The last race weekend of 2014 was another success weekend for the Uplace-BMC Pro Triathlon Team. After the impressive performance of Helle Frederiksen yesterday in Challenge Bahrain, Liz Blatchford and Romain Guillaume were triggered to do the same in the SunSmart IRONMAN Western Australia. With a strong 3rd place of Liz and a solid 4th place of Romain, the Uplace-BMC Pro Triathlon ends the 2014 season with 21 victories and 46 podium finishes.
In the women's race, Britta Martin (NZE), the winner of 2012, took the victory in 08:56:33, breaking the race record with more than 3 minutes. Maureen Hufe (GER), who was leading most of the race, came second 03:47 behind Martin. Liz Blatchford from the Uplace-BMC Pro Triathlon Team, who lost 8 minutes due to 2 drafting penalties, finished third 5:36 behind the winner.
In the men's race Denis CHEVROT (FRA: 8:05:57) took the win followed by Patrik NILSSON (SWE: 8:12:10) and Per BITTNER (GER: 8:14:36). Only 2 months after his top 10 finish in Hawaii, Romain GUILLAUME from the Uplace-BMC Pro Triathlon Team took fourth after a strong performance in 8:21:14.
Liz Blatchford 3rd and Romain Guillaume 4th in the SunSmart IRONMAN Western Australia
Liz Blatchford had mixed emotions about her third place: "I had a pretty good and steady swim in the beautiful bay of Busselton. I came first out of the water with a lead of 2 to 3 minutes. After 60km, Diana RiesIer (GER) passed me on the bike. I was happy to see her, because I was not looking forward riding 180km on my own. I tried to hang on but I was probably sitting too close and I got a drafting penalty (4min), which I took at 90km. After the first penalty, I did everything to catch up, but all of a sudden an age group man passed me and freewheeled too close in front of me. The race marshals gave me another penalty (4min), which I took at 150km. I rode as fast I could into T2. I started too fast on the run and after 3 to 4km I had to slow down a bit. At 21km, I felt good and I kept on running to get back on the podium. I made the podium and that makes me happy, although I am a little frustrated about the drafting penalties. I know it is an Ironman, and a lot of things can happen, but I kept fighting and that is what matters.
I will take some holiday the next 3 weeks and I look forward to the team training camp in Lanzarote in January."
Learned a lot
The French 'Pocket Rocket' found it an interesting race: "I am a little bit disappointed with my 4th place. A 4th place in an Ironman is good, but it didn't go as planned. I had a good and easy swim and came out of the water in the first group. On the bike, I decided to attack after 90km and I made a gap of up to 2 minutes on the chasing group after 140km. My legs were getting tired and I wasn’t able to push the required watts any longer. I lost 6 minutes in the last 40km of the bike on the chasing group. For a moment I thought about giving up, but during the marathon, my legs came back, I still hoped to reach a top 6 place. When I saw other athletes dropping out, I hoped to be top 5. I learned a lot today, even with bad legs on the bike, I could still run a decent marathon. I got my qualification for Hawaii next year. Now I take 3 weeks off to charge the batteries."
Complete results of the SunSmart IRONMAN Western Australia: