WorldTour level professionals combining road racing with Ironman triathlons may be few and far between, but Cameron Wurf is proving that not only it can be done, but it can be done well.
The Ineos Grenadiers veteran spent a respectable proportion of last week on the front of the peloton in the UAE Tour. But at the same time, he was training for an Ironman in South Africa in early March, a couple in May and June, and ultimately this year, the World Championships in Nice in September.
This certainly isn’t new: in the Ironman World Championships last October in Hawaii, Wurf finished 11th in a notable time of a fraction over eight hours.
And this spring the beat goes on for Wurf. For all the Middle Eastern early season races have a mixed reception among the pros regarding the benefits or detriment to their power output, Wurf appears to be having no problem keeping his dual preparation on track.
“I’m not too concerned about my fitness dropping from this week, if the stage is a bit more tranquilo and about sitting in the wheels, I do a bit more exercise before the stage or afterwards,” Wurf told Cyclingnews before stage 5.
“I went swimming this morning, so I was in the water for an hour. Then we had the climbing stage [to Jebel Jais] the other day and that was pretty solid, too.”
“I think I spent 100 kilometres on the front on my own and then for another hour, I had a little bit of help from one of the QuickStep guys before I got to the climb. So that was a pretty solid day. And then I went for a run afterwards.”
The team time trial on stage 3 was another significant workout for all the riders, and as something of a glutton for punishment, Wurf volunteered to be ahead of leader Luke Plapp in the Ineos Grenadiers line.
“The TTT – that was funny, someone has to bite the bullet and be the guy in front of Plappy in the line-up and I said I’d probably do the least amount of turns so I can take that role,” said Wurf.
“I was on a bit of a hiding to nowhere, but I managed to get back on a few times and give them a few pulls and got them to the tailwinds. Then we let Plappy do his thing and we almost got there [won].”
No bandwidth for gravel
The Ironman is also very much part of his overall plan, and Wurf said he’s counting on full support for the team for that.
“I’ve got a few Ironmans planned, the South Africa Ironman is next weekend and I’d like to do that though obviously, I’ve got to get through the rest of this week unscathed.”
“Apart from that, there’s the Ironman in…
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