In chase of Hirscher and Maier: World Championship ticket punched at high speed
Weiss's second 2016 World Championship ticket earned at XTERRA Beaver Creek: Triathlon pro, Michael Weiss, will represent Austria in both the Ironman World Championships in Kona and the XTERRA World Championships on Maui this October. Not only did his off-road performance in Colorado qualify him for XTERRA Worlds, but Michael also had the opportunity to compete on the same terrain as fellow Austrian ski champions, Hermann Maier and Marcel Hirscher.
Michael shifted gears to off-road mode just three weeks after finishing fourth at Ironman Austria. He came in 12th at XTERRA Beaver Creek (swim 1.0 mile, mountain bike 15.5 miles, trail run 5.8 miles) with 2:23:50.
“Qualifying for Maui was my primary goal in Beaver Creek, and now I know what I have to work up to for the World Championships in October,” Michi said. “It was not easy coming to 10,000 ft elevation after training and racing in Austria for three weeks, the swim on altitude was a major challenge.”
Given the circumstances of the race, Weiss was pleased and commented that he has not lost any of his skills from his former pro mountain bike days. "I felt like one of our Austrian ski stars, high-speed on the straights and super grip in the corners!" Weiss raced trails around the legendary "Birds of Prey" in the footsteps (or ski tracks) of Marcel Hirscher, Hermann Maier, and company. “It was a lot of fun to move through the mountains again at race pace.”
For the World Championship showdown in Maui, Diamondback, Michael’s bike sponsor, will provide an upgrade to his race weapon: “I’ll be going full-gas on a 29er!”
The Beaver Creek win went to the reigning XTERRA World Champion, Josiah Middaugh, from the United States. "I hope I can rein him in a bit more in October,” Michi smiles. Now comes the preparation for his world-double in Hawaii.