Impressed by Cunnama, Sämmler, Starky and Jackson, Olympic sports and more ...

The Crank liked what he saw at Ironman 70.3 Steelhead and Ironman Hamburg, has his own definition of pros and much more from the week of racing.

| August 16, 2017 | NEWS

James Cunnama salutes the crowd at Ironman Hamburg.

James Cunnama salutes the crowd at Ironman Hamburg.

Photo >Nils Flieshardt / spomedis

James Cunnama is a sublime talent when he’s healthy. His win in Hamburg by a huge 22 minutes attests to that. Daniela Sämmler, too, was in her own class in that race with a 15-minute win. That’s a lot of high fives at the finish line.

We have written before that when you reach a certain status in a sport there is an expectation that you win, or perform, in each race you enter. Heather Jackson sits at that level. Her win at 70.3 Steelhead was a good one, but it is expected now that when she shows up that her level of performance is just under nose bleed. The Jackson Project is now at a point where the world title window is open. That is, we expect her serious tilt at the top of the Kona podium to be on now for the next few seasons.

Andrew Starykowicz went wire to wire this weekend in Steelhead. And, while he is a questionable Ironman winner (meaning nothing is guaranteed when he races - he is always a race-changer), he certainly had the legs on this day to put the likes of Matt Hanson and Joe Gambles to bed.

Is the 70.3 World Championship race an afterthought? Hard to say, really, but it does feel like an unnecessary step for many. Of course Kona is still king, but moving the 70.3 World title around the world is a good thing even though it impacts on fields. Running it in July would make a ton more sense. Likewise would upping the winning prize purse to compel pros to get there.

So a question for you. Can you call yourself a triathlon professional if you work a second job to supplement the triathlon income? Not that there is anything wrong with supporting yourself, but when are you a "pro?" Each week we see names that pop up and you think, who are you? So to the Crank, a pro is:

Someone who only derives an income from earnings around the sport. That is, prize money and endorsements.


Triathlon right now is in a weird spot. This period of "deregulated" races seems to be a thing on the rise and soon the tipping point will have to come. Super League kicked off proceedings with their announcement of the inaugural race in Hamilton Island. This came on the heels of the Island House race, which started off this modern shift away from the traditional structure. Collins Cup was announced and gained immediate forgetfulness, but we will see how this pans out and is executed. Ironman, however, has remained stoic in the face of the disrupters and seems to be sailing as per usual right now.

What happened to 50 women to Kona? Anyone?

Tweet of the week heads to writer at large Brad Culp. Yep, agree!


Right so now you can pay off your Ironman race just like a car loan. Ironman has announced this gem of an idea this week. It comes in two flavours. Hard to know what to say here.
    •    pay your entry in three monthly instalments
    •    defer your entry to the following years event