Austrian triathlon pro, Michael Weiss, was on-point for Mexico's 70.3 Campeche back on March 19th, his first race of the 2017 season. He had spent several successful days of lead-up training on the island of Cozumel where he acclimated to the hot humid conditions. "'I was feeling ready to kick off the season,” Weiss says. "And Campeche's timing was ideal for a lead-up to my first big competition, the Ironman North American Championships in the Woodlands, Texas on April 22nd.”
Come race morning in Campeche, the swim conditions in the Gulf of Mexico were quite choppy, but Michael was able to exit the water less than two and half minutes behind race winner, Tim Don. "All the hard work over the last 3 months seemed to pay off,” Michi comments. "I never lost control and found a good rhythm over the 1.2 mile swim in the BlueSeventy PZ4TX swim skin.”
On the bike Weiss knew that it will be all about smart pacing and relied on the SRM PowerMeter to keep him within the proper power range. "My Diamondback Andean was dialed to perfection and my strategy was to build into to race with slightly less aggressive riding as I have shown in the past.” Michael moved into the top 10 at the first turnaround and by mile 20 he knew that it was about time to shift into the next gear.
This was the moment when a 13-year-old boy ran out into the road and directly into Weiss, who was riding at over 30mph in aero position. The Austrian went off and crashed hard, and thankfully the child was not injured. "It happened so fast I had no chance to react,” recalls Michael. "The boy bolted out into the road without looking and seemed to have been chasing after a water bottle.”
It was clear that the race day was over for Weiss. Both HED wheels and cockpit were damaged from the massive impact on the road and he immediately sensed that his left collarbone might be fractured. "I landed on my shoulder first, including elbow, followed by head. I had road rash and bruises all over my body, and I'm sure my Giro Aerohead helmet saved me. This crash could have ended much worse and I'm relieved the child is fine.”
The ambulance took Michi straight into hospital and x-rays revealed that his left clavicle was completely broken through and surgery would be required. Following this news, both 70.3 Texas and Ironman Texas were crossed off his race calendar and new travels plans were coordinated.
Michael returned to Colorado Springs and had corrective collarbone surgery with plate-placement on Friday March 24th. "I'm lucky to be in the best care from shoulder specialist, Dr. Weinstein, a local orthopedic surgeon who was Team USA Head Physician at the Olympic Games in Athens 2004 and Rio 2016.”
A post-surgery update will follow soon and clarify Michael's new competition plans.
"I'm extremely thankful for all the 'get well wishes' and support from my sponsors, friends, fans and family and look forward to coming back soon.”