Triathlon professional, Michael Weiss, will take on his first full Ironman distance of the 2016 season this weekend. The Austrian will toe-the-line on Saturday at the Ironman North American Championships in Texas. The race features a strong field of professional competitors along with an extremely technical bike course.
The pro start will commence Saturday at 6:25am local time in The Woodlands, about 30 miles north of Houston, Texas. "The weather forecast promises heat, wind and high humidity," reports Michael, who has been acclimatizing for over a week in the Lone Star State.
All signs point to a successful race day for Michi. He has completed valuable blocks of intense training in Colorado and feels motivated and optimistic for the challenge ahead.
One noteable fact that Michael must consider is that the bike course has been shortened to 94 miles (standard is 112 miles) due to heavy storms and floods which damaged local roads. The new course was announced two weeks ago and now has more than 80 turns to avoid dangerous areas.
"It has a bit of a cycling criterium feel now with some very tricky corners and rail crossings," Weiss adds. "I have made some specific adaptations to my Diamondback Triathlon Bike to better suit the course. The handling of the bike is crucial here as well as optimizing acceleration out of the corners. I think this will be an advantage for me. "
The Pro Male field of thirty-five is led by defending champion Matt Hanson from the USA. Also joining Hanson from the US is Jordan Rapp, Justin Daerr, and Andrew Starykowicz. Nils Frommhold of Germany, Eneko Llanos of Spain, and Terenzo Bozzone of New Zealand also make up the start list.
"I have prepared well and feel very comfortable," Michael shares. "I will give everything possible this weekend."
Michael's previous full Ironman was in Cozumel approximately six months ago where he finished third.