Burns captures Super Sprint Grand Prix
Victory earns Burns USAT Sprint National title, Jerondek finishes 8th in women’s A final.
Photo Credit: Lava Magazine
Four team members traveled to Las Vegas for the Super Sprint Grand Prix and USAT Sprint National Championships earlier this week. Fresh off incredible European campaigns on the ITU circuit Lindsey Jerdonek and Chelsea Burns represented the women while Davide Giardini and Tyler Rodgers returned from injury to represent the men. Morning qualifying heats proved to be fast and furious but ultimately saw Burns and Jerdonek advancing to the women’s A final while Giardini advanced to the men’s B final later that evening. The evening finals consisted of 2x through a 300m swim/5k bike/2k run with athletes transitioning immediately from the first run into the second swim. The finals not only determined who would take home a share of $70,000 but also determine the 2014 USAT Sprint national champion.
In the men’s race Giardini used his strong swim/bike to establish himself in the front 3 heading into run #1 but was reeled in the by the main group on the run/swim and began the second bike leg in a group of 5 fighting for 2nd place. Giardini would ultimately finish a solid 6th place in the men’s B final in one of his first races back following a foot injury for most of the season. Davide will waste no time getting back to racing with his next race being this weekend in Pacific Grove.
The women’s A final proved to be the most exciting race of the night with all 10 women staying together throughout the first circuit of the 300m siwm/5k bike/2k run. The field began to separate on swim #2 as the field was narrowed down to 8 women during the second bike leg. With nobody able to get away the race came down to a 2k sprint for the win. Both Jerdonek and Burns entered the run in contention for the win. Burns quickly proved her speed as she pulled away with Australian Triathlete and 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Erin Densham half way through the run. In the end, Burns used an incredible sprint finish to edge out Densham to claim the victory as well as the 2014 USAT Pro Sprint National Title. Jerdonek finished a strong 8th place in the race.
Burns’ victory marks the first pro national title in the team’s three year existence. Read her race report below-
“I headed to Las Vegas 2 days after leaving Monterrey where I had traveled to race an “Olympic Festival” Continental Cup. To make an epic story short, United flew my bike from Seattle to DC to Buffalo to Chicago to Houston to Boston and ultimately to San Diego where we would eventually reunite. Needless to say, the bike never made it to Monterrey and I did not start the race down there. So this, on top of 3 months of more crashes, DNFs and DSQ than I would wish on anyone, had me very hungry for redemption and positive that this string of bummers was to be in the past.
The Las Vegas Super Sprint operates on a preliminary/final format: at 9:30am I raced in heat three of 2 rounds of 200 pool swim, 3 lap-3k bike and 1 lap -1k run, a circuit set up entirely in a parking lot on The Strip. I finished first in my heat which advanced me to the A final, held 10 hours later under the lights. The final distances were a bit longer; 300 swim, 5k bike and 2k run was to again be gone through twice on the same course. I lined up with 9 other girls who made up a bit of a stacked field, 4 Olympians!, as the announcer would repeatedly remind the crowd throughout the race. We came out of the first swim close enough to remain one big pack on the bike and interestingly, on the run as well! Diving pack in for the second swim takes the cake for being hardest part of the race. 300 meters of dragging my lactate filled body through water that felt more like thick syrup. I came out though in good enough position to catch that main group again, though this time we were just 8 instead of the whole field of 10. I had felt very in control on the first run and so was confident heading out on the 2nd run to just get to the front and do my thing as long as possible. With maybe 100 meters to go it was just me and Densham and the sprint I was waiting for had come! I love track and this was just like that- I had just enough to get her at the line and win, no doubt the most exciting triathlon result of my life!
Winning is fun but the race was a total blast. The organizers did an exceptional job creating a fast, painful and just plain cool event. It was sweet to be there with 3 other OTF teammates as well! Plus to race will be on tv! Check out Universal Sports on October 1. Special thanks to Team Psycho and all the team’s sponsors for helping me get to where I am!”
Weigl finishes on podium at Age-Group World Championships
Dustin Weigl finishes 3rd in the sprint race and 12th in the olympic race with fastest run split of race.
Photo Credit: Andy Weigl
Dustin Weigl traveled to Edmonton, Canada to compete at the 2014 Age-Group World Championships. In the midst of a breakout season Weigl went into the race with high expectations in both the Sprint and Olympic distance races. In the sprint race, Weigl used the fastest bike-run combo of the entire race to finish and incredible 3rd in the 20-24 year old age-group. Just 3 days later Dustin competed in the olympic distance race looking for a similar result. While Dustin had a personal best time over the 10km run a flat tired on the bike thwarted his efforts to once again finish on the podium. Overall the races proved be yet another breakthrough performance in what has already been an incredible season for Dustin. Dustin will finish his season with the Pumpkinman Triathlon and Pilgrimman Triathlon before using the off-season to improve his swim and get ready to earn his pro card in 2015.
Read Dustin’s race recap below-
The race began around 9:30 am with a diving start off the sand. I had
a pretty clean start but was elbowed on the way around the first buoy,
causing my right goggle to fill with water. I pressed on looking for
swimmers to draft off but could see that I had missed the front pack
of swimmers who were about 30 seconds up. I was leading the second
pack and had nobody around me to draft off and came out of the water
around 35th in my wave.
I had a hard time getting my wetsuit off in transition but mounted my
bike cleanly and was off to complete the two legs I am more
competitive in. The 2 loop bike course was challenging with a steep
8% grade climb early on, some longer more gradual climbs later, and
some technical high speed turns. I knew I had ground to make up so I
pressed the pace and was in 7th for the age group when I entered T2.
I felt great starting the run and decided to go out as hard as I could
and hope my legs would survive. The course went onto some trails
before coming back out onto the road for another out and back for the
last mile. My legs lasted for about 2.5 miles before I began to slow
but I knew I had put in a fantastic effort and finished the race
feeling like I had given it my all and could not have gone a second
faster. I ended up 3rd in the age group and 7th overall clocking the
fastest 5k time in the race (16:29), only one of three athletes to
break the 17:00 mark on a long course.
The Olympic distance race was two days later and I felt inspired after
watching fellow teammate Lindsey Jerdonek compete in the WTS grand
final over the weekend along with the rest of the team USA elite
squad. The course was very similar to the sprint course but with two
laps on both the swim and run and a longer, hillier two loops on the
bike. The race began at 7:30am and the air was a crisp 43 degrees.
The dive into the start was a relief as the water was warmer than the
air and I made sure to get around the first buoy as quickly as
possible and found some feet to draft off for a good chunk of the rest
of the swim. I exited the water in the middle of the pack feeling
fresh and ready to start picking off my competitors on the bike and
I decided to put on socks and arm warmers in T1 as the overcast skies
and mid-40 degree temperatures meant that the time I lost putting on
clothing would be more than made up by keeping warm during what I knew
would be 40 mph downhill sections of the bike course. The first 40
minutes of the bike were difficult and I didn’t seem to be gaining on
many of the other racers but I kept pushing until I was suddenly
passed by a group of about 15 riders who were clearly drafting. Since
I didn’t want to join in and not only cheat but also risk a penalty, I
was forced to sit up and drop back on one of the narrower roads in the
course. As I began to realize, there weren’t enough officials out on
the course to monitor these packs and they were pretty common out on
the course that day.
I entered T2 angry that I had lost time on some of my competitors but
knew I could make up a good chunk of it based on how my run went in
the sprint. About a mile into the run, Connor Weaver caught up to me
and, knowing how fast of a runner he is, I decided to hang with him as
long as I could. We held a steady 5:20/mile pace for the remaining 5
miles of the run which resulted in a 10k PR of over 1:30 for me.
I finished 12th in the age group, much farther back from athletes who
I had been competitive with the Friday before. When I went to get my
bike out of transition I found that the back tire was very low and
could even see that the tire hadn’t been properly filled based on
pictures of me biking during the race. While I was disappointed with
my performance on the bike, I am thrilled with how I felt on the run
and I look forward to bringing that feeling to future races.
Thank you so much to my family and friends for their love and support,
Steve Wright for his coaching over the years and talent for team
management, and to our sponsors: Team Psycho, Kiwami, and Rudy
Project. A huge thanks to my parents for helping me make it this far
and for supporting me in everything I do!”
Jerdonek finishes 5th at Tiszaujvaros World Cup
5th place finish marks new career best and makes three straight top 5 World Cup finishes for team
Lindsey Jerdonek once again proved her recent race results were not a fluke by capturing 5th place at the Tiszaujvaros World Cup in Hungary on Sunday. The unique race format had athletes racing in qualifying heats on Saturday in order to compete in the finals on Sunday. Both Jerdonek and teammate Chelsea Burns were in the 2nd qualifying heat and got off to a quick start with top 5 swim splits. Jerdonek was able to use her strength on the bike to stay in the lead group of 6 while putting nearly 2 minutes into the chasers. The gap heading into T2 made for an easy run for Jerdonek to qualify while Burns raced to capture the final qualifying spot. Burns finished in 12th place just 3 spots outside of qualifying while Jerdonek finished the heat in 3rd. Lindsey picked up where she left off on Sunday by posting the fastest bike split of the day and coming off the bike in the lead group of 11 athletes. Lindsey ran with the leaders throughout the run before eventually finishing a career best 5th place. Both Lindsey and Chelsea will be racing at WTS Stockholm in a couple of weeks.
Read Lindsey’s race recap below-
“I had been looking forward to the Tiszaujvaros World Cup for its unique format of hosting two sprint distance triathlons over two days. Three heats of twenty plus women competed on Saturday with the top nine from each heat, and three at large, advancing to the Sunday final.
I finished third in my heat without expending too much energy and was ready to go on Sunday against a competitive field. While I was the first athlete around the first buoy in my semi, I swam amongst the masses in the final and got smashed at the first turn placed only 115 meters from the pontoon. The swim pace was on with WTS super swimmers in the field: Carol Routier, Pamela Oliviera and Lucy Hall. I moved up in the field after the first turn and exited the water close enough to the front group that I was able to latch onto the front pack after a very hard first bike lap.
Once in the lead pack, I did my best to conserve energy for the run. I had a good T2 and established a spot in the first group out on the run course. I did my best to stay with the lead bunch and got to experience the changes of pace when running tactically against others. It was tough! In the end, six seconds separated finish places 3-6 and I came away with fifth place. It was exciting to be in the mix and log my highest World Cup finish to date!
Next up for me is the Stockholm WTS on the 23rd with the WTS Grand Final in Edmonton the following weekend. Thank you to Team Psycho, New York Athletic Club, and Powerbar for helping me compete this season!”