It was a close call for the bronze medal on Saturday as Austrian, Michael Weiss, crossed the line fourth just over 1 minute behind third place finisher Braden Currie who followed Josiah Middaugh and race winner and ITU Cross Triathlon World Champion Ruben Ruzafa.
Weiss kept his disappointment to a minimum and looked for the positive points: "The direction for Hawaii is true!" he said confidently at the finish.
Another positive and motivating race highlight was that Weiss was able to complete the 1.5 km with the first group. "I felt good from the start and had a great rhythm in the water," Michael recalled. "That was one of my best swimming performances to date and it's a great indicator for the Ironman World Championships in Kona this October."
The theme for the 36km mountain bike leg was clearly defined before the race: It's getting dirty! The mud battle was epic and athletes were almost unrecognizable as they rolled into T2. "My mountain bike training has been limited lately, but I was able to flip the switch, get dirty, and pushed through it in 'wild boar' mode."
Once on the bike, Weiss was able to close the gap on the leaders, but after 10 kilometers the Spanish World Champion, Ruben Ruzafa, flew to the front. "He is currently running on a different level, but let's see how much I can catch up at the Xterra World Championships on Maui."
For the final 20 kilometers Michi raced his own pace on the bike. "I rode well on the challenging terrain and did not crash - this was one of my major goals for this race."
Moving onto the run, Weiss still had the podium in his sights. He lit the turbo and powered through a rough and technical course with one fall on the slippery terrain. "Unfortunately, the run course was a bit too short," he notes. Michael's total time: 2:38:28 hours.
"4th has never felt so good, I'm very happy with my result and I'm proud of my performance and fighting spirit, the true direction now is Hawaii."
Weiss's next competition before the Ironman World Championships in Kona will be on August 31st at the Challenge Walchsee-Kaiserwinkl.