Michael made his second full Ironman attempt since sustaining a fractured collarbone earlier this season. After a safe race at Ironman Austria on July 2nd where he finished 5th overall, he felt ready to take on another full distance with the intention of securing a slot at the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii. He toed the line at Ironman Maastricht in The Netherlands today and his intentions and goals became a reality!
"I'm incredibly happy and relieved. I have my 4th Ironman victory under the belt now and have unofficially qualified for Kona. All of that after coming back from a difficult and frustrating injury!"
Weiss completed the 2.4 mile Maas river swim in a BlueSeventy Helix wetsuit in 56:02. "I expected more from my swim, but I know that I'm on the right track regarding training and definitely have lots of work to do over the next 9 weeks leading up to Kona!"
Once on the bike Michael immediately started to make his move up in the field. The Maastricht bike course was technical and very challenging for even the most experienced cyclists.
"The Andean was a huge advantage on this technical physical bike course which followed the roads of Amstel Gold Race, a historic Dutch Spring Classic," Weiss remarked. In fact, approximately 30% of the course was in Belgium with over 4,000 total feet of climbing. "The disc brakes made it a much safer and controlled ride, with many twisty downhills," Michi added.
Weiss set the new bike course record by over 10 minutes with the fastest bike split of the day, 4:31:23.
"But I surprised and impressed myself the most on the marathon today! After Ironman Austria in July I had to decrease my running and have been running at the bare minimum for the last 5 weeks," Michi admitted. "I was absolutely thrilled and excited by how great my run felt come race day in The Netherlands!" Weiss clocked a 2:45:16 marathon and finished first with more than a 5 minute gap to second place, Michael Van Cleven of Pewag Racing Team.
"The only 'thing' I missed was my wife Rachel, as today is our 6th wedding anniversary. Although I'm sure I made her a nice present with this win!"
Michael will have two weeks recovery before beginning the Kona build-up which will likely include one 70.3, to be determined.