News

Triathlon News and Notes: A New Bike For Charles-Barclay, Races Resume Down Under, and More

A look at some of the buzz we’ve picked up in the sport over the past seven days.

There may not be many (if any) races going on right now, but the triathlon news cycle continues to spin.

Charles-Barclay Joins Cube

After a few weeks of speculation and anticipation, British long-distance star Lucy Charles-Barclay announced a partnership with Cube Bicycles. More known for their mountain and e-bikes, the German brand has yet to really arrive on the triathlon scene (case in point: at the 2019 Ironman World Championships, 23 out of 2,377 athletes rode on Cubes, as opposed to 489 Cervelo loyalists) and Charles-Barclay is so far the only female pro to sign with their triathlon squad. The announcement was accompanied by a flashy video montage and sleek photos featuring Charles-Barclay, 27, posing alongside the Aerium C:68 and Litening C:68X models, both equipped with DT Swiss wheels, another new partnership for the Challenge Roth and Ironman South Africa champ. “There is no doubting the efficiency and beauty of all things Cube,” Charles-Barclay said. “But what has inspired me most about joining this team is the continuing search for innovation and improvements.”

Races Resume Down Under 

It may be the off-season in the U.S., but triathlon is in session, for the most part, in Australia and New Zealand. The 2XU Triathlon Series kicked off its 2021 season last weekend in Victoria with a festival of races, including a pro race led by Aussie ITU standouts Charlotte McShane and Yoann Colin in the women’s and men’s events, respectively. And on Saturday, January 23, the Tauranga Half in New Zealand will bring a solid field of multisport athletes to the shores of Pilot Bay. The men’s pack will include Kyle Smith, Braden Currie, Mike Philips, Terenzo Bozzone, and Cameron Brown–all of whom have major titles to their names. The women’s side is set to feature a battle between Kiwis Hannah Wells, a Ph.D. in Biotech Engineering who won Ironman 70.3 Geelong last February, and 2020 Ironman New Zealand champ Teresa Adam. As for races in the near future down under, a slate of Ironman events, including Geelong 70.3 (February 21), Ironman New Zealand and 70.3 (March 6) Ironman Australia on May 2 are all still to be held as scheduled. 

Baby on the Way for Sodaro

The 2021 season will look a little different for U.S. pro Chelsea Sodaro, who posted this week that she and her husband, Steve, are expecting their first baby in March. The 31-year-old, who had a breakout year in 2019 including three Ironman 70.3 wins and a top American fourth-place finish at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships, said she plans to return to racing following the birth of her child. “I firmly believe that motherhood doesn’t have to be the end to a pro sports career, but rather another beautiful phase of the journey,” she wrote. 

USAT Adds Two Age Group World-Champ Qualifiers to Spring Schedule

Age-group triathletes hopeful for a berth to the 2021 Olympic-Distance World Champs in Edmonton, Canada this August will have two shots to do just that this spring. Earlier this week, USA Triathlon announced that it will offer Team USA spots at both the Sebring Multisport Festival in Sebring, Fla. on May 1 and the Playtri Fort Worth Triathlon in Fort Worth, Tex. on May 23. This comes in response to the USAT Age-Group National Champs being canceled last summer due to Covid-19, which is where age-groupers typically qualify for the World Champs (USAT has yet to announce how many slots will be offered in each age-group at any of the qualifying events). Additionally, athletes who had previously qualified for the canceled 2020 Age Group Standard World Triathlon Championships in Edmonton were given the option to roll their qualification over to 2021. 

Ultraman Champ Griesbauer Gives Trail Running a Go

Perennial U.S. pro Dede Griesbauer ventured into the ultra trail running scene last weekend with a second-place finish at the Aravaipa Coldwater Rumble 52km race in Phoenix, AZ. The 50-year-old, who set a world record at Ultraman Florida last February and then moonlighted as a color commentator for the Ironman Virtual Race Series during the pandemic, finished the rugged course in 5 hours, 31 minutes, and 24 seconds–roughly 10:15 per mile. 

Jenkins Reveals Covid Struggle 

Kiwi pro triathlete Anneke Jenkins revealed she was diagnosed with Covid-19 and recently came out of self-isolation. Posting on Instagram that she had a “light version of covid,” the virus literally added insult to injury as she had already been suffering from foot and back issues which have sidelined her from any exercise for two months. In her post, Jenkins offers a sweet tribute to her husband, the highly-decorated triathlete and 2012 Olympic silver medalist Javier Gomez of Spain, whom she stayed isolated from in their house, saying, “Javi really upped his game and produced some chef-quality meals, his new-found cooking skills were definitely what I had to look forward to each day.”

Lindley To Mark Anniversary of Life-Saving Bone Marrow Transplant With Virtual 10K

Former ITU World Champ turned powerhouse coach turned cancer survivor Siri Lindley is marking the anniversary of her life-saving bone marrow transplant with a virtual 10K event. “Siri’s Celebratory 10Km,” set for February 21, will not only honor the stem cell bone marrow transplant that Lindley, who coached Mirinda Carfrae to three Ironman World Championships titles, endured to treat the Acute Myeloid Leukemia after a diagnosis at the beginning of 2020, but it will also raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Believe Ranch and Rescue, a nonprofit driven to end horse slaughter in the U.S. The virtual race is open to anyone; register here.  

Podcast Notes

  • 77-year-old Team USA athlete Bob Plant, who placed third in the 75-79 division at the 2019 ITU World Championships, is featured on World Triathlon Podcast’s “Age-Group Special” showcasing athletes with impressive longevity in the sport. 
  • Todd Crandell shares his journey from drug addict and alcoholic to Ironman on the Triathlete Hour podcast.
  • Former pro triathlete and U.S. Olympian Ryan Bolton speaks to Greg Bennett about coaching some of the biggest names in the sport (think: Heather Jackson, Sam Long, and Ben Hoffman) on the Bennett Endurance podcast.
  • James Lawrence AKA The Iron Cowboy details his plans to complete 100 Ironmans in 100 days in 2021 with Triathlon Taren.
  • Australian pro Sam Appleton, who most recently finished sixth at Challenge Daytona in December, heads to the Zwift Power Up podcast to talk about the race as well as his whiskey and coffee cravings.
  • Cycling fans will enjoy hearing Jim Miller, Chief of Performance at USA Cycling, on the Simon Ward, The Triathlon Coach podcast. The former pro cyclist opens up about his current role in helping athletes prep for the 2021 Olympics and shares insider info on the sport.
  • “Big Unit” Sam Long, the 25-year-old upstart American who became the youngest American to break 8 hours in the Ironman at Florida last November, chats candidly about his career (and how he’s working on his swimming skills) on the MX Endurance podcast.
  • Triathlete Chris Mosier, the first transgender man to represent the United States in international competition, talks to Edge of Sports podcast about his journey and struggles as a trans athlete.