Good luck to all those racing. I wanted to start a thread for race predictions and discussions for the pro field.
Thoughts/ storylines to watch
KB and GI are going to be tough to beat.
Even with the cramp in Edmonton, I feel like KB would have beaten GI over longer distance, so KB probably has the edge.
Anyone else (likely ) on the Chartier train? Looked dominant in Dallas after coming off a big training block for Kona. He also barely looked winded at the finish, even as Long and Ditlev collapsed. The guy is riding a rim brake bike he bought on Facebook marketplace!
Lionel is a wildcard. Dallas was tough, but I never count him out. I honestly can’t tell what is drama for the YouTube channel anymore.
This is what I was curious about, she had a fractured…pelvis? earlier this year, so it will be curious the form she has now. She won a shorter tri a couple weeks back, but it will be interesting to see how she goes at full distance. I’d like to see her go one better for once.
It’s definitely hard to pick against Daniella as she’s been back on form this year. With LCB’s injury she has the benefit of not a lot of racing in the legs, but we’ll have to wait and see if that offsets the missed training–I’m guessing a bridesmaid once again.
Pity that frodeno isn’t there, would have wished him another chance at this race this year.
An interesting one to watch for the womens race is Laura Philip.
On a side note, I generally really like the content Lionel and talbot are creating, he is so extremely driven and hardworking. The kona prep stuff on his channel is not the same. For me it’s too much testosterone between his Kona team, I felt like getting dumb watching, instead of being inspired.
The Norwegian hype train has been hinting about their heat training approaches. We are getting some windows into it in the LS videos. I assume that Mikal is adapting Olav’s model. Kona has the air of mystique, and I am interested to see if the Norwegians have cracked the training model for it.
Focussing on FPRO for tonight/tomorrow depending on your time zone, the podium is likely to be Ryf, LCB, Phillip …maybe Haug.
But in what order?
A 5min+ gap out of the swim put LCB in the driving seat, but mess ups on the bike from Ryf or Lucy puts Haug and Phillips into favourites for the win. The gaps coming out of T2 will probably give us our winners, although Laura and Lucy seem a bit faster on foot than in previous years.
Kay Matthews was the dark horse, but I don’t think we’ll see any surprises from further down the field which is mostly British and American for the rest of the top ten.
Almost time for the women’s race….
Here is my prediction for the top 5
Daniella Ryf. This is an obvious choice and I think she’ll win by a literal mile
I actually think LCB will lead from the front all the way into t2 this year but I just don’t see her having a good run. Coming off her long injury I don’t think she has the run fitness this year. Ryf will pass her early and go on to set a new course record. I think Laura will pass her by mile 10 and haug will pass her by mile 20. And I just like HJ and hope she can pull out a top 5.
I usually root for LCB to challenge Ryf, but I just can’t see it for her this year. I think she’s off the front for a bit, shows off the new bike, but is back to the pack by T2. Obviously I know nothing about what she and her doctors think about her injury status, but I would hate to see her set back her recovery, and burying herself then trying to go for it on the run so newly back from a stress fracture feels like a recipe to do so. Stress fractures end careers. I don’t mean to concern troll, her teams knows more about the medicine and obviously her state than I do. It just feels to me like the kind of situation they might be thinking more about next year than this.
I’m expecting to see age group course PRs this year due to the earlier starts. Some of them will likely start one hour earlier than they normally do at Kona. That’s one less hour in the heat and perhaps a better chance of riding that wind-switch wave.
For the mens field, I think Kristian either wins or has some sort of issue. Not sure he’ll just get outright beat while having a flawless day.