It's a pretty cool time in triathlon. Pros and bike manufacturers alike are genuinely learning from lessons of the past. Bikes are cleaner. Positions are improving. Gear is more ergonomic, functional, and aero. Here are some of the trends and concepts we saw at 70.3 Chattanooga. Enjoy!
Race Winner (Men): Sam Long
Sam looks pretty much perfect on his Trek Speed Concept. Nothing inside the main triangle, or behind the saddle. Just a double bottle setup between his arms, and presumably some nutrition in the top tube storage box. He rode much of the race with Matt Russell, each doing quite a bit of work. Then he put together a fine run, and took the win. Nicely done, Sam.
Race Winner (Women): Heather Jackson
Heather has been winning races for a long time now, and she looks better than ever on her Argon18 E119+ rig. Everything is very clean. One bottle on the down tube, one between the arms, and that's it. Her position looks significantly better than in years past, and her storage/hydration game is on point. My only suggestion would be to take that down tube bottle and put it behind the saddle. If she has having trouble with launching bottles, she could put them in a Kappa. Oh, and one more thing; Heather is going to take a set of Styx to add the finishing touch to her rig.
TriRig Homeboy Matt Russell
Matt always looks fantastic on his Omni. Matt didn't wind up with quite the race he wanted, dropping his chain twice on the rough Chattanooga roads. Seems like his CeramicSpeed pulley system was set on a loose tension setting and needs adjustment, or possibly for Matt to move over to a true dampened derailleur like the new AXS. But despite losing several minutes, and having to work to catch up, Matt rocked the second-fastest bike split on the day, and hung on for a solid fifth place. He reports being really fit, really happy with Omni, and ready to get after it next race!
Notable Gear Trends
The pro field seems to finally have gotten wise, after many years of truly awful setups and poor attention to detail. Part of this is that bike manufacturers have improved their game, making it harder to make a hideous setup and easier to keep things clean. And part of it is smarter pros. We are seeing a lot of aerobar tilt, high hands, lots of 1x rigs, and clean BTA setups. We also saw a LOT of pros in the field using our gear that we had no idea about, riding everything from brakes to bars. We are super grateful to see folks trusting us when it comes to the gear that they use for a living.
Lots more riders and bikes from the Chattanooga 70.3 bike course.