Michael Raelert takes 6th place at the Ironman 70.3 Taiwan
Michael Raelert couldn’t achieve the result he had hoped for in the first huge endurance test of the year, but the Ironman 70.3 Taiwan still brought some positive impressions. The Rostockian was able to dominate the competition over 1.9 kilometers of swimming, 90 kilometers of cycling and 21.1 kilometers of running in the first part of the race, even though his sixth-place finish in 4:10:47 hours was not the result he wanted. The victory went to South Africa’s Bradley Weiss in 3:58:20 hours. Cyril Viennot from France took second place in 4:00:02 hours in front of Australia’s Luke McKenzie, who finished in 4:00:58 hours.
"I had hoped for a different result," Michael Raelert said after the race in Taitung. "When I came out of the water, I had the feeling of sitting in the driver’s seat." In 23:51 minutes, he clearly opened up a gap to his pursuers. "I really had strong arms in the water," Michael Raelert said. He came out of the water with a lead of about 90 seconds in front of a strong chasing group including all favorites. "It went really well in the water."
On the bike, Michael Raelert set the pace at the front for a little more than the first third of the course. "I had a good ride," he said later, "but I knew as well that there was a group of strong cyclists behind me." After about 40 kilometers, the chasing group led by two-time XTerra World Champion Bradley Weiss joined him. "The pace was really high," said Michael Raelert. "Unfortunately, I missed the moment when Bradley made his decisive attack at kilometer 80."
While the South African Bradley Weiss gained some seconds on the way to the second transition, Michael Raelert finished the bike course in the runner-up position in 2:11:20 hours. "I had the hope that I still could win the race." The Rostockian established a quick transition and pushed a hard pace on the first four kilometers. Step by step, he reduced the gap to the leader. "But I could not keep up with this pace," he said later. In 1:26:21, Michael Raelert finally finished the half marathon course. "After the extensive training program in recent weeks, I was simply missing the hardness today which is necessary," said Michael Raelert. "I know what I have yet to do – and I'm fully motivated and really looking forward to the rest of the season."
Photo: Marcel Hilger