this weekend. online professional coaches are available to help improve your performance here.

Inspiring Weekend of Results

Inspiring Weekend of Results

Diana Riesler winning Ironman 70.3 Gdynia this weekend.

This weekend saw the squad throw their full support behind the Home of Triathlon initiative here in St. Moritz. It was also a spectacular demonstration to our young pros about what it takes to be a true all round professional and champion.

On Saturday Nicola Spirig spent all day shaking hands, giving high-fives and signing autographs for the 119  competitors at the Kids Cup series that holds her name. This year they doubled the number of competitors in what turned out to be a terrific event. After starting the race, being on the finish line to watch every competitor finish and then presenting the awards ceremony – who do you think Coach spots on the bike at 6pm, swim bag over the shoulder preparing for the next day’s race?

NS-KidsCup17Nicola Spirig Kids Cup presentation ceremony.

The Top of the World Triathlon

On what is now home turf the squad were out in full force for the adult’s race on the Sunday. One of the reasons we have the success we do within our squad is because of the mutual respect our athletes have for each other. Respect in that while everyone remains friends off the course, all know when the starter gun goes off no-one takes any prisoners. So there was no walkover in this race with our Honey Badger (Mary Beth Ellis) sticking it to the short course champs on the swim and bike. swept the podium with Ritchie doing a good job to run away with it, chased home by the impressive up-and-comers Alan Carillo and Reiny Brown. The latter being given a little lesson is aggressive race riding by the female World Long Course and Olympic Champ.

In the women’s race, Nicola, weathered the early onslaught to take out the inaugral Home of Triathlon race and was followed in by Eimear Mullan and MBE.

Well done to all.

Race Recap - HoTThe squad in action at the HoT Triathlon this weekend: Ritchie Nicholls (1st), Alan Carillo (2nd), Reiny Brown (3rd), Mary Beth Ellis (3rd), Eimear Mullan (2nd) and Nicola Spirig (1st).

Elsewhere, congratulations to Julie Derron who took out the Swiss Junior Championship in Nyon this weekend riding down the top girls and proving to strong on the run. Trent Simmons also did a great job with a solid performance to take the 2nd fastest run split in the men’s race.

Finally, very happy for age group athlete Alicja Medak, who won Ironman 70.3 Gdynia this weekend taking her age group in her home country of Poland.

Alicja RRVictory in colours for Alicja Medak this weekend.

Race Recap from Coach Jo Spindler:

Diana RRSecond time within two weeks Dian Riesler has found herself on top of the podium.

It really looks like Diana likes racing in Poland, as she has now won the 2 most prestigiuos races there within only 2 weeks! This weekend, she backed-up her performance at Challenge Poznan with a win at Ironman 70.3 Gdynia. Diana exited the water in 2nd position, only 45 seconds back to first. Thanks to her traditional super-strong bike performance, she took over the lead at 10km on the bike course and extended her margin to second place to 5 minutes when hopping off the bike. She continued to gain time on the run course and won the race with a superior lead of 13 minutes. At the finish line, Diana was very happy:

“Finally I could win my first Ironman 70.3 title! That is fantastic! We worked very hard to get my speed up so that I am not only competitive at long distance races but also over shorter distances. I’m glad that the hard training of the past months paid off today.”

Coach Jo was also pleased with Diana’s performance:

“In Poznan she won the race with a strong run, but she almost lost the race on the swim. Today she won the race with strong swim and bike performances. Since Posnan we adjusted some things in the pool and found the ‘missing link’. I’m happy that today her swim is back to what it should be.”

Well done Diana!

Oliver RROliver Klaus blazing away at the Top of the World Triathlon this weekend.

Oliver Klaus was the athlete who stood up for my squad at St. Moritz Top of the World Triathlon in St. Moritz. He hit the podium in 3rd place – despite coach gave him a 5hr bike ride the day before to tire his legs for the race. The tiredness of that ride should protect him from going to hard on this sprint distance triathlon. However, it looks like Oli outraced his legs. 😉 Oli enjoyd the race very much. It’s just a fantastic landscape up there! Great job, Oli. Nice way to start the training road to Kona!

Race Recap from Coach Lisbeth Kristensen:

Kitty RR1st place and onto the World Champs for Kitty Perle.

I’m a very happy coach this weekend! Kitty finished Dublin 70.3 and won her age group, 30-34, in 4.59.03!! It seemed as if it was a tough course. She was a bit back on the swim but then she hammered on the bike and she had the fastest run and bike split. She qualified for World Champs in Australia next year! She’s been working so hard and I’m very proud of her!

Fran Bungay also just became the European Champion in her age group, 40-44! She’s just brilliant on the bike. She had a good swim too and the run is come nicely along too!

Here is Fran’s take on the race:

After a great bit of training in the Alpes and the short course Alpe D’Huez triathlon race, (winning my age group, top 10 finish and posting the third fastest bike split up the mountain), I headed over to Germany to race in the European 70.3 Championships in Wiesbaden. I was disappointed to learn that the swim start was changed to a rolling start, turning the race into a time-trial, and resulting in a horrible messy swim, worst I have experienced in a long time in terms of being pulled at the ankles, swum over, hit, etc. However, was pleased to hit the hilly bike course and put some time between me and my fellow competitors! 10 minutes faster on the bike than last year, (which must have something to do with those mountain hill reps!) the key was to keep the legs moving on the run! With still a fair bit of work to do on the run due to a few years of injury, I have to really focus on being positive, and Coach Lisbeth has given me a few aspects to focus on which were working really well… Until on lap 3 I fell on a manhole cover, twisting and damaging my ankle. With only a lap and a bit to go, I obviously carried on, and on finishing headed to First Aid!  Really pleased to have finished as European Champion in my age group! So heading to physio tomorrow to assess the damage. With under three weeks to go until the World Championships I’m hoping for a quick fix!!

Fran RRFran at the awards ceremony.

Race Recap from Coach Andres Castillo:

Brian Moya RRHe’s back. Great return to racing for Brian Moya!

This was a good weekend for my athletes, starting with Alan Carrillo with a second place at the St. Moritz triathlon in his preparation for the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in 3 weeks. In Bogota, Brian Moya returned to triathlon world after a broken collarbone 2 months ago with a win in the Colombian National cup and just 2 weeks after his 2nd place in the duathlon Pan American Championship. In the same race Juan Herrera was second in his age group. For my US athletes, Rob Straznitskas was 3rd overall at the Maine State Triathlon and Walter Rhee did a good training race in Texas in his preparation for Ironman 70.3 Texas.

Well done squad. Keep up the good work.

Race Recap from Coach Luis Villavicencio:

Very proud of my athlete Daniel Barrundia competing in the Collegiate Nationals this weekend. Daniel is an incredible kid, he attends a very prestigious university in the US (Georgia Tech), has a computer science major plus an internship with IBM!

Today he placed 30th from over 410 males beat 90% of the field! This is his recap:

This weekend, my teammates of the Georgia Tech Triathlon and I competed in the Olympic-Distance National Championships in Milwaukee, Wis. This was for all an A-Race and a great way to finish up some really hard training we put over the summer.

Less than a year ago when I started training with you my mind set was completely different. I was just starting with triathlon and I was trying just to finish up races. Hard to believe that this weekend I had a plan set in mind and goals that I wanted to achieve!

Like my coach always says: ‘trust your training and race smart’. Thanks to your advice and training I was able to accomplish these goals and have a new PR.

I can’t wait for the upcoming races of the season and specially my first Ironman 70.3 in Miami at the end of October.

Race Recap from Coach Robbie Haywood:

MelanieBensonAndNicolaPool RRMelanie and the champ at St. Moritz.

A super weekend again with my athletes racing in Ireland, Germany and Switzerland.

Melanie Benson after a 12 day visit to train with us in St Moritz headed into 70.3 Weisbaden. I can’t be happier with Mel’s attitude and progress this year.  Despite a race morning stumble, resulting in a suspected broken toe, she had the fastest swim in her category, and a solid ride before calling it a day early in the run. We can do a lot with Mels ‘improvise and overcome’ attitude 🙂

Sarah Keller returned to St Moritz (after attending camp two weeks ago) to race in the Top Of The World Triathlon, in St Moritz.  Sarah was first female out of the swim in her wave, and did a super job all day. Sarah improves ever week, as she builds back to full fitness after some time away from the sport.

Neil S RR

Neil Scholes secured a 5th place finish in 70.3 Dublin. Coming from a background of 30 years marathon running Neil has worked diligently on his swim, and was in good company today right from the gun. Still work to be done, but we are on our way.

Gisela Reichmuth, her brother and her husband raced Flumserei Duathlon, placing 2nd overall team. A ‘fun in the sun’ race day, and a reminder that there are some super local races out there to enjoy 🙂

SarahKellerLeadFemaleWave2TopOfTheWorldTriathlon2015 RRSarah Keller exiting the water this weekend.

Congratulations to all athletes competing this weekend.


Weekend of Podiums and PBs for Squad

Weekend of Podiums and PBs for Squad

One of my favourite races: Alpe D’Huez Triathlon 

For the first time in many years I was not able attend the Alpe D’Huez Triathlon this season. A very special race to me, having first spent a season there in 1992 and making the pilgrimage back with the squad every year since 2007.  However, were well represented in spirit with many former squaddies making the journey back and our own Honey Badger (Mary Beth Ellis) and Ritchie Nicholls competing in the spectacular but gruelling long distance event.

While riding in a solid second position Ritchie Nicholls suffered a puncture, which put him out of the race, while I was very happy with the all day training hit-out for Mary Beth Ellis who took 2nd behind an impressive Emma Pooley.

Alpe D Huez1Ritchie and Mary Beth at one of the most spectacular race courses you’ll see.

This weekend also saw our emerging pro, Carina Brechters, continue to improve her run and take a solid Top 5 in the Triathlon Bundesliga series. She’ll now return to St. Moritz where we’ll get to work on that final leg as we progress to the podium.

Carina_BCarina Brechters competing this weekend.

Recap from Coach Jo Spindler:

Steffi Jansen had a fantastic day at Ironman Maastricht! She not only won her Age Group, but placed 5th overall in the women’s field. Steffi had a personal best swim, exiting the water in 9th place. She executed her race plan very well on a tough and windy course and made up a lot of ground. Coming off the bike in 2nd position already, she quickly took over the lead in her age group and worked herself into the pro field with a strong run. Steffi is a dedicated athlete with a high degree in self-organization and self-discipline and I’m very happy she was able to pull off such a good race!

Steffi JansenTerrific performance by Steffi Jansen.

Thomas Schäfer had his season highlight – the Paracycling Worls Champs. He raced himself to 2 fantastic 6th place finishes in both the Time Trial and the Road race. Initially, he was a little bit disappointed, as he hoped for a medal in at least one of the events – and he was really close as well, missing the podium only by a few seconds. Especially during the road race, he pluck up courage tried to break away from the field, but at the end was caught by the peloton again. Even more impressive that after this effort he could do so well at the sprint to the finish line! Compared to his last World Champs, he improved his performance and competitiveness by a huge amount and now is really in the mix at the very top end of his sport. At the end, it’s only your imporvement and performance, which one can control. And if you’ve done the best what you could on that day, you can be proud of yourself. With his great performance he emphasized again that would be a competitive nomination for Germany’s team for next years Olympics. Well done, Thomas!

Thomas SchaferGutsy breakaway performance by Thomas Schäfer.

Chris Nitschke had a tough and humbling experience at his ‘home’ race Ostseeman. He clearly came to defend his title there and was on the way, taking over the lead at the start of the marathon and leading till 10km. But unfortunately, already at the beginning of the marathon an old hip injury broke up again and restrained him from running fast or running at all. He suffered a lot of pain and wouldn’t have finished the race, if there wasn’t so much support from the crowd at the course. It was a very emotional finish and we all wish him a speedy and fully recovery!

Christian NChris Nitschke competing at Ostseeman.

Finally, Carole Fuchs had her first race under my guidance. She raced Ironman 70.3 Cebu, had a personal best over this distance right away, placing 6th in the pro women’s field and earning herself a bit of money. We worked hard on her swim over the past few weeks and that improved swim fitness already paid off. Carole’s strength is her bike and she showed this by riding the fastest bike split of the day, followed by a good run. There is lot of work to do for Carol, especially in the water, but Cebu was a great start of our coaching relationship.

Carole FuchsA personal best from Carole Fuchs.

Recap from Coach Bella Bayliss:

Over the past 2 weeks there have been some great training races.

Esther Rodriguez won the women’s race at a 12km trail race at Tahiche, Lanzarote, while Justi Perez came 4th, close to the top 3 in the same race as Esther.

This weekend Esther came 2nd woman in a 2km competitive open water swim race on Lanzarote. Well done Esther.

Bella Squad1

This weekend also saw Lucy Biddlestone winning the 10km Barranco del Quiquere trail run in Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote. While my junior, Marcos Knight came 13th overall in the 5km race.

Keep up this great work Everyone 🙂  I am proud of you all.

Bella Squad2

Recap from Coach Robbie Haywood:

I’m delighted for my athletes who raced this weekend. Competing on 3 continents they had performances that encourage me in many ways.

Jason Ramdeen raced in the Loggerhead Triathlon in Florida, with yet another podium and 2nd in his category, and 10th overall. Another solid result from ‘Team Ramdeen’, with his wife and young son there to support.

Jason RTeam Ramdeen out in full force.

Jason Richter was the overall winner of the ‘Down to Run Full Moon Endurance Challenge’ 10 mile trail race in Florida.  This starts after sun down on an off road course, lit only by runners head lamps. Jason took an impressive overall win on a water logged course. Earlier this year Jason decided to change focus from triathlon to running, has embraced our ‘White Kenyan’ run program, and is achieving super results – all while making a career change with a heavy study schedule on top of a full working week. His goal is to run the Boston marathon in 2016, and he is well on his way.

JasonRichter1stOverallDownToRun10mileTrailRace1Impressive win for Jason Richter.

Frank Matthews, raced at 70.3 Durban. Traveling from UAE for the race, Frank gave it a red hot go. He put himself in the mix with an outstanding swim / bike combination, and with that attitude he is one to watch for a podium at any race. We can do things with athletes that have Franks drive, and work ethic.

Finally, Chiin-Hooi Tan was overall winner of the Vikingman in Denmark!  Chiin continues to go from strength to strength, backing up after recently qualifying for the 70.3 World Championships.

ChiinCongratulations Chiin-Hooi Tan taking out the  Vikingman Championships!

Recap from Coach Luis Villavicencio:

A weekend of exceptional performances for my athletes this week. Firstly, my online athlete Stewart Mackay overcame a 5 minute penalty to still beat our pre-race goal of a sub 6-hour 70.3 race in Durban, South Africa by nearly three quarters of an hour! Well done, Stewart. The next goal a sub 5-hour is definitely on the cards!

Stewart M

Also, our squadie Jose Iturbide used his Triathlon fitness training to help take out his third National Race Car Championship crown in a row.

For those who may not be familiar with Jose Jorge, he is a champion race car driver who started training for half marathons simply to improve his fitness and become an even better race car driver! After success at the half marathon, I started to convinced him to try out triathlons and now he has qualified for the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Austria in August! What an athlete.

Jose Iturbide

Congratulations to all our athletes competing this weekend. online professional coaches are available to help improve your performance here.

Breakthrough Weekend for Athletes

Breakthrough Weekend for Athletes

The Podium: James Cunnama, Bart Aernouts and Markus Hörmann at Challenge Poznan.

Markus Hörmann and Diana Riesler raced the Half-Challenge at Poznan this weekend. It turned out to be breakthrough performances from them both. Markus is my youngest pro athlete and he has already shown really good performances but never hit a podium in a strong field. He had a good swim, but already started to make his way through the field in T1 and continued to do so on the bike. On the run course he was 5th until 1km before the finish line. With me going furious and shouting at him at the side of the course he pulled out a strong finish and stormed into third, passing Heemeryck and Molinari, only a few 100 meters before the finish line. Very happy for this podium behind Bart Aernouts and James Cunnama in such a strong field. - DianaDiana Riesler: 2015 Challenge Poznan Champion

Diana Riesler was on her best today, except of the swim and transition times! She was 7mins back after T1 and her race was more or less over. She started the bike to at least get in some training. But on the bike she soon started to find her rhythm, pass some girls and realise that probably not everything is lost and worked herself through the field on the bike. To everybody’s surprise she came off the bike first and had almost a 2 minute lead over Radka Vodickova. She ran like she has never ran before and achieved a personal best half marathon split and won Half-Challenge Poznan! Our two weeks camp with the squad in St. Moritz and some speed work definitely worked. Also a great follow up for Diana following her Ironman victory at Lanzarote earlier in May. - ThomasThomas Schäfer on the hunt for Olympic selection.

Para-Cyclist Thomas Schäfer had two solid performances. Within two days Thomas picked two 5th places at the para-cycling World Cup in Elzach. Friday was the time trail race and on Sunday the road race. Both races are already part of our lead in for the World Champs next weekend in Notwill (CH), so no wonder he carried a lit bit of fatigue through those races. Thomas is looking forward to race there and to qualify for the Olympics in Rio in 2016.

Finally, also very happy with Carson Christen’s run at the 15km run race at Nordic Fest Elvelopet, where he achieved his personal best over 15km and was the first non-high school or college runner! For the past week, we worked hard to improve his run. He had never run so much, so often and so long. Very happy that all that works is paying dividends.

Due to demand for St. Moritz summer triathlon camps, Jo Spindler and Brett Sutton will be hosting an additional 7-day age group camp from August 17th to August 23rd. Book here.

Race Recap from Coach Robbie Haywood: - Jordan
Super performance from Canadian pro Jordan Bryden. 6th in a very hot field at 70.3 Calgary.

A cold wet day at Ironman Canada for Minsok Pak, riding much of the bike in one gear when his Di2 stopped working in the cold and wet, but toughed it out for a commendable 11th place.

Cudos to Tyler Baum, who after a number of months of injury, and relocation for work, started Ironman Lake Placid, having a good swim, and bike.

Congratulations to Jordan Bryden, fabulous first step back to racing at 70.3 Calgary.  The benefits of 3 weeks at camp and hurrying slowly starting to show through. We are on our way.

TOP 10 PRO Men – Finish

1 3:50:43 2 Ben Hoffman USA
2 3:50:45 0:02 1 Andy Potts USA
3 3:57:01 6:18 7 Justin Metzler USA
4 3:57:57 7:15 24 Matt Lieto USA
5 3:58:20 7:38 3 Chris Leiferman USA
6 3:59:07 8:25 23 Jordan Bryden CAN 

Race Recap from Coach Susie Langley: - Mariana
Mariana Andrade back home and back on top of the podium.

Great to see Mariana Andrade bounce back quickly after a frustrating race Ironman in Zurich last week.  Just one week back home in Brazil she decided at the last moment to race the GP Winter triathlon and was rewarded with a a win.

Congratulations also to Jessie Donavan, who after an excellent swim battled bravely in very cold and wet conditions at Ironman Canada and finished 6th in the women’s Pro field.

Well done to all athletes competing this weekend. online professional coaches are available to help improve your performance here.

Race Results from Team

Race Results from Team

As our pro squad prepares for the ITU World Long Distance Championships and the European full-distance Ironman season, our age group squad carried the flag proudly this weekend with some tremendous results.

Recap from coach Jo Spindler:

Thomas Ibach won his age group at the Spreewald Triathlon over the Olympic distance by 20 minutes. He had a very good run and this result should give him a lot of confidence for a big effort at Ironman Frankfurt in 2 weeks time.

Sando Wechsung was the fastest guy overall at the Hualian Rafting Triathlon. A unique race in Taiwan, which consists of 11km rafting down a river, 12km run through the mountains and 44km cycling on the coastal highway. Yes, this is the correct order: boat, run, bike and potentially this format offers a bright future for all swim-challenged athletes 😉 . However, Sando did very well at Challenge Taiwan earlier this year and profed successfully that he is also a force in the water. Congrats to this nice win!

Race Recap - Jo1Sando Wechsung competing in the Hualian Rafting Tri.

Steffen Warias won a local 5.6 run. Also an overall win. It’s a very nice result for him as he cannot remember when or if he ever was first overall in the race. Steffen is running a gourmet restaurant in Merseburg – Ritters Weinstuben – which I highly recommend if you want to reward yourself with an ultimate taste experience. He is fitting in his workouts into a demanding and fully packed day and is still able to improve his athletic abilities.

Race Recap - Jo2Moritz joining a swim session at the camp.

Moritz Bachmann had a superb race at Ironman 70.3 Luxembourg and improved his personal best over the half distance by as much as 17 minutes! Looks, that his quick visit of one of the trisutto camps 2 weeks ago and all the dedicated and good work over the winter payed hughe dividends. I’m very pleased with his progress and looking forward to him racing Roth in 3 weeks time.

Race Recap - Jo3Another podium for Thomas Schäfer.

Finally, after to World Cup podiums, paracyclist and duracell engine Thomas Schäfer stormed to another podium at a 52 MTB marathon in Biesenrode, Germany. Just to put it straight: This was not a paralcycling MTB race, Thomas was 3rd overall amongst all riders – including all non-handicapped athletes as well. The race consisted of 2 loops and Thomas roade in a leading group of 3. Unfortunately he crashed on a descend but could carry on. He still had to stop another time to align saddle and handlebar straight again which pointed in different directions after the crash. First 2 guys were gone after this and he crossed the finish line in 3rd with not other touchdown.

Very well done to all and congrats to everyone racing this weekend!


Race Recap - DanExcellent performance from Paul Stiekema at Ironman 70.3 Victoria. 

Coach Dan McIntosh:

Paul, like most of my athletes, is consistent and works hard in training so I have full confidence in his potential to produce a great result at Ironman Canada later this year. However, he hasn’t been racing 70.3 or Ironman events recently so we recently put Victoria 70.3 on the calendar to serve as an opportunity to check in during the build up and identify strengths and weaknesses in a race environment.

First the weaknesses:

1. Paul learned that shell fish as a part of prerace feeding is a risky deal.

2. We’re working on improving his swim speed and strength and after a “good” swim warmup he positioned himself at the front, prepared to start strong and hold onto the lead pace. His effort was strong but struggled with finding a good draft in a congested swim and had to swim around groups, costing time and energy.

3. Paul started the bike in a solid steady effort but encountered lots of slow traffic from earlier waves and had difficulty judging his pacing relative to the competition.


1. Despite an unfortunate bout with seafood, Paul’s mental resilience persevered and in typical fashion he acknowledged the mistake, accepted the responsibility, put on a brave(albeit green) face and lined up to give a best effort.

2.  Paul is very coach-able and despite some inconsistencies in effort early on, when he reached 60k, per the race plan, he trusted the training and increased his effort, producing a negative split.

3. Onto the run, his GPS wasn’t working so he relied on training and ran off of feel, keeping even pace through each mile and finished the last 5k at top effort, negative splitting the run as well. Being able to refocus and draw on preparation in training was critical in producing the race he did despite the mistakes made early on.

Overall he was disappointed in not coming away with the win but the 5 minute deficit can be eliminated by overcoming mistakes.

We took a few recovery days but due to his strong foundation we were quick to get back to work and with 6 weeks to prepare we are looking forward to putting together a great race in Whistler BC.


Race Recap - BellaProfessional athlete, Aya Stevens. Athlete Photography by James Mitchell

Coach Bella Bayliss:

Aya was 7th at Ironman 70.3 Luxembourg this weekend.

Aya had not run since her 8th place at Ironman Lanzarote but she has worked hard keeping her swim and bike training and water running too.  Now she is running again and building up for her next Ironman.  Well done keeping everything going and staying strong whilst having the little problem.

Swiss athlete Marc Settler had a great race at Zug Olympic distance race in Switzerland. His first triathlon of the year after busy months of work and study. More to work on but all on track and Enjoying the challenge.  Well done Marc!

Coach Lisbeth Kristensen:

Melanie Baumann came 2nd in her age group today, in Challenge Heilbronn, she was fastest in the swim and the bike and a few seconds slower on the run but she lost time in transition!! Would have won had the transition not counted, needs to practice this 4th discipline  more, she was 16th fastest pro out of all the women, including pros so she’s going really well and getting ready for Frankfurt in 2 weeks.

Erica Govan raced Toronto Olympic distance on the weekend, she was 2nd in her age group and qualified for ITU World’s in Cozumel next year, she did a PB overall and she ran her fastest 10 km ever, in 45 min, rode 1.06 and had one of her best swims, in 27 min. Great work!

Well done also to Susie Langley coached athlete Terrence Hines in Denmark with his best half ironman result in 6 years. He continues to make great inroads on his running and is great to see his confidence returning  Well done mate!

Robbie Haywood coached athletes also had a successful weekend: Chiin Hooi Tan,  3rd in age category at 70.3 Kronborg in Denmark, and qualified for 70.3 World Champs. Mark Richardson, 1st in age category and 5th overall at Boskman Triathlon in the New Forest, UK.


Well done to all competing this weekend.