Playing with the big boys: Bruno Clerbout

12 10 2009

Hometown favorite Bruno ‘Bruce’ Clerbout made a phenomenal Kona debut, taking 25th place overall with an astonishing 3:01:01 marathon. I have never seen Bruno this ecstatic. Way to put your name on the international triathlon map, Bruce. Ditto for Pieter Hélin (53rd place overall, as an agegrouper!). Here’s a hip hop mix to celebrate your achievements.

Rutger Beke hurts foot, breaks Zipp wheel

3 09 2009

Poor Rutger, just five weeks before *the* race, he slips off his pedal while mounting his Ridley while storming out of T1 during yesterday’s Zwintriatlon. The result: deep flesh wounds caused by broken Zipp spokes, requiring immediate surgery. He may have to forfeit Hawaii. Ai ai. Say it ain’t so, Rutger. Really wanna see you shine in Kona.

[H/T:, picture by Annick Caneele]

Belgians are of two physical types

29 08 2009

Having tossed me this personal-narrative bone, van Lierde strips down to his swimsuit. The Belgians, it has been said, are of two distinct physical types: the ample, rosy burghers famously depicted by Rubens, and the wraithlike subjects of van Gogh. Stomping around in rubber boots, complacently hosing down the pool deck, Damien van Houck appears pure Rubens. Lean and rope-muscled, his hair a severe black skullcap, van Lierde seems van Gogh to the core.

John Brant profiles Luc Van Lierde in Outside Magazine, November 1997.

Bike power in numbers: Eneko Llanos

23 10 2008

I solemnly promise that this will be my last Ironman Hawaii 08 post – blog milking is a sorry trend. Pictured below is a breakdown of Eneko Llanos’ Kona bike split. It took the runner-up a mere 4:32:22 to complete the 180k bike leg. For those of you conversant in bike output, that’s a steady 270 watts average. Me encantan those BH tri bikes. (via)

2008 Hawaii recap: was ‘Rotke’ robbed?

12 10 2008

Storylines from the 30th edition of the IM championships in Kona, Hawaii:

  • strong headwinds and blistering 42°C heat
  • Craig Alexander’s astonishing race (and splits);
  • Chrissie Wellington’s overall dominance & superiority;
  • Yvonne Van Vlerkenburg’s 2nd place finish at her Kona debut;
  • Marc Herremans’ third place finish in the handcycle division;
  • Norman Stadler’s surge and meltdown during the marathon;
  • The DNF’s of Chris McCormack, Bert Jammaer and Frederik Van Lierde;
  • The anynomous race exit by all-time triathlon great Luc Van Lierde;
  • Marino Vanhoenacker’s disappointing 21st position overall;
  • Outstanding Belgian age-groupers: Inge Vancauwenberghe (AG winner), Michel Dewilde, Thierry Verbinnen, Bob De Wolf, Wim Van De Wielle, Frederik Sleutel, Alain Vervoort and Christian Bodson (50-54 AG winner). Here are the results for all 30 Belgian competitors.

Headlining this year’s race IMHO was

  • Rutger Beke’s heartwarming come-from-behind third place (his fourth top-4 finish in Kona), including the second fastest marathon split. He may have won the damn thing had he not received a 4 minute drafting penalty.