Austrian professional triathlete, Michael Weiss, demonstrated that his last three months of Colorado training were very well spent. On Sunday March 18th he crossed the 70.3 finish line in Campeche, Mexico second overall, his best half Ironman result since winning 70.3 Santa Cruz in 2016. Weiss finished second to Ironman New Zealand Champion, Terenzo Bozzone, who completed the 1.2-mile of swim , 56-mile bike and 13.1-mile run just one minute faster.
The swim took place in the Gulf of Mexico, as Campeche is located on the northern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. Michael, 4X Ironman Champion, exited the water in a Blueseventy PZ4TX swimskin in 25:12, less than 2 minutes behind the leader. "I felt great in the water," Weiss recalls. "I can say it was my best swim ever. Most likely the surgery I had to undergo after breaking my collarbone at this race last year fixed an old shoulder injury I suffered from a mountain bike crash in 2003."
The windy bike ride over rolling hills started with a steep 15% climb giving Michael an early opportunity to overtake competitors from his swim group. "I opted for Diamondback's Serios bike, mainly due to complicated travel logistics to Mexico. The Andean, my top pick triathlon bike, is already getting set up for my next race and I didn't want to risk getting it lost or delayed in transit through a Mexican airport."
Weiss, a known Uberbiker in triathlon, quickly overtook competitors pushing 350 Watts consistently with the SRM Origin PowerMeter, en-route to the fastest bike split of the day and posting a new bike course record of 2:06:56. "Combined with HED's H3+ front wheel and rear disc the Serios was a true weapon, although the gusty winds made riding pretty advanced."
Entering T2 in second position behind Terenzo, Michi proved that his bike-run combo is in top shape. He ran a 1:15:22 half marathon, the second fastest runoff the day, only 11 seconds off the fastest run split. "It simply felt right. I went as hard as I could, gave everything and left nothing in the tank. I was relieved not to have any cramping issues, quite remarkable on such a hot day like in Campeche, especially considering that I trained the last months in Colorado's winter with emphasis on nordic ski training."
Michael's finish time was 3:50:40 and he crossed the finish line with a big smile, appreciating the strong competition and enthusiastic cheering of the spectating crowds. The third podium position was young American talent, Rodolphe Von Berg, who was 3:41 behind Weiss.
Michi is now back in Colorado Springs safely, and will focus on recovery during the upcoming days. His next Ironman race, 70.3 Texas in Galveston, is just around the corner.
Follow Michi's training leading up to this race, where he took home a third place back in 2016, on his social media channels and Strava.
Photo by Cristy Lopez. Follow her on Instagram @ crislop.photo