Time to Rock’n’Roll in Michi’s second home
After the downer following the World Championships in Kona, his motivation has returned. Having had a top training block at home before arriving in Cozumel, two weeks before the race, gave Michi an extra push. Thanks to the perfect setup at his long-term partner hotel El Cozumeleño Beach Resort, where he has been receiving great support since 2014, he is back at the start in Mexico with full batteries. The weather conditions are normal for Cozumel with around 30 degrees and high humidity.
The clear favourite on the island is the Challenge Roth 2022 winner and IM 70.3 World Championship 2022 third-placed Magnus Ditlev from Denmark. The international starting field with the Belgian Pieter Heemeryck, the American Rudy Von Berg, the Brazilians Andre Lopes and Igor Amorelli, Felix Hentschel from Germany and triathlon veteran Tyler Butterfield from Bermuda is top-class.
Perhaps it is a good omen for Sunday that Michi shared the swimming training pool with the top favourite Dane during the week.
Fun fact: Michi is not the oldest pro athlete to start the race, in comparison to 46-year-old Andy Potts, Michi is a real youngster! ;-)
Swimming without wetsuits (water temperature will be 28/29 degrees) starts at Marina Fonatur and is held point-to-point going with the current to the swim exit in Chankanaab Park, an adventure park and one of the biggest attractions on Cozumel.
The three bike laps on the usual track, where Michi has trained a lot, are flat. The heat will once again be the deciding factor this year.
The second transition zone and the finish line are in San Miguel de Cozumel. From Downtown, there are three rounds out towards his second home, the El Cozumeleño Beach Resort, and then back to the city. Michi who will once again represent the Schuller Pro TriTeam, also completed most of his running training directly on the run course. On race day, he is once again counting on his experience to play a significant factor in deciding the outcome of IRONMAN Cozumel.
Special fact: there is an aid station at every kilometer on the run course, which makes nutrition a lot easier to manage and helps a lot mentally when in racing mode.
Slightly unstable weather is forecast coming up to the race, but the conditions should be much warmer than in 2021. Last year Michi unfortunately had to retire after ten kilometers due to illness, which should not happen this year, although it was absolutely the correct decision last year not to risk his health.
Side fact: Cozumel is full! A week before the IRONMAN, the Gran Fondo always takes place on the island, a cycling race that is very popular with hobby athletes.
Flo Kandutsch, another top Austrian triathlete and friend of Michi is also starting in Mexico, they did some training and photo shoots together before the race. The tactics for Sunday are very clear, it will be important to maximise his strength on the bike and then confirm the good running form of the last weeks. "El Campeon" as Michi is affectionately called by the locals after his three victories on the island, has top support from his family, his friends Ernesto, Lisa and Jose, his loyal Mexican helper and mechanic. Two Kona slots for 2023 are up for grabs, one of which would be a nice bonus for Michi.
Race start: 20. November 2022, 7:00 a.m. (1:00 p.m. CET)