Fall down 2022 times, stand up 2023
Fairytale conditions but without a happy ending
The race simply flew by him as if he was watching a movie and he never felt quite on top of it. This time the Big Island offered unusual, windless conditions that Michi had never experienced there before. At first, he felt a slight headwind, but around Hawi it was windless, which was no advantage to Michi, who was riding alone. These conditions clearly favoured the leading groups.
During the swim, Michi unfortunately clearly missed out on the "52 minute group" around Cameron Wurf. Initially with Matt Burton from Australia, who tried to close the gap to the front and finally swimming alone with Kenneth Vandendriessche, unfortunately both were dropped from the group's wake after about 600 meters.
The expected individual time trial on the bike came to pass, but his legs were never good enough to be able to really get motoring and feel some real pain. Until after Hawi, Michi did not catch a single competitor, which has never happened to him before and became very frustrating when he was also able to estimate the gap to the front at the turning point.
What do you do now? The answer: Just keep going and don't give up.
Until T2 the effort was rewarded, and he reeled in some competitors. Michi didn't have bad, painful legs, but this could be exactly the reason for the modest performance, as he never really left his "comfort zone."
Even while running, there was no real racing dynamics, no duels and thus no pressure. As soon as duels presented themselves, such as at the end of cycling or while running, Michi was able to muster strength in a completely different way. Unfortunately, these moments were very few and far between.
Towards the end, the now 8-time Kona finisher from Gumpoldskirchen still had very strong legs for sprinting, which proves again that he could not fully empty the tank during the race.
The performance itself was not disappointing, as the metrics were not bad during the race, but the distance to the competition is frightening. In the end Michi finished in 33rd place.
Relaxation before the last showdown of the year
After the World Championship race, Michi spent a short break with his family on Maui, where they enjoyed a belated honeymoon. It was a great time and the training routing looked very different: Running with Lola on the beach and playing in the waves was all that was on the plan!
At the next long-distance race in November on Cozumel, Michi will try out some different tapering tactics immediately prior to the competition and thus try to achieve new stimuli.
The pressure of the qualifying for Hawaii may be called into question in the future, but the current goal remains the same: collect as many top 3 rankings as possible at IRONMAN races!