Crowing about Crowley, singing Sanders praises and much more

The Crank is more than a little impressed by Sarah Crowley, gained even more respect for Lionel Sanders, cheers on Frederik Van Lierde and much more ...

| August 29, 2017 | NEWS

Photo >Kevin Mackinnon

An interesting week of triathlon this week proving a few things.

I keep underestimating Sarah Crowley and she keeps making me look like an idiot. It’s not that I don’t think she is a good athlete, it’s that she has raised her own performance bar to a now world champion level. Her win in the ITU Long Distance World Championship this week further underlined her claims on a brilliant season. And next race she does we better look out.

Lionel Sanders decided to give the 70.3 world title the boot after he realized the draft zone wasn’t going to be enough for him. Well he is now a world champion and this was achieved after he stopped to fix a puncture. The man is a an athletic genius, now with added principles.

It’s been an interesting ITU short course year this season. The usual suspects are winning, but no one seems to be dominant. It’s a spread. This week saw Jonathan Brownlee win his first race of the season. Mola could only mange 7th. The women’s race saw Flora Duffy back on top. (She has claimed five wins, but since she wasn't in the first two races of the season, things are still open in the women's race for the title.)

The reason the spread of wins is good is that the ITU Grand Final might be worth a look. With a spread of winners and points, the athlete in the hunt for an overall win is far greater than the usual split of two to three athletes. And, while this can provide some good racing, it still pales next to what is on offer when more have the chance to cover themselves in glory. Can you imagine going to Kona and only three or four men or women could take the title?

So if triathlon is obscure and duathlon is just quirky, where does leave the sport of Aquathlon? No surprise that only 11 elite women turned up for this one.

70.3 Qujing saw Domenico Passuello and Sarah Piampiano getting it done win style. Passuello has been in the win wilderness for two years so the relief must be huge.

OK, this is a statement by Fred Van Lierde. His win at 70.3 Vichy this weekend ahead of the hard charging Andi Boecherer signals real intent for October. Boxes ticked and form building for the former world champ. Jocelyn McCauley lead home a field of lesser known, but still fast, women.

Boris Stein rocks a head band and wears white lycra, so what’s not to like? His win at 70.3 Fell am See-Kaprun was a cracker given who he beat in this one. We actually got a few names involved, including Nils Frommhold and Ivan Raña. You might think Laura Philipp simply romped to this win thanks to a win of almost 12 minutes, but last year's fourth-place Kona finisher, Anja Beranek, was second, a tribute to just how fast Philipp is racing right now.