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Double podium for BMC-Etixx Pro Triathlon Team powered by Uplace

Bart Aernouts takes 2nd in IM70.3 Mallorca after a great comeback. Liz Blatchford finished 3rd in Ironman 70.3 Vietnam

Bart Aernouts (4:06:51) of the BMC-Etixx Pro Triathlon Team powered by Uplace finished 2nd in IM70.3 Mallorca thanks to a fantastic run split of 1:14:49. Andreas Dreitz (GER; 4:04:14) took the victory as Thomas Steger (AUT; 4:09:10) completed the podium. Sofie Goos (4:45:19) finished 6th in the women’s race.

In a rainy and cloudy Mallorca, Aernouts exited the water in 28th position, trailing leader Fernandes by 3’50, to start his chase for the podium.
After the first flat 14k on the bike Bart moved up to 19th place and cut down his deficit by 40” towards the lead of the race. At the 77k mark the Belgian was battling with Fidalgo for 4th. Entering T2 Aernouts had a disadvantage of 3’ on Hyldelund and Steger, who came off the bike in 2nd and 3rd. Bart was hungry for a podium place and came closer and closer to Hyldelund. Halfway through the run he managed to pass Hyldelund for 3rd. His running pace was incredibly fast as he aimed to pass Steger for second place. Therefore he had to close down a gap of over 2’, but the BMC-Etixx athlete succeeded. With only 2K to go, Bart took over the second place of Steger. With a fabulous run split of 1:14:49 Bart crossed the finish line in 2nd position.

Very happy

Afterwards Bart couldn’t be happier about his race. “Today, second was the highest place possible, but I’m really stoked with it. I feel I have taken a big step forward since the race in Cannes a few weeks ago. Over the last month, training didn’t always go as smooth as usual and I had to manage my training load. But after this race I feel I am turning a corner and that I’m growing back towards my best shape for the important races coming up. Every discipline went better and better today. I had to fight a lot in the beginning of the swim, but in the second part I felt that I got in a much better rhythm. Also during the second part of the bike I felt I was able to keep riding strong and in the run it was the same thing. It went ok the first kilometers but towards the end I felt really strong. The conditions were very tough though. I’ve never participated in a race like today, with rain from start to finish. But overall I am very pleased with this result.”

Liz Blatchford finished 3rd in Ironman 70.3 Vietnam

Liz Blatchford (4:19:46) finished 3th in Ironman 70.3 in Vietnam. Caroline Steffen (CHE; 4:12:18) won the race in front of Radka Vodickova (CZE; 4:15:46). Liz clinched the second podium of the weekend for BMC-Etixx Pro Triathlon Team powered by Uplace.

Liz’s race couldn’t start better. She had a really good swim entering T1 in 2nd place, following leader Vodickova in her footsteps. Blatchford, Vodickova and Steffen had a big advantage early on the bike. None of the three women were able to brake away, so Liz stayed accompanied by Vodickova and Steffen for the whole 90k. Meanwhile the heat became more and more a factor to keep in mind. At the beginning of the run Steffen and Vodickova pulled away immediately as Liz ran at her own pace. The advantage over Duke, who ran in 4th, was big enough. So the BMC-Etixx-athlete kept her own running speed and crossed the finishline in 3rd place. This podium for Liz was the second podium of the weekend for BMC-Etixx Pro Triathlon Team powered by Uplace after the 2nd place of Bart Aernouts at the Ironman 70.3 Mallorca on Saturday.

Liz looked back a brutal day in Vietnam: "I didn't have the ideal week leading into 70.3 Vietnam, coming down with a throat infection which became a painful ear infection over the course of the long haul flight to Vietnam. To top it off on arrival my bike was missing. I saw a doctor who confirmed my infections and gave me some antibiotics. I went to bed Friday night (2 nights before the race) 90% sure I wouldn't race. On Saturday morning I woke and my throat felt a bit better and the airline had delivered my bike overnight! I decided to start and see how I was feeling.

The swim felt fine, swimming in 2nd place on Radka Vodikova's feet with Caroline Steffen just behind. However the long run to transition as my HR elevated, I knew I was in for a long day. I gritted my teeth and hung on to the girls the best I could on the bike, definitely having a few second thoughts. Into T2 we had increased the gap we'd established in the swim significantly, with over 4 minutes to the next girls. Caroline and Radka took off out of T2 and I knew it wasn't smart for me to go with them. Although the conditions were a little cooler than last year it was still 33 degrees and extremely high humidity! I settled into a pace and told myself that I would build into the run as I felt better. Well, I never really felt better! In fact probably just progressively worse, but managed to hang on for 3rd. A physical and mental struggle of a day for sure but a few important things gained - a) knowledge that I can tough it out on a bad day, b) valuable points toward qualifying for 70.3 Worlds and c) a podium! Never to be sneezed at! Congrats to Caroline and Rads on great races."

Photo credit "Korupt Vision"

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