Bahrain Endurance Team blessing, Rinnie in great spirits, Castelli introduces some new clothes, Uplace Tri Team gears up for a big day, checking out SRAM’s 1X … just a few of the things we caught up with today in Kona.
Blessing for the Bahrain Endurance Team
The Bahrain Endurance Team today respected island tradition asking the Hawaiian Gods for a safe journey on Saturday as they take on the Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona.
The blessing was conducted by cultural specialist Kamehameha School Hawaii, Mumu Keoni Kalawe Island.
Athletes on the Bahrain Endurance Team competing here include:
Jan Frodeno, Sebastian Kienle, Brent McMahon, Ben Hoffman, Paul Ambrose, Luke Bell, Fredrik Croneborg, Daniela Ryf, Caroline Steffen and Jodie Swallow. James Cunnama is on the island supporting both the team and his partner, Jodie Swallow. (The two were featured in our September issue.)
Uplace team press conference
Wednesday seemed to be the day when the major teams were holding their press conferences. The Uplace team had six athletes qualify for the Ironman World Championship. Liz Blatchford, Sofie Goos, Bart Aernouts, Romain Guillaume and Ronnie Schildknecht will all start this Saturday – Corinne Abraham, who also qualified, will not start due to an infection. We’ll post an interview we did with Liz Blatchford tomorrow.
Rinnie gets mobbed
There was a huge throng on hand for an appearance Mirinda Carfrae made a the Bonk Breaker house today. The popular defending champion appears to be in great spirits and ready to take on the challenge of a three-peat on the weekend.
We had a chance to check out SRAM’s new 1X gruppo this morning and can report that at first blush it appears to an excellent option for those looking for a clean, simple system with next-to-no chain rattle and sharp, smooth shifting. We’ll provide a more extensive review next week.
Castelli’s Speedy tri clothes
Castelli continues it’s venture into the triathlon world with some interesting new pieces and some advancements to their regular clothing line. We’ll also have more extensive reviews of the Castelli products over the next week or so, but here’s a quick run through:
The Stealth cycling top that Castelli designed a few years ago remains virtually unchanged other than a full zipper that makes it much easier to get on in a hurry in T1. We learned today that the Castelli designers would love to come up with a faster design, but they haven’t had much luck. Their tests put the savings over a full distance bike at up to sis minutes. Frederik Van Lierde, Andreas Raelert, Marino Vanhoenacker and Fraser Cartmell will be racing in the one piece San Remo suit which includes Castelli’s comfortable tri chamois that doesn’t absorb water. All of those athletes talked about the wind tunnel testing that went into the suit, citing that the suit is “functional, comfortable, fast and stylish.” There’s also a super-lightweight Alii run top coming next year.