This weekend in Galveston, Texas, was a very special one. With Lance Amstrong being one of the protagonists in the field gave the race a special flavor right from the day of its announcement. We have been here in Galveston last year, and honestly the difference between 2011 and 2012 was huge, and I think there is an unanimous assent on this. The race has been exciting, it was pure thrill. The crowds have been focused on Lance, no doubt, and not amazing. But all our attention was of course on our athletes Yvonne van Vlerken, Sebastian Kienle and Ronnie Schildknecht. The boys came to race this race to measure themselves with Lance, who is already a legend that demands a great deal of respect. The race went into its 2nd leg on the bike, and it did not take long, and Lance had taken over the lead with all the media by his side, well deserved no doubt.
But then our Sebi came closer and closer. He had to really pull himself together not be led into temptation taking over the lead on the bike. As Lance put it a few weeks ago: “The bike for the show, and the run for the dough.”And as Sebi put, if he did overtake Lance, he would have had killed himself on the run. Sebi kept control over his emotions. A great run performance let him finish second. Tim O’Donnell overtaking him on the last mile before the finish line. All our due respect to Tim.
And then Ronnie Schildknecht, 5 times IRONMAN Switzerland winner and 1st man under 8 hours on American soil, felt not very good on the bike, but then on the run, he unfolded all his strengths and came in 3rd. He ran as if he were flying over the course. He said after the race, if they gave me 3 more miles I would have taken them all! He was the fastest on the run with 1:13: 27.
Last but not least it was a great day for Yvonne van Vlerken. She had – as Sebastian – the fastest time on the bike. For her it was the race that brought her back on track, connecting again with best women in the sport. She was so incredibly happy and we for her. She is such a special lady, open-hearted and honest, without any ulterior motives. It was high time that he got rewarded for the hard work during the last years. We are curious to watch our guys during this season exciting races are about to come.