Triathlon news: Lange has new sponsor, Mike Plant passes and more

We catch up on this week's triathlon news including a Canadian acquisition, sad news of a legend's passing, a new sponsor for Ironman world champion Patrick Lange and a new wetsuit line with some big-name athletes.

| May 10, 2019 | NEWS

Jan Frodeno is just one of the big names that have signed with Deboer wetsuits.

Jan Frodeno is just one of the big names that have signed with Deboer wetsuits.

Photo >Courtesy Deboer Wetsuits

Mike Plant passes

Unfortunately, those who haven’t been part of the sport for multiple decades might not be familiar with Mike Plant, but you all should be. He’s the man who got Ironman Hall of Famers Bob Babbitt and Mike Reilly their starts and it is safe to say that triathlon would not be what it is today without him.

Plant passed away on May 5 from lymphocytic leukemia.

I first came across Plant as a race announcer. He was an integral part of the Bud Light Triathlon Series that ran in the United States in the 80s and was on the mic for the Ironman World Championship from 1987 to 1990. It was him who brought Mike Reilly on board to help in 1989, setting up his amazing announcing career that we’ve come to know ever since.

Plant founded Running News in the 70s, which he renamed Running and Triathlon News in the 80s. Plant brought Bob Babbitt on board as an editor and helped Lois Schwartz learn how to take and develop photos. Those two would create Competitor Magazine.

4iiii Innovations acquires STAC Performance

Two Canadian companies that have made some impressive inroads into the cycling and triathlon world over the last few years are now working together. 4iiii Innovations president and CEO, Kip Fyfe, was the CEO and founder of Dynastream and ANT+, which were sold to Garmin in 2006. His new company is behind Precision power meters and Viiiiva heart rate monitors.

The Stac Zero trainer is the world’s quietest bike trainer. The company is led by Canadian triathletes, Ironman and mechanical engineer Andrew Buckrell. The Stac Zero got started via a Kickstarter campaign in 2016 and is now sold in 40 countries. The company has also developed the Halcyon Smart Trainer, too.

“We have been simply blown away by the market’s response to the STAC Zero since we brought our trainer to market three years ago,” says STAC CEO Andrew Buckrell. “Joining 4iiii feels like the perfect marriage and presents us with a tremendous opportunity to grow.”

Castelli partners with Patrick Lange

Two-time Ironman world champion (not to mention overall and run course record holder) Patrick Lange will be decked out in Castelli gear this year. The German joins Castelli's who's who of triathlon partners: Mirinda Carfrae, Laura Philipp, Cameron Wurf, Frederik Van Lierde, Tim O'Donnell and Andres and Michael Raelert.

Deboer Wetsuits

Alex Deboer, the man behind Dare2Tri, has started a new line of high-end wetsuits. The company has also managed to sign some of the biggest names in the sport, ensuring the new suits will get some instant recognition. Jan Frodeno, Daniela Ryf, Ben Kanute and Matt Russell will all be wearing Deboer suits this season.

(Yes, we know, this news broke last week, but we didn't have this feature in place then, so we're catching up!)