SRM sponsored professional triathlete, Michi Weiss, came home in 2nd place overall at the Ironman Cozumel Latin American Championship on Sunday 24th November 2019 and in so doing set a new bike course record. The beautiful Mexican island of Cozumel has become a race destination very close to Michi’s heart having now been on the podium in six out of the last seven full Ironman races here (he was 4th in the other) and been a multiple winner with three Ironman titles and one 70.3 title at this venue alone.
The 3.8km ocean swim in this race is very fast because it is almost entirely with the prevailing current. This usually helps Michi to keep the gap to the lead pack fairly small – last year it was 3 minutes. However, this year Michi was unable to hold onto even the second group of 7 athletes, which included eventual winner, Tyler Butterfield, and ended up losing 6 minutes to the lead group and 3 minutes to the second group.
“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth”Mike Tyson
What was very evident by now was that if he had good bike legs, he was going to have to use them. Any cute plan involving holding back on the bike early on in order to be able to attack harder later or to run relatively fresh was necessarily going out of the window. And so on board his Diamondback Andean, equipped with HED Vanquish 8 wheels and SRM Origin powermeter Michi rode hard from the gun averaging 331W for the first 100km which included a number of attacks to pass those falling off the pace of the two main groups ahead. Even averaging ‘just’ 295W for the second half of the bike course Michi was able to get within 2 minutes of the front group with 50km to go and then eventually pass everyone except Patrik Nilsson by T2.
…Which most importantly led to a Strava KOM!
Michi reached T2 with a 1.5 minute deficit to Nilsson and so set about closing the gap by reeling off the first four kilometres of the run at an optimistic 3’50/km pace. Michi overtook Nilsson at 8km buy in any case by the halfway point in the marathon Nilsson had dropped out and Michi had completed the first 21.1km in 1h23m and was leading the race by 1.5 minutes over a very fast approaching Tyler Butterfield. So far so normal. However, while Michi’s run stayed strong, after such a Herculean bike effort it was only to be expected that his run pace slow somewhat in the second half but only around 10 seconds per kilometer and while he still managed to post a superb 2h50m run split it was not enough to hold off the rampaging Butterfield who ended up running a stellar 2h38m marathon having passed Michi with just 16km of the run leg remaining.
Michi’s overall race time was 7h47m12s, a full 11 minutes faster than his winning time of last year. He also picked up a pro slot for next year’s World Championship in Hawaii, which always makes for a nice early Christmas present! Congratulations to Tyler Butterfield on his first ever full Ironman victory and as always, thankyou to Michi Weiss for being so transparent with all his SRM files.
May the Force X Velocity be with you,
Garth Fox (MSc) Sports scientist
High Performance Coach