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4 Crazy things that happened at triathlon races this weekend

Rolldown controversy, visa issues and more from a busy weekend of racing

Photo by: Jose Luis Hourcade

It was a busy weekend of racing in Europe, with Ironman Lanzarote, Ironman 70.3 Kraichgau, Ironman 70.3 Aix-en-Provence and the Challenge Championship, along with Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga happening over in the United States. Along with all the great racing, there was more than a bit of drama, too!

Arthur Horseau late for rolldown

Records shattered at Ironman Lanzarote

France’s Arthur Horseau enjoyed a huge win at Ironman Lanzarote, taking the title and setting run and overall course records. Unfortunately, though, he was 20 minutes late for the rolldown ceremony, so his spot ended up going to Denmark’s Oliver Martinussen. (Full disclosure: I did the voice over for the professional pre-race briefing, in which I stated clearly that athletes had to be at the rolldown to accept their slots. I also MCd the slot ceremony, so I know that we ran things completely according to the Ironman rules.)

There’s been lots of criticism on social media of both Ironman and Martinussen for Horseau missing out on his slot. I’m not sure what Ironman, or the organization, could have done differently. Here’s part of what I said during the pr-race briefing on the subject, when I was trying to emphasize just how important it was to be there on time:

“I’ve had pros come to me after they have missed their slot in the past, and there’s nothing we can do,” I said. “If you want it, you’ve got to be there.”

Lucy Charles-Barclay’s whirlwind trip to Germany (and Reece’s no-show at Ironman Lanzarote)

After the United Kingdom chose to leave the European Union, there’s now strict rules on how many days British citizens can stay in the EU. After spending lots of time at Club La Santa over the winter, along with a training camp at altitude in France, Lucy Charles-Barclay found herself with just two days left of the 90 days she’s allowed to spend in the “Schengen” area (which includes Spain and Germany) every 180 days. Charles-Barclay had hoped to get a visa to attend the event, but that was taking some time, so initially she said she wouldn’t attend. Then, at the last minute, she decided to make a whirlwind trip for the race, staying for a total of 36 hours. It meant she had to miss the awards ceremony (she finished second despite mechanical issues on the bike). Even the BBC figured it was a story worth covering.


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A post shared by Lucy Charles-Barclay (@lucycharles93)

Reece Barclay was supposed to have raced at Ironman Lanzarote, but was in the same boat and couldn’t attend the race.

Kienle gets a second drafting penalty

After a controversial drafting penalty took him out of contention for the win at Challenge Frejus, German star Sebastian Kienle set his sights on taking Challenge St. Polten a week later. (As one of the sport’s premier cyclists, it’s not often that Kienle is behind anyone to even get a penalty!)


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A post shared by Sebastian Kienle (@sebastiankienle)

On the weekend, though, Kienle was given another penalty and “lost it” (his words) and threw his bike in disgust before pulling out of the race. He later apologized to the race organizers.

This is Kienle’s last year of racing professionally, so not the way he wanted to round out his career.

Sam Laidlow blows up at Ironman Lanzarote

After his incredible runner-up finish at the Ironman World Championship last year, it appeared that France’s Sam Laidlow had finally figured out how to pace himself accordingly for a full-distance race. At the press conference before the race, though, he did predict that once he and Uber-cyclist Cam Wurf had destroyed each other on the bike, the rest of the field would run by for the win.

Can Sam Laidlow stay patient on the bike at Ironman Lanzarote tomorrow? Even he doesn’t think so

In the end Laidlow would struggle through the tail end of the bike before rallying slightly on the run. Severely dehydrated, Laidlow would end up collapsing shortly after the halfway point of the marathon and be out of the race.