The Gap

Yo, yep, it has been a while hence The Gap. Doesn’t mean i wasn’t busy. in contrary, very busy indeed on and off the track. After Ironman in Slovakia i took a week off and got right back in it to focus on the rest of the European Season, concluding with Eislek Triathlon ( half ) and IM Barcelona, mid September and beginning of October respectively.

I trained rather well despite the Dubai summer. Focused as always to get better. I love that never ending chase of always trying to get better. It is like fashion, it never ends. My fire is burning. within me there is this constant drive that keeps me going. I do not need anything or anybody else other than my head and whats between the ears. The anger is there. i am a truly angry person, but do not let it get the better of me, i use it for positive good stuff.

right now, there is also Metallica between my ears. Justice for all album, Harvester of Sorrow. last good album before all that classical orchestra fusion crap. My favorite album is Master of Puppets. absolute banger, that one.

Its actually funny, i was thinking today on what i have improved on this year. next to getting better in all 3 disciplines and a better understanding of technique and application of the same, i think my biggest improvement has been the mental and tactical aspect. I am able to see now on what is needed to do my best at every race and be consistent. I think it has a lot do with age as well. very satisfying feeling.

Competition wise, with the last 2 comps i was able to cap off a good european season. The Eislek triathlon was the first of the last two. Eislek is the northernmost region in Luxembourg, where my mom is from. Very, very hilly rural roads with lots of narrow villages strewn along the way. lots of forests and open fields. very beautiful area of Luxembourg. The Eislek is maybe known to foreigners as the background for the Battle of the Bulge in WW2. Thats where the Germans basically had their last offensive, when General von Rundstedt threw all the Panzerdivisions he had left against the Americans and drove them back into Belgium. It was the winter of 1944 1945 and it took the Americans by surprise and they needed a couple of months to regain the ground and finally win the war in May 1945.

The triathlon was also a battle in itself. The race was over the Half ironman distance and organised by Marc Walch, who runs several races in Luxembourg. The bike course had nearly 1700m of climbing over 90k and made Wiesbaden look like a fucking birthday party. the run had ca. 300m  of climbing over 21.1k. great race well organised. The bike course was either climbing or descending with no real rest. not my speciality but i still managed to pull off one of the best bike times. same with the run. actually this race might be one of my best performances, because it is soooooooo far out of my comfort zone, but i still managed to prevail and get 3rd in the end behind 2 Belgians who are well versed in riding these hills.

on a personal note, i was really proud to be on the podium and think of my mum.

when i got back to Dubai, i was almost again straight away on the go for Ironman Barcelona. That race is actually known to be a wheelsucking race, but not anymore that much i can tell you. They build in a hill that was really long and took a substantial effort to get up twice. it really pulled the field apart quite a bit. total climbing over 180k was 1200m. basically like Roth.

In this instant, i would like to thank the Spanish triathlon federation. the professional race was fair. Each bike ” group ” had a dedicated referee that was with the group for most of the bike ride. A couple of the ” fast ” age groupers had an actual ” coffee ride ” with not more than 2m between them. part of that group was also the pro women race. The 4 or 5 amateurs who were faster than myself inclusive of the top pro lady, did not follow the rules and cheated. You can tell by the times: over an hour with the wetsuit, ” super ” bike ride close to 4:30:00, then fading away on the run. same with the ladies. I am not just  saying that, i saw with my own eyes, but i did not really bother me. i focused on my race. I can look in the mirror and be happy with myself.

Patrik Nilson had a 7:55:00 on that course. what a ham. absolutely cracking that.

There were also a couple of russian/ukrainian dopers in the field, Tutukin and Sapunov. Fuck you cunts.

for me in the end, i got 22 out of 60plus pros. with 8:56:00, considering it was a non wetsuit swim and a quite windy bike ride, i am happy with that. still room to improve though.

that concludes the european season and now i look forward to the UAE season which is kicking off very soon.

i wish all the best for that and good luck with the races.

peace out. Yours truly.

Nicky Santoro

 

 

 

 

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Scott Plasma 5 Team Edition 2016 model for sale

Yo, bike for sale minus the wheels. Specs as follows:

Scott Plasma 5 2016 Team Edition, size S ( is equivalent to M 54 on Cervelo P5 as a reference ), almost exclusively used for racing, top condition, Adamo saddle, DI2 11speed, profile design extensions, quarq powermeter with Garmin headunit, ceramic speed pulleys, ceramic speed bearings, maintained at wolfis. price on request. to be paid in cash aed.

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Double header

Yo, just got back to the sand pit from a double header in Czech Republic and Slovak Republic. First things first, Prague 70.3 aka Triprague aka Czech Middle Distance Championships was up. Cracking line up, Filip Ospaly and all other guys in top shape to fight it out for the Champs. They all looked in pretty good shape too and you could tell everyone was taking the race seriously. I started off well and my improved swimming has lead only to 1min deficit out of the water to former ITU style swimmers like Ospaly and Renc. On the bike, i controlled the output and did a smart tactical race. Got off the bike in 4th and still only 1min back from the lead, biked together with Tomas Sokoup and Pavel Petrasek and the Italian Pasqualini, we were committed to chase down the front 3 guys which did not look too fresh, which we did. cruised along in the lead and was ready to strike. Then disaster struck. By my own mistake i mixed my own gels with coke from the course. No good. too much sugar in the stomach, blocked, not flowing through anymore, resulting in cramps. That was the end of it. I struggled through the rest and ended up 10th. Lesson learned.

My inlaws had good words for me and encouraged me that up to 12k until the disaster happened i actually looked really good and performed on top. so that was encouraging. anyway, i never really think about good and bad results and wipe myself off ca. 20seconds after every race. There is no point in feeling low or high about a good or a bad experience.

i trained a bit for the remainder of the week to get ready for my next race which was Slovakman aka Slovak Long Distance championships in Piestany just north of Bratislava. nice little town. Again same as in Prague, good deep field and the race is part of the Czech Tri Series which is like a Premier League for triathlon but not only distance but all distances. the races are well organised and the level is good. hard and fair racing. Some good long distance guys from both Czech and Slovakia were there, especially Jan Oppolzer. he is something special. very talented.

the night before the race it rained really hard and put part of transition under water, but the organisers did a great job in drying it up, which they managed to do. A little rain in the race morning, and off we went. i was 10sec off the lead, and managed to swim just a tad over 49mins, 49:07. Coming off the swim in the lead gives you more of an overview on the bike, and it took the chasers ca. 110km to reel Lukas Stalinsky and myself in. then David Jilek, Jan Oppolzer, Lukas and i continued to ride together for 40km and then Jan made a move. i wanted to conserve my energy for the run so i decided not to go with him. The bike was very very wind ca. 30km winds because of the bad weather the night before, so UAE style so to speak, and therefore you have to be careful how you spend your energy. The bike course was a bit longer ca 2.5k and i got off in 4:47 and felt fresh and good from the go. The run was hard because the mentioned wind as well, but also it was quite a tricky course with lots turns and twists with some offroad paths as well.

Well, Jan had a special day on the run, running 2:53:00 on that course is nothing short of amazing. I still took ca. 30sek off him on the first lap but then he kept the gap consistent and grew it in the end. I finished the run in 3:04:00 and got 2nd place behind Jan Oppolzer and third place went to Jan Holub, the Slovak Champ, who had a good run to overtake David Jilek. in the end, i had 8:43:00 and considering the conditions i am happy with that.

Afterwards we had some nice beers and enjoyed a good evening out. Big thanks to my wife Petra, my dad, my inlaws, and Lenka for cheering me on and supporting me. thanks to Lubos as well.

Now i am back here in Dubaiski enjoying the heat and getting ready for my next events. Booyah. touchdown. always remember, the left side is the Crip side.

O Dawg from the Crenshaw Boulevard Mafia

 

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A couple of weeks in Europe

Yo, whatz hattnin? hope all good with you guys. i am doing too. just got back from Europe where i did Switzerland 70.3 and Luxembourg 70.3 and a bit of training in between. all in all, i am happy how the trip turned out. I don’t know what it is but every time i go to Europe, the weather is just bad lol.

Anyway,  i got into Switzerland 2 days prior to the comp, and gawdamn, that lake was cold. I know Lake Zurich since my childhood, in June it is never especially warm. The lake on race day measure just a tad below 15C which for me living here is very unusual. but i sucked it up and did it. The starting procedure also was not very clear as there was no gun shot and the guys just went off. So i lost precious meters in the beginning of the swim already and had to claw back through the field. I thawed up about 30k into the bike and started warming up a bit and felt good after that.

Nevertheless, no shame in it, i got chicked so hard by Daniela Ryf, who just got down from St Moritz for the race and is already in tip top shape. Had a good run and in the end took 14th in a new PB on the mountaineous technical course. nothing spectacular, but nothing bad either.

The day after i travelled to St Moritz to train for 10 days with my buddy Jan van Berkel and later Patrick Lange joined us as well. Really great scenery and a change of air to fill up the batteries between races and train. We had a great time together and i enjoyed the sessions very much.

From there i drove directly to Luxembourg for the 70.3. quite a long drive i must say. Luxembourg 70.3 as every year is also our national long distance championship, where i tried to defend my title after winning it in 2015 and 2013. had a couple of press thingies before the race, which was great because it takes the heat off a bit and gives you something else to do other than just mooch around.

Due to the heavy rain recently, the river Moselle was completely flooded and the swim was cancelled. Actually, looking at the bike and the run course, that was in my favor. but in the end a race is a race  no matter what or who is on the line.

This year, the FLTRI, our triathlon federation, has decided to give the national championship a bit more of a face and recognition and therefore decided to let the national Elite start with the rest of the pros, which i think is a great idea because it motivates you to do better if you see the like of Van Lierde, Bracht, Diederen, Stein etc at the start line.

As said the swim was cancelled, so it was going to be a Duathlon 5 90 21, which turned out to be 6 90 21. That s a hard format, because of the many run kms you have to be put down in a relatively intense fashion.

Weatherwise, we had everything on the day: wind, rain, thick rain, thin rain, sun, humidity, just everything. So the gun went off at 1000 and we attacked the first run leg. Since there are many run kms to put down ( 27k ) , the trick is not to go out too hard. which it was.

i ran very comfortably in the first group at the head of the race in a 3:19 pace for the 6k and it felt very easy. onto the bike, the sorting out and the hammering began from the beginning. Downwind, the first 20k we were in the lead group of 12 and the speed was rarely below 50k per hour. Myself i also took it upon me to do some work in the lead to keep the rest of the field at bay. after 40k there are 2 consecutive climbs that sort out the men from the boys: a flattish 2k climb and straight thereafter a little steeper 3k climb. Here the field separated further. The 2 climbs for a combined 10min you will not be able to keep the group if you can’t hold 450W or more. I checked my power meter and it was between 450W and 515W at all times. In hindsight, i can say that i gain a lot of confidence from moments like these in company like that.

Bracht fell off the second climb with a mechanical ( bent chain, i think ). i kept up at the helm with Evert Scheltinga i think, and Bas, Van Lierde and my countryman Neil Peters and the rest of the gang.

At 55k, disaster struck: while going up a hill i switched ring from small to big and the chain got stuck. i had to stop and rip it up violently from its position to put it manually on the ring again. That cost me about 2min and the group of 12 was gone. So was my race and the national championship. It is little mundane things like that that actually decide a race.

But i did not panic, i accepted it and went on and tried my best to catch up with the group, but if you have to ride against a group of 12 with above mentioned great athletes, then you will lose. i lost in the end ca. 4mins to the group and kept my position and got in at 13th.

That’s sports for you right there. sometimes you win sometimes you lose. i don’t wanna use the incident as an excuse.  People forget you need to be lucky to come out on top as well. I was plenty lucky in the last 6 years, so i can easily accept the fact that this time around luck was not on my side. Next time, hopefully, it will be again.

Nevertheless, i am very happy with the way i raced and behaved like a gentleman. Because you see the true colors of someone, when things don’t go as planned. Vice national champion is also an achievement that i am proud of in my palmares.

Congratulations to Neil Peters, who really had a good race and performed great. Also congrats and well done to Christian Krombach, who rounded off the podium. Fellas, it was a great and fair fight. Also big up to the rest of the Luxembourg Elite crew: Eric Wagner, Paul Bentner, Tom Krier, Dany Papi, Steve Moog, Thierry Dondelinger, Jerome Ewen, Philippe Lamberty who unfortunately missed out on the race because of a virus. Get well soon. Big congrats to the ladies and well done to Danielle Flamang, Jil Gloesener and Paule Kremer.

Big thanks to my wife for letting me travel and train, and to my Dad for support and splits along the course, the FLTRI team around Chris Krombach and Patrick Thill for giving the National Championship a face and recognition. It was a great event, i think it is safe to say everybody enjoyed it big time despite the shit weather.

See you next year. Booyah.

🙂

O dawg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lekker time in South Africa

Yo, howz it? just got back from South Africa this morning coming in via Josie ( Johannesburg ) from PE. What a great time it was. Totally enjoyed the event which was highly professional organised in a town, where people grill and drink on a regular basis.

Lets recap: The event I was in over the weekend was the Ironman South Africa, one of the big 4 events, the continental P 4000 championships with packed deepest fields possible. Held in Port Elizabeth, just south of Durban on the Eastern Cape, the swim took place in the indian ocean off Hobie Beach, the bike course was a 2 loop out n back course along the coast and a run in the middle of town amongst all the crowd.

IM South Africa is known not to be the fastest IM course: swirly currenty swim with limited sighting options, very bumpy roads over the 180k, but the run course is actually fast if the wind is up and provides cooling down.

When I arrived it looked like its gonna be crazy windy, which is good for me personally because of the cooling aspect, but it turned out to be different on race day.

It was gonna a hot one with very limited wind. I took that into account with the pacing and in the end, I thought I did a pretty good job with that.

The swell was up quite a bit which made sighting very hard for us who went out first with no reference on the horizon, I think I swam a bit too long, but hey Ironman is a long day. felt like a good swim though. I was riding in a group the first 60k but decided to let them go, because they pushed too hard for my taste. And I was right: I caught up with every single one of them on the run. The bike itself was hard: not so much the total climbing, but the surface of the road was so rough throughout that it really took a toll on you and the hits you got from the surface where definitely tiring. but also I think I rode a smart bike with low cadence and heart rate. came to the run very fresh compared to a lot of the other and I banked on the fact that I can take in a lot of guys by doing my steady pace running.

NoNoNo. That’s not how it went. It went great for the first 10k, but when I turned back at turnaround with the breeze in my back, I didn’t get any cooling so I had to slow down, once I was on the other end of the course and turned back, the wind was in my face and it was very soothing and I could accelerate again. The difference in pace per km was ca. 1min which is quite significant. the last 10k were just as good then again as the first.

But hey those are cards I was dealt and I had to handle it, which I did and I fought and held my position in the field. I had top 20 finish in the end in a top world class field with 9:19:00, well times are not that relevant in Ironman, rank is, and although weather conditions were not in my favour, I stuck with it and tried to get the best out of it that I could.

Towards the end I got passed the top 3 ladies, and it goes to show you that lighter people struggle less in heat with no wind and need lesser cooling obviously. The ladies ran really well and deservedly won the podium in this tough race and beat a lot of guys as well. congrats to them.

I love Ironman. Definitely the distance I will be focusing on in the future for the most part. So far in my short Ironman distance career, I raced in all sorts of conditions and do better in races where it is still warm but with good wind. I just love that best for me. Horses for courses.

I saw a lot of people from Dubai, congrats to everyone who mastered this test and conquered. Congratulations to everyone.

The hospitality in South Africa is second to none. Very beautiful country. I am amazed.

recover well and see you out there.

Peace out. o dawg.

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Sal T nuts

Sal T nuts

Yo, Ladies and Gentlemen, let me present to you the newest, hottest boyband from the Middle East: Sal T nuts. We are the new sensation as we make 1Direction look like a bunch of grannies.
The band consists of Sam O’Shea, Abdullah al Attiyah, Eric Watson and Olivier Godart. Sam and Abdullah are the shy ones, Eric is the ladykiller, and I am the experienced connoisseur. all bases are covered.
We ll go in the studio right after we recovered from the Abu Dhabi ITU gig we had yesterday. The gig was draining as it was extremely hot at times and all the girls were so stage 5 clinger that we needed an army of bodyguards to keep them away from us.
We tried to cool a bit from the hot action, but unfortunately there were only a few aid stations in between serving Red Bull and some ice. Midway through the last part of the gig performing our last couple of songs, the Red Bull got on our nerves just a little bit.
As said the girls were super stage 5 clinger, and we would like to thank our trusted body guards from Race ME, the team around Christian, Paul, Andy and Laura and everyone else who take care, operate, encourage, protect all aspects of all our gigs and all of us want to thank them big time for that.
Without their involvement, gigs like the one in Abu Dhabi yesterday would not be possible.
As for my own singing yesterday, it is in my South Africa gig prep, and therefore I wasn’t too tapered. I sang pretty much through from the last gig. the first song solid but a bit too warm to sing in a wetsuit, strong in the second song and the third song was strong too but due to lack of cooling down slowed down in the last 3-4 verses. In the end, another W in the column for me.
As said, we ll go back to the studio and record some more belters like ” I wanna get salty with you ” and ” Salty feelings ” , a remix of our smash hit ” S.A.L.T.Y “. But I don’t wanna say too much, there have to be surprises.
The picture in the post will also be our new album cover, where we do what we do best: holding on to our nuts.

peace out
🙂
O

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TriYas or the life of Andreas Buergi

Yo, whats hattnin. hope all good with all of youse. I was just thinking back about Triyas like I do every year. It just motivates me so much just by thinking about it, competing with all the other triathletes and how well we all did. Ok, some better than others. The sport has come a good way in a relatively short amount of time and at least I see that for myself every year at Triyas.
Don’t you have that feeling as well about some places you just feel naturally comfortable every time you go there? For me that is the case with Yas, it is a bit like a triathlon living room for me. Similar to what Boris Becker said about Wimbledon: he said he always felt at home there. same with me, it is an honour and a privilege for me to race at Triyas every year.
I always want to do my best there. This year I guess I wanted it a bit too well lol, and overdid a bit on caffeine which caused stomach issues, and after a great swim and bike I was in great striking position, but had to relinquish the 5th spot after ca. 4k on the run after stepping aside for some business and then again at 6k.
But that’s ok. That’s sports. sometimes you win, sometimes, you lose. but you always learn from it. The field this year, everyone from the pro field was really in it to win it. made for very dense racing, which I love. lots of jostling around. was so much fun. really enjoyed it. one mistake, bum, and you re gone. That’s how close the sport is. I love and am honoured to race against all the guys. and then have a beer afterwards together. Beat the heads in, then shake hands. that’s the way it is supposed to be.
something on a more serious note: still there is no active triathlon federation in the UAE. we cannot build a house without a foundation. It is great that some many people love and pursue it, but the government also has to do their part in structuring a mass sport that is triathlon in the UAE. Furthermore, for who is a potential Emirati pro triathlete racing for in the future? That an Emirati in the near to mid future will step up to pro ranks is inevitable. His country has then to be there for him.
for me the coolest about triyas is that everybody races together: world class, other European top athletes, regional Middle East top guys, plus now juniors as well. I always like that because you are very honestly shown how good you are and how you measure up against them. I think it helps local and regional triathlon as well to step up and improve. That’s the great thing about it and it just bring everyone together.
Andreas Buergi was the running gag of the weekend. He is normal dude from Switzerland being himself. Very funny but very sad at the same time. every time I thought about it it kept me loose and that’s the main bit.

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