The Championship podium speaks out

TriathlonWorld.com continues it's recap of the Championship with some quotes from the men's and women's podium finishers.

| June 6, 2017 | RACES

Lucy Charles wins the Championship

Lucy Charles wins the Championship

Photo >Peter Jacob / spomedis

A classy group of pros were on the podium at this weekend's Challenge Championship - some of their words from the press conference after the event:

They said it: Championship podium edition

Lionel Sanders

I conceded the victory about five times, actually. I remembered at 70.3 worlds he was trying to drop Tim Reed with the surges. I realized he was surging on me, so I tried to weather the storm of the surges … but until I realized that at 14 km, I had basically said “second place is good.” But then Michael (Raelert) was looking really good and coming up from behind.

That was the most I’ve ever hurt. At 16 km I started to feel for the first time that Sebastian was starting to wane a little bit, so as soon as I started to feel that elastic stretch, I pushed the pace and tried to keep it honest.

The 20 m draft zone should be the standard. I don’t understand why it’s not the standard at all championship races. I think this is a real testament and precedent to what we should be doing in the sport, so hats off to Challenge for that. At St. George a month ago I didn’t have a great ride and I wanted to redeem myself for that ride. I think I pushed something like 370 watts for the first 80 minutes, which will be a new personal best for me for 80 minutes in a race situation. I probably over-biked a little bit because I’ve never hurt that much on the run before.

Sebastian Kienle

First of all I was really happy to even run with Lionel. In St. George there was no way to even keep with him for the first 100 m. So, to be able to stay with him through 15 km … And we’re just getting started, so I am looking forward to the next races.

I have to say he won the race in a fashion I have a lot of respect for. I probably would have felt badly to beat him because even with the 20 m draft zone it gives you a mental advantage to ride behind somebody and I was riding behind Lionel all day and that really helped my bike split quite a lot. I think he really deserved the win.

A flat bike course doesn’t mean an easy bike course. It’s actually the other way round. There’s no rest at all. There weren’t a lot of corners where you could stop pedaling for five seconds. There were no downhills where you could stop pedaling, so you had to push the entire time. That can be really hard. You could see the damage it did to a couple of athletes. If you have a flat bike course and you want to have a fair race, you have to have a 20 m draft zone.

Michael Raelert

I always want to challenge the best guys and these are the best guys – and Alistair, it was an experience to race against him. I was pretty sure that I wouldn’t win, but I wanted to see where I was in comparison to the best guys.

Today at 65 km it was like two motorcycles passing me. It was amazing to me to see how fast these guys can ride the bike.

Lucy Charles

Yesterday I had a pretty bad stomach bug at the pasta party and I said if wake up feeling like this there is no way I am racing. I felt a little bit better this morning, but still was wondering if this was the right thing to do. I’ve been racing a lot, so I didn’t want to have a bad race and have everyone tell me I shouldn’t be doing so much racing.

Everything’s been going well. Racing’s been going well, recovery’s been going well, which is really important. It wasn’t until my race in April at Gran Canaria that I decided to properly go full time with triathlon – that’s provided me a lot more recovery time since I’m not working.

I knew that I was closing in, but I was conscious of the women coming from behind and I didn’t want to lose that podium place. It wasn’t until 2 km to go that I thought I might be able to get them. It was kind of crazy at the end.  

Michael Raelert, Lionel Sanders and Sebastian Kienle.

Michael Raelert, Lionel Sanders and Sebastian Kienle.

Photo >Peter Jacob / spomedis

Annabel Luxford

Annabel Luxford

Photo >Peter Jacob / spomedis

Heather Wurtele

Heather Wurtele

Photo >Peter Jacob / spomedis

Annabel Luxford

It was super close and it is disappointing not to win, but I am very happy with the race. I gave it all today – you can’t ask for anything more.

My overall feeling for the Championship was that it really was a “championship” in regards to the professionalism – the race, the course, the way the athletes were looked after and the field that it drew. All of those things are the epitome of what a championship should be.

Heather Wurtele

It was definitely tough to go from leading the race and thinking “I’m going to win this Championship event” to sort of fading … but I gave it all I had. I’m really happy that my calf is healed. I just need a little bit more run fitness and then will hopefully be staying at the front in the future.

It’s really great leading into Roth – I am really focused on that race. It will be an excellent European adventure.