Jan 28, 2023
Are injuries inevitable in endurance sport? Is every runner going to face knee pain? We discuss the biases that we bring to debate of what level of exercise is healthy? Plus we discuss the tradeoffs between local vs Ironman branded races, what we missed at the Endurance Exchange and Rich's FOMO on the TriDot Coaches Retreat.
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In Today's Show
‘There’s nobody missing’ – Gentle says PTO Tour rivals 70.3 Worlds
By Tomos Land
26 Jan 2023
After a stellar year which saw her clinch victories at both the PTO Canadian and US Opens, Australian Ashleigh Gentle finished 2022 at #3 in the PTO World Rankings.
Talking to TRI247 as she reflected on the campaign, the Olympian explained her decision to miss the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships in St George, Utah and commended the PTO for assembling the best fields in the sport.
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PTO vs IRONMAN 70.3 Worlds
When quizzed on the reasoning behind her absence at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships in 2022 when she also had the important matter of a wedding to prepare for back home, Gentle was candid with her answers.
She told us: “At the PTO events, there isn’t anyone missing, it is a world class field, with the best athletes at the distance turning up and performing at the events.”
Ashleigh Gentle PTO Canadian Open 2022 finish
Photo by Darren Wheeler (www.thatcameraman.com)
To further prove her point, in St George the podium was Taylor Knibb, Paula Findlay and Emma Pallant-Browne, all of whom Gentle had got the better of throughout the course of the 2022 PTO Tour in Miami and Edmonton.
For Gentle, the strength in depth that the PTO Tour can offer, along with its importance with regards to world rankings and prize money, makes it a worthwhile substitute for the IRONMAN 70.3 Worlds.
“Apart from the title of being ‘world champion’, the PTO Tour has everything you need to feel like you’re one of the best in the world if you win. There’s nobody missing and you’re racing the strongest athletes in middle distance triathlon.”
2023 Worlds dilemma
Next year, the PTO Tour heads to Asia, where Singapore will host the PTO Asian Open on August 19-20. A week later, the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships take place in Lahti, Finland for the first time.
Gentle, whilst unable to confirm if she would either be racing or missing the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships, did however flag up the potential issues that could keep her away.
She explained: “Obviously the race is just a week after the PTO Asian Open in Singapore, and the World Championships are in Europe, which is quite a lot of travel for race week and also two very different climates for racing.”
Wherever she races in August, Gentle will be one the main athletes to beat in middle distance triathlon this season.
What is the secret new bike tech behind LAB71, Project Black and 795RS? We go codebreaking...
What we know so far about the unreleased bikes and components from Cannondale, Specialized and Look...
Thanks to the internet and social media channels, not much remains under wraps these days, from politicians' tax dealings to celebrity affairs. The same is true of new race bikes and related components.
Fortunately our seemingly insatiable appetite for yet more unreleased bike tech is whetted often during the early part of the season, with off-season sightings given a clearer perspective now that the racing is officially underway. Even the brands themselves are happy to play along, with covert releases given code names as though they were part of a John le Carré novel.
With the Tour Down Under completed and the Vuelta a San Juan Internacional, among others, in progress, we’ve had the chance to dig a little deeper, look for new angles, and here’s what we’ve found…
SPECIALIZED PROJECT BLACK
Specialized remains deliberately vague about its development tech project, only saying that it enables its sponsored teams and riders to test “advanced pre-production products in real-world applications”, and that after receiving feedback “some of these design elements and products eventually show up in future retail product offerings. We call this Project Black.”
The cloak and daggers approach is an intentional marketing ploy, and leaking a few images of unreleased products encourages us to speculate further. Specialized did so in the off-season, with a few products cropping up on the team bikes being used in training camps. Now that the season has begun it's time for them to earn their racing stripes.
S-WORKS TIRES WITH NEW TREAD PATTERN
The sighting of a new S-Works Turbo tire is especially interesting given that Spesh released an updated Turbo line-up a few months ago. So what do we know about this Project Black edition?
It was spotted on the Tarmac SL7s of Soudal-Quick Step’s Kasper Asgreen and Yves Lampaert and the two riders are perhaps our first clue to its suggested application.
Both riders are one-day specialists, with Asgreen a De Ronde winner no less, and the tread pattern on the tire suggests that the less-than-perfect surfaces and weather patterns of Northern Europe in spring could be the reason for its creation.
Whereas the recently released Turbo tires have a slick centre to help reduce rolling resistance, these 28mm offerings feature both rectangle knobs on the shoulders for improved cornering as well as micro dots running down the crown.
As for the tire’s construction it appears the same as the existing Turbo 2Bliss dual-compound tires, including tan sidewalls complete with silver label.
Could these debut at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in February?
S-WORKS MIRROR SADDLE
Next up is a fresh shape for the US brand’s 3D-printed Mirror saddle, currently available as the Power and Romin Evo models. The third shape, which again broke cover on the Soudal-Quick Step team bikes, appears longer in profile, with a more rounded rear.
The pressure relief channel too looks longer than on the current Mirror models, seeming to take its cue from Spesh’s Phenom mountain bike saddle. The surface perforations, which are a component of the 3-D printed saddles, also look a little different, both smaller and spread further apart. Meanwhile, the honeycomb structure, again a result of the 3-D printing tech, is only visible in the cut-out areas.
Trying to spot the unreleased Mirror saddle at the recent Tour Down Under and San Juan races proved a little tricky, given the riders propensity for sitting down on the very piece of kit we were trying to identify!
CUSTOM SHIV TT AERO BARS
These were spotted last year on Remco Evenepoel’s TT bike but photos released from Soudal-Quick Step’s recent bike fitting session with Retül offer more detail.
While the standard Shiv bars are aimed at a wide range of users and feature adjustability to match these demands, professional riders need only be concerned with finding a single optimum position
Once achieved the adjustment can stop, allowing for the creation of a 3D printed bar with custom geometry for each individual rider - highlighted by the different profiles between Julian Alaphilippe and Remco’s TT bars, for example. The integrated computer mounts are a particularly nice touch.
We’re still awaiting our first TT of the WorldTour calendar so we’ve yet to see any of the custom aero bars being used in 2023.
ROVAL INTEGRATED AERO COCKPIT
Another Soudal-Quick Step rider, sprinter Fabio Jakobsen, gave us a fleeting glimpse of what appears to be a new, and yet unreleased, Roval handlebar via his Instagram account. The integrated cockpit then appeared on Lotte Kopecky’s ‘gram, with a clear point-of-view shot showing the product in question in some detail. And this week Jacobsen gained his first win of 2023 at the Vuelta a San Juan Internacional, with the bars still seemingly attached to his Tarmac SL7.
The cockpit in question will likely replace the two-piece Roval Rapide bars and take design cues from the Spesh sister brand’s Alpinist lightweight bars, which are also a fully integrated affair. Riders who prefer to stick with traditional bar and stem set-up will do so using PRO components, just as Evenepoel and Michael Mørkøv are doing at the Vuelta a San Juan.
Judging from the images available Jakobsen isn’t the only rider who appears to be using the bars in Colombia, with Bora-Hansgrohe’s Sam Bennett winning stage one with what looks like an identical cockpit. It’s likely the bars will use the same cable routing as the Alpinist but feature increased aero properties. Whether we see them soon as part of a Tarmac SL8 reveal remains to be seen.
VITTORIA CORSA PRO TIRES
The new tires from Vittoria received their first airing at the Jumbo-Visma winter training camps. The ‘Corsa Pro’ logo printed on the sidewall was the giveaway that something new was a foot - and one that didn’t require Sherlock Holmes-like powers of deduction given that, to date, Vittoria don’t have a ‘Corsa Pro’ in its race tire line-up.
Since then the tires have been spotted on the race bikes of Team DSM as well, and will be presumably been used by all the Vittoria supplied team. Jumbo-Visma's Rohan Dennis used them at the Tour Down Under to great effect, picking up a win on stage two of the race. Here’s what we know so far.
They appear to be tubeless given the tubeless valves - a tubeless valve nut is visible on Dennis' Tour Down Under race bike. They also feature tan sidewalls, which makes them the first Vittoria tubeless race tire to do so. Given the colour of the sidewalls, can we assume that they’re of the unvulcanised cotton variety, as used on the Italian brand’s other top-tier race tires? And will they replace the current Corsa tires in the line-up albeit with improved rolling resistance à la Corsa Speed?
CANNONDALE SUPERSIX EVO 4
The cat’s out of the bag regarding the updated SuperSix Evo, with its appearance on the UCI’s frameset list (opens in new tab)adding credence to the number of pictures already seen. The Tour Down Under gave yet more exposure to the latest iteration of Cannondale’s all-rounder, with three teams using the bike in Australia.
Race images clearly show the frame’s aerodynamic enhancements as well as dropped stays, which seem even lower than the outgoing model, and the use of a threaded bottom bracket.
Interestingly, while the bikes used by the EF Education teams featured the Lab71 decal, those ridden by the French Women’s Continental team St Michel-Mavic-Auber93 did not.
The UCI list showed that the SuperSix Evo 4 would feature three models, including a Hi-Mod version. While currently the Lab71 ‘project’ is little vague, with the brand describing it on its website as “Cannondale’s best, done better”, perhaps in the case of the new SuperSix, its inclusion on the frameset denotes that it’s the top-tier offering, while St Michel are riding one of the lower tier frames?
LOOK 795 RS
The Tour Down Under also gave the unreleased and still unnamed Look bike(opens in new tab) (possibly the 795 RS), ridden by Cofidis, some more air time. In fact, it racked up its first WorldTour victory, as did the man riding the bike, Bryan Coquard. A pro for ten years, the man from Saint-Nazaire had won 48 times previously but none at the sport’s highest level.
As for the bike it does appear it will be Cofidis’ day-to-day machine. Where does this leave the 795 Blade and the 785 Huez bikes we’re not yet sure? Given that the bike looks to be an aero all-rounder - integrated cockpit, deep and sculpted headtube, D-shaped seatpost and dropped stays - could the French team use the latest bike in a similar fashion to the likes of Bora-Hansgrohe and Soudal-Quick Step, who rely heavily on the Tarmac SL7 rather than having dedicated aero and climbing bikes?
IRONMAN Announces New Event on Long Island with IRONMAN 70.3 New York – Jones Beach Triathlon
January 25, 2023
- Inaugural IRONMAN 70.3 New York - Jones Beach triathlon scheduled to take place Sept. 23, 2023; General registration to open Feb. 1, 2023, and can be accessed by visiting, www.ironman.com/im703-new-york - IRONMAN 70.3 New York - Jones Beach first IRONMAN branded event to come to Long Island and only 40-minute drive from New York City or 30-minute train ride from Penn Station
JONES BEACH, N.Y. / TAMPA, Fla. (Jan. 25, 2023) /ENDURANCE SPORTSWIRE/ – The IRONMAN Group announced today that Jones Beach State Park and the southern shore of Long Island will play host to the newest IRONMAN® 70.3® triathlon. The inaugural IRONMAN 70.3 New York – Jones Beach triathlon is schedule to make its debut on Sept. 23, 2023. Athletes will take on a journey as they will embark past some of Longs Island’s most beautiful areas such as the Jones Beach Theater, the iconic Jones Beach Boardwalk, and Nassau County’s Wantagh State Parkway. General registration for the IRONMAN 70.3 New York – Jones Beach triathlon will open on Feb. 1, 2023, by visiting, www.ironman.com/im703-new-york.
“We could not be more excited to bring an IRONMAN 70.3 triathlon to Long Island for the first time,” said Dave Christen, Sr. Regional Director for The IRONMAN Group. “With some of the most beautiful beaches in the Northeast, we know our athletes will enjoy the stunning scenery, beautiful weather, access to New York City, and friendly communities here on Long Island.”
IRONMAN 70.3 New York – Jones Beach will treat athletes to a 1.2-mile swim in Zach’s Bay at Jones Beach State Park, a scenic 56-mile bike ride along the Wantagh State Parkway, culminating with a 13.1-mile run along the world-famous Jones Beach Boardwalk that stretches down the coast with a unique finish line experience on the beach itself.
“The IRONMAN 70.3 New York will bring an electrifying competition – and thousands of athletes and fans – to the beautiful Jones Beach State Park,” Erik Kulleseid, Commissioner, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation. “Long Island’s most popular state park will be a great stage to showcase these athletes’ incredible determination and skill.”
Located on the southern shore of Long Island, Jones Beach State Park is a national treasure just 40-miles outside Manhattan and New York City. The soft sand beaches emerge from within the vibrant energy of New York City and showcase some of the best reasons to discover Long Island. With three international airports to fly into and the Long Island Rail Road, visitors can reach Jones Beach easily and experience many areas in Nassau County, Long Island and the greater New York City region. The Jones Beach Theater hosts some of the largest musical acts and tours throughout the year and the area also plays host to one of the largest air shows on earth. Athletes who come by plane, train, or automobile will have plenty of offerings to enjoy and support your experience on Long Island at IRONMAN 70.3 New York – Jones Beach.
General registration for the 2023 IRONMAN 70.3 New York – Jones Beach triathlon will open Feb. 1, 2023. The 2023 IRONMAN 70.3 IRONMAN 70.3 New York – Jones Beach triathlon will offer qualifying slots to the 2024 VinFast IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship taking place in Taupō, New Zealand.
For more information about the 2023 IRONMAN 70.3 New York Jones Beach triathlon www.ironman.com/im703-new-york. For more information on the IRONMAN brand and global event series, please visit www.ironman.com. Media inquiries may be directed to email@example.com.
What's New in the 303:
Go4Graham Cycling Team and Why it Matters
Team Sponsor Becky Furuta on what makes Go4Graham matter so much to her.
By Becky Furuta
I had five minutes. That’s all the time the doctor would allow while she was under supervision. Five minutes to deliver her toothbrush and pajamas, a phone charger, and some slippers to keep her feet from freezing on the cement floors of the ward, and to hear her tell me why she had tried to kill herself. She couldn’t look me in the eye. She has slash marks on her arms and legs from years of cutting herself. And underneath a long hospital gown, my little sister disappeared – swallowed up by the darkness in her mind and her own, brutal thoughts.
Go4Graham is a community-based movement to shred the stigma surrounding mental health. We promote mental wellness through cycling and outdoor sports in Colorado and beyond. It was started to honor Graham Stingley who died in 2005 age the age of 23 after battling depression and anxiety for most of his short life. If you want to join this movement please check out Go4Graham.org or @Go4Graham on social media, or will@Go4Graham.org.
At the time, I couldn’t imagine wanting so desperately to die. I had no idea what it was like to silently drown in the shadows of life. The feelings that attached themselves to the most pivotal moments of her life defied any language I knew to identify them.
And then came December 2019.
I left for work around 6:30 in the morning, knowing I wouldn’t hit many lights. Wouldn’t be much traffic, either. I left my neighborhood and drove the highway along the Flatirons because I liked the view and because there was one section of road with a long, dangerous-looking rocky slope. If the roads were covered in ice, it seemed like everything could end right there.
And that morning, it was where I decided to kill myself.
I can’t explain how things had come to that point. I was successful. I owned three businesses, all of which were doing well. I was not unhappily married, and my kids were healthy. I had a career as an athlete, and people looked up to me. I was traveling the world, racing a bike, surrounded by fans. My social media was a sea of ‘likes.’ And all I wanted was to die on that stretch of road.
I was in the worst possible place when I called my team director, and slowly, I backed away from the cliff and toward the sound of her words as she promised me that we would figure things out. The team went to work finding me the resources I needed. They saved my life. Cycling saved my life. And it continues to every day.
Exercise has been proven scientifically and anecdotally to improve mental health. Cycling forced me to get up on days when I didn’t want to, and it brought me outside and into the world. It gave me a sense of connectedness and joy. I could stop thinking about everything else when I was on the bike, and focus on my body and my efforts. It was peace.
I was sitting at a tiki bar in Claremont, FL having just attempted to break a record on Sugarloaf when my buddy, Taylor Ross, started talking about Go4Graham Foundation. Taylor’s enthusiasm for the organization was palpable, and he talked at length about growing up not thinking about mental health or understanding that our mental wellness is dynamic and requires care. He spoke of people being trapped under the waves without seeing an end to the hardships, and how important it is to know that things will change in time. He talked about how sports and community can save lives. I was sold.
Go4Graham was founded following the death of Steven Graham Winter Stingley, who died in 2005 after a fatal interaction between the antidepressant medication he had been taking and an OTC cold medication. Graham’s brother, Will, founded the organization both to honor his brother and after confronting his own mental health challenges.
“I’ve come to terms with the fact that (depression) is something I will have to manage for the rest of my life. But it gives me perspective. It helps me prioritize my life. It has motivated me to adopt a healthier lifestyle.” And, although Will won’t say it so directly, his work with Go4Graham has given purpose to others.
Go4Graham has created a network of athletes and ambassadors who use an evidence-based program designed by the University of Colorado Johnson Depression Center to conduct training to help diminish the stigma behind discussing mental health issues and to intervene in times of mental health crisis. The foundation partners with mental health professionals to conduct workplace wellness programs around suicide prevention and stress management. Runners, cyclists, skiers, and other athletes get peer support and engage in storytelling to elicit mental health conversations and to erode the challenges of talking openly about mental health issues. They encourage the use of physical activity as a mechanism to improve mental wellness and gain a sense of community.
Team member Kit Hinders explains, “The unspoken bond between us all is a beautiful support system. We have all loved and lost someone to negative mental health consequences. That experience unites us to ‘Shred the Stigma’ that surrounds mental health. I wish we could walk around with swords slicing through cultural norms, but our athletes and ambassadors are much more tactful. Join us. You just might find out that it rewards you as much as others.”
It took me time and therapy and a lot of support to calm the chaotic thoughts in my brain. My first meeting with my psychologist was the most awkward staring contest of my life. Eventually, I unfolded the saddest parts of my life to her, learned some coping mechanisms, started eating better, and stopped focusing so much on the bike as a career and instead on finding my love of the sport again. And to be honest, I still struggle from time to time with a kind of panic I can’t describe, thoughts of inexplicable sadness, days of exhaustion and nights when I’m haunted in my sleep. My teammates with Go4Graham can often relate, which makes it easier to get through.
Go4Graham empowered me to share my challenges with mental health, and to do it in a way that helps build support for others struggling with mental illness. All of us, together, are conveying that mental health conversations shouldn’t be stigmatized, and that people shouldn’t risk suffering in isolation because they are either afraid to be vulnerable or unsure how to best access help. In so many ways, athletes within Go4Graham are reassuring people in their lives that we won’t let them sit alone with the thoughts troubling them. We’re making space for the emotions often pushed to the margins.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that the team isn’t serious about sports. Hinders explains, “The variety of athletes creates a culture of acceptance and exploration. On any given ride, we combine roadies, mountain bikers, gravel specialists and elite cyclocross racers. Having ‘a little bit of everything’ helps us push our limits as athletes and as humans. I’ve never been part of any team that does so many sports so well.”
Athletes with Go4Graham consistently stand on race podiums all over the state. There are weekly training rides and team trips to race or train together. These events are marked by acceptance and support, but also a lot of laughter and the kind of silliness you would expect from people clad entirely in Spandex.
Four years ago, I decided to commit my business, Avenue Vision, to sponsoring Go4Graham. Last Thursday night, I hosted Go4Graham athletes and fellow sponsor, Cuore Cycling, at the office. We threw down hot carbs from Woody’s Pizza a few beers as cyclists and runners tried on kits to ensure proper fit and placed orders for new sunglasses. The kick-off was designed to guarantee that everyone had the apparel needed to start their season and to introduce new athletes to those who have been with the organization for many years. For me, it was an opportunity to hug old friends and hold hands with some of the humans who walked me through my toughest times and to talk about the season ahead. Athletes have lined up everything from marathons to the country’s biggest gravel races and a skimo challenge or two over the course of the next twelve months. There are big, audacious goals on the table.
I’ve been in this sport for so long that I don’t know what, exactly, is up ahead for me. I do know that Go4Graham will be part of that picture for a long time to come. I know how hard it is to pretend everything is OK when it’s not, and I know it’s no way to live. I know that running, cycling and skiing are my sanctuaries where things just seem to work. I am glad to have the opportunity to help change the way we all talk about and address mental health, and that purpose feels really good. Aligning that mission with my interests and my business feels even better.
If you’re interested in joining the movement or participating with Go4Graham, feel free to contact the organization. firstname.lastname@example.org
Video of the week:
5 Reasons Why You DON'T Need A Super Bike!
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