Success has once again been the name of the game for teamTBB in 2009. 11 Iron Distance victories, 16 Iron Distance podiums, a top 5 placing at the Ironman World Championships, 5 Half Ironman victories, 13 Half Ironman podiums, a Powerman World Duathlon Title, 12 team members qualified for the Ironman World Championships and one World Record. It’s not hard to see why we are recognised as the best international Triathlon Team in the world!
This year teamTBB has been based in Subic Bay, The Philippines, Leysin, Switzerland and Jeju, South Korea under the ever watchful eye of the Super Coach. The team has once again had the valued backing of some incredible sponsors including The Bike Boutique, Cervelo, Avia, Blueseventy, Scody, Oval and Jeju Island.
30 athletes from 16 different countries racing on 6 different continents in over 26 different countries with a grand total of over 200 race starts for the year all with one aim. The top.
Aussie speedster Rebecca Keat returning to her former coach (“The Boss“) had the season of her life breaking the Ironman World Record at Roth with a simply stunning 8.39 performance and the fastest marathon run split for any race in 2009 of 2.55. Bek also achieved 2nd at Challenge Roth, 2nd at IM Australia and 2 dominant half distance Challenge series victories. She was bitterly disappointed to be disqualified at the Ironman World Championships but turned this negative into a positive just 2 weeks later with a 2nd place finish at the ITU World Long Distance Championships in Perth. Her comeback was underlined with a win at the Shepparton round of the Australian Half Ironman series 14 short days later. Look out for this unstoppable force of nature in 2010!!
Scottish superstar Bella Bayliss had, for her, a shaky start to the year with some nutrition/hydration problems leading to a DNF at IM South Africa and a below par 5th place finish at IMNZ. However in true Celtic Bella spirit she battled through the tough times with her head down and her eyes on the prize and went on to claim 3 Mdot victories (Lanzarote, Austria, UK) and an Embrunman triumph. Some people in the know call Embrun the toughest Iron Distance race in the world … does this make Bella the toughest Ironman competitor? Most would be too scared to argue against her! With 9 Ironman starts, 4 victories and 2 podium finishes for the year she would have to be the toughest!!
Dual Canadian/Czech national Tereza Macel began her year with a promising podium finish at the Singapore 70.3 and underlined this effort with 3rd at scorchingly hot Ironman China. However by June she really hit her stride and had a stunning end of year. She was unbeatable in North America and Canada where she dominated Lake Placid Ironman by more than 10 minutes and Canada Ironman by an astounding 28 minutes. With her crushing swim/bike combo and rapidly improving run she was always going to be a factor in Kona. She had the race of her life in the lava fields to finish 4th with the 3rd fastest bike split of the day.
New recruit to the team in 2009 Lucie Zelenkova started the year off as she meant to go on with a victory at her adopted home race 70.3 South Africa held in Buffalo City in January. She won in dominant fashion finishing over 10 minutes ahead of the rest of the field. She followed this up with a stunning course record breaking win at the full Ironman event later in the year at Port Elizabeth. She also ended the day 11th overall! Way to go Lucie! She posted some impressive results throughout the year with a 2nd at 70.3 Austria and 2nd at Challenge France. She rounded out her year with a 5th place finish at the ITU World Long Distance Championships just 2 weeks after competing at the Ironman World Championships where she achieved the fastest women’s swim split.
Croydon native Stephen Bayliss had another strong year of podium performances with the highlights being 2nd IMUK and UK70.3, 3rd IM Austria and 4th IM South Africa. The year was a busy one with more than 10 race starts including World Championships for both the 70.3 and full distance.
South African James Cunnama also new to the team in 2009 started the year with a strong home race at IM South Africa with a 5th place finish. He went on to better this result in the middle of the year with a highly impressive 2nd place at IM Austria which had people saying he could one day soon be a factor at Kona. It will be exciting to see what James can produce in 2010.
2009 was a tough year for Hungarian Erika Csomor due to injury. She still managed to post some incredibly gutsy and impressive results including retaining her world title at the Powerman World Long Distance Duathlon Championships, a 2nd at Embrunman, 2nd at the infamous Alpe d’huez triathlon, 4th at Challenge Roth, 2nd at 70.3 Switzerland and 3rd at Wildflower. Miss Coco will be back in 2010 you can be sure of that.
Team stalwart at just 24 years of age, Reinaldo Colluci had a solid year with a 2nd place finish at his native Ironman Brazil and 3rd place at the prestigious Wildflower triathlon. He had an impressive swim/bike showing in Hawaii but failed to live up to his potential this year on the run. He is sure to be a factor in the following years.
Dane and new mum Lisbeth Kristensen returned to fine form this year following the birth of her daughter Astrid. Early in the year she took 4th at Ironman New Zealand, she went on to claim a 3rd place finish at IM Switzerland and then went one better with an impressive display of strength on the bike at IM Louisville to capture 2nd. Watch her go from strength to strength in 2010.
Brit Abi Bayley had the best year of her triathlon career thus far with a 2nd place finish at IMUK and a marathon PB of 3.01. Year highlights include 4th place finishes at IM Australia, IM France and UK70.3.
teamTBB’s very own Asian Triathlon Superstar Jocelyn “Wongstar” Wong has improved by leaps and bounds this year. She began the year with a 12 hour Ironman personal best and rounds it out for 2009 with a 9.54 finish to her name, 5 Ironman starts and 2 Iron Distance victories in South Korea. She certainly gets the prize for most improved for 2009.
2009 has been a year of rapid improvement for Joseph Spindler. The season has seen him post 2 impressive Iron Distance victories in his native Germany, both come from behind wins. At the Cologne Triathlon he illustrated his true fighting spirit running to victory from an 18 minute deficit out of T2. The OstseeMan triathlon saw him take the gold in a course record time.
Maki and Hiro Nishiuchi have shown good form throughout the year culminating in Kona qualification. Hiro was first Japanese across the line and Maki in a gutsy show of courage and determination smiled her way up the finish chute as second Japanese female finisher.
Canadian Donna Phelan had a strong year never far off the podium with 4th place at IM Malaysia, 4th in China and 5th at the gruelling IM Switzerland. Her year was cut short with injury but expect her to make a rapid recovery and be fighting it out in those crazy hot races where she seems to excel in 2010.
The year was a challenging one for Aussie Cam Watt as he struggled with injury for most of it. However he clearly showed his quite fantastic triathlon promise in home races such as Ironman Australia where he lead the men’s pack off the bike by some minutes. Year’s close saw him finish on the podium at the inaugural Putrajaya, Malaysia 70.3. Once back to full form he will be a force to be reckoned with over the entire race distance.
Former single sport specialist Scott “the runner“ DeFilippis, is no longer an Iron rookie with 3 IM finishes to his name this year in France, Louisville and Florida. Next year he will be keen to build on the progress he has made in 2009, look out for some impressive run splits from this former track and marathon star.
It was a steady year for Kiwi Keegan Williams, pupil of Arthur Lydiard and a big fan of the big miles. He was a finisher at Embrunman and IM Switzerland not living up to the heights he reached in 2008 which saw him finish 2nd at Challenge Wanaka with a 2.50 marathon to his name. The end of the year has seen him post some encouraging results in his native New Zealand with a 2nd place finish at the Karapiro Half Ironman and 4th in the Contact Energy Tri Series. He will no doubt continue to build on this fine form into 2010.
American Zach Ruble became an Iron Distance champion at the Great Floridian Triathlon in November finishing with a sizeable victory margin.
Matt O’Halloran made a slow start to the year due to injury woes but finished 2009 on a high with an impressive 2nd place finish at the race of legends, Laguna Phuket Triathlon.
The highlight of the year for South African Caroline Koll was her 5th place finish at her home country IM. She also had the honour of finishing as first South African, no doubt a proud moment for her and her South African supporters. The middle of the year saw her competing at 70.3 Switzerland , IM France and the Iron Distance OsteeMan Triathlon where she suffered a drafting penalty but battled on to finish on the final step of the podium. In November she finished 3rd at Powerman Malaysia, a part of the international duathlon series.
Philippino rocket Lea Coline Langit (LC) had a solid rookie pro year racing her first ITU World Cup and gaining some valuable experience for the future which some day may see her racing for the Philippines at the Olympic Games. She took 4th place in her first 70.3 in Putrajaya Malaysia.
Development athlete Travis Woodford had a fine Singapore season which saw him well placed in local Junior races including an impressive 4th place finish at the Singapore National Cycling Championships.
Fellow junior development athletes Rowel Odonio of the Philippines and Luiz Felipe have shown considerable promise for the future by training with the big boys in Subic Bay, The Philippines and Leysin, Switzerland.
Manny Huerta, Jonathan Caron and Angela Naeth all had injury plagued years but are determinedly training themselves back to full race fitness.
The year has seen a unique team spirit develop with 30 individuals (mostly!) working in harmony towards a common lofty goal. A team of underdogs given their shot at success in January has turned into a hardened unit striving towards the heights of triathlon at year’s close.
Look out for teamTBB in 2010 racing their hearts out across the world and aiming to “Make Life Better, 2 Wheels at a Time!”