Scotland’s McNamee charges to fourth at Ironman Pays d’Aix
AIX-EN-PROVENCE (France) – In a grueling climax to a wind-blown Ironman 70.3 Pays d’Aix on May 1, Great Britain’s David McNamee fought back from tenth place in the bike split for fourth place on the day. Although adverse weather cancelled his speciality, the swim, the Scotsman clocked a time of 3:34.22 in his first triathlon of the season, just one second off the podium. France’s Bertrand Billard won the race, (3:30:32), with Maurice Clavel of Germany in second (3:32:21), and Austria’s Christian Birngruber rounding out the podium in third (03:34:21).
An exciting new name on the Ironman scene, McNamee earned two Ironman 70.3 podiums in his debut 2015 season and finished the year with 11th place and the fastest run at the Ironman World Championship in Kona. For 2016 he became the first athlete to train with cereneo triathlon, newly launched in partnership with the groundbreaking cereneo research institution and clinic in Switzerland.
The cutting-edge experts at cereneo and cereneo triathlon follow a guiding principle of “motivation matters,” and McNamee needed all the motivation he could muster in Aix. Start-time temperatures of 5 degrees C combined with strong winds forced organizers to cancel the swim; and in the cycle split, winds blasted the athletes with gusts of up to 65 kph across the fields of Provence.
With Ironman Lanzarote – one of McNamee’s targeted highlight races – just three weeks away, the 28-year-old competed at Aix “out of training,” particularly as a test of his cycling readiness because the bicycle course and field at Aix are always challenging. As a former competitive swimmer, McNamee missed out on a potential advantage with the cancellation of the opening split, but managed the conditions and his opponents with the mastery of a more seasoned competitor.
“My result wasn’t as good as I’d hoped – you always come into your first race of the season a little rusty, and there were lots of strong bikers in the field who were completely fresh because the swim got canceled,“ said McNamee. “Still, I’m glad I was here, because you want a race under your belt to be fully prepared for a challenge like Lanzarote. And now I feel just that little more edge to perform well. I was only a second from the podium, and that makes you want to get your revenge.”
McNamee’s next challenge on the way to October’s World Championship will be one of Ironman’s epic races, the Ironman Lanzarote in Spain’s Grand Canarias on May 21, 2016.