A mirage is an optical illusion sometimes seen in the desert, making water appear to show up in the middle of hot ground. Kona is lush, and not at all a desert - but we saw some optical illusions here all the same. Three athletes out on the Queen K made us do a double take. Have a look and tell us what you think!
Caroline Steffen Doppelganger
At first glance, we thought this was Caroline Steffen. But the position looked too high, and some equipment was incorrect for Steffen's sponsors (although that in itself wouldn't be a huge thing, as athletes sometimes change sponsors at this time of year). But when we zoomed in on the bike's name badge, we saw this bike belonging to age grouper Janine Willis. Good luck on Saturday, Janine!
Stephane Poulat Doppelganger
This doppelganger was perhaps the closest to the original, and the hardest to tell apart. The same P5, virtually the same position, an indistinguishable face, the same red Oakley shades that Poulat likes to wear, and some very powerful legs that look the part. The doppel here was even wearing a jersey advertising a French website, and Poulat himself is French. What gave this one away? Poulat has a sleeve tattoo that wraps around his right arm. It was tough to verify, but this guy is missing the tattoo. Not Stephane!
Frederik Van Lierde Doppelganger
This superfit competitor looks an awful lot like defending champion Frederik Van Lierde. And when we spotted him, he had a pace biker helping him do some speed work out on the Queen K. But that giant sleeve tattoo is wrong; FVL's arm is bare - just the opposite of our Stephane Poulat doppel.
No doppelganger here - this is the real deal! Nils even rides with a name badge announcing he's 'Clearly Nils' just to remove any doubt.