Hawaii here we come! Michi gets the slot for the World Championships in Kona
The Lower Austrian swam very well without a wetsuit in about 24 degrees water temperature at IRONMAN Lake Placid. He swam both laps, including an Aussie exit, mainly with the South African Matt Trautman.
He approached the bike split very aggressively. He had great legs from the very start and was able to get a good overview at the turning point sections of where the top group around Justin Metzler (USA) and Cody Beals (CAN) was at.
The second bike lap became very hard due to the high temperatures. With 310 watts of normalized power, he managed to catch up with the first group of pursuers after about 155km. In the end, he recorded the fastest bike split of the day.
A real thriller on the running track
Michi entered T2 just over a minute behind Justin Metzler from the USA. The conditions became hotter and hotter and in addition there was also the extremely high humidity to contend with which is typical for the East Coast.
It was now all to be decided on the run course and it was to be a hard fight all the way to the finish line. Metzler was already about four minutes ahead of him when after about 25 kilometers Cody Beals overtook Michi on River Road and the elusive Kona ticket seemed to be slipping from his grasp.
The Gumpoldskirchen athlete continued to go at his own pace according to his feeling and was at least able to keep the lead over the Belgian behind him stable.
Suddenly Michi was told by spectators between kilometers 32-35 that the leader Justin Metzler was slowing down or quitting and thus the hopes for the Kona slot once again came alive and Michi got the legendary second wind. The Canadian Beals and he both overtook Metzler and suddenly he was back in the midst of the fight for the Kona ticket.
Michi ultimately ran out of road for catching the leader, but he was able to enjoy the great atmosphere with the spectators on the finish line. All's well that ends well: The Kona ticket safely in his pocket and one hell of an exciting and successful competition in North America later, he can start his long journey home absolutely overjoyed!
Many thanks also to his mental coach Wolfgang Seidl, who provided the necessary relaxed frame of mind before the event and played through all kinds of racing strategies together with Michi in advance!
KONA CALLING - OVER AND OUT!