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24. Feb 2015

Dubai

Interview: Micha Raelert about the Challenge Dubai

The triathlon season is close to its start – the Challenge Dubai. For most of the athletes the race in Dubai is not only the first race but also the first highlight of the season. Michael Raelert is trying to continue his winning streak.

 

Micha, after initial problems your last season turned out to be great and you were able to top it with the victory in Bahrain. How was your preparation for the season 2015?

All in all, it was good. After the race in Bahrain I first went on vacation for a couple of days. Considering the long months of preparation for my comeback, it was very important, to just to take a short time-out not thinking about the next training session. After that, the re-entry into training was very smooth. First, I have been in Thailand with Nils Frommhold and Jan Raphael, and then with Andy and our coach Wolfram Bott on Fuerteventura. Meanwhile, the pace is really high again and I think we can get started again.

 

Challenge Dubai is the first race of the new Triple Crown Series. What are your intentions for this race?

First of all, I am excited about it. It is an exciting race series with a couple of extremely good athletes, who all want to be at the top in the end of the year. Therefore, it will probably super tense from the very beginning at the start in Dubai. Although we are just at the start of this season, I hope, that I can have a say up front from the very beginning.

After Bahrain, some are going to observe me very closely, but that has its charm. At the end it would be nice to be on the podium, of course.

 

Next to the race in Dubai, the Challange Oman and Challange Bahrain are also part of the series. Are you going to compete in all of them?

That is my plan. The Triple-Crown-Series is something new and is going to be something special. It is not easy for an athlete to plan from February to December and to be in top form for the highlights. However, I hope that it will not just work out at the Triple-Crown events, but also at the world championship for the Ironman 70.3 in the end of August in Zell am See and at the Ironman world championship in Hawaii in October.

The introduction of the Triple-Crown-Series is considered to be the start of a new era of triathlon. What is your opinion about this development?

For sure it is a milestone in the sportive development of triathlon. The very fact that it is about a high total cash prize, elevates the significance of this series – for the athletes as well as for the public. Especially in the broad public, triathlon can vehemently increase in awareness. Therefore, every big and professionally organized race is helping. For sure, my first start at Bahrain was a very outstanding experience as a professional athlete.

 

Due to increasing cash prizes more and more athletes are going to be attracted, thus the competition is getting bigger. Do you evaluate this trend throughout positively?

Of course, increasing cash prizes are something positive for a professional athlete, as it is our profession. And isn’t it nice to be rewarded for our performance financially..

When increasing prizes at an event do not decrease the event quality for all participants, I indeed see that in a positive light.

 

Do you think, that due to the increasing cash prizes incentives to take performance enhancers are being created?

Money can always be an incentive to create an advantage for you. It was always like that. There are also always going to be performances which are going to raise questions. However, I hope – and I am confident – that the guys I am competing with are clean. For me, as a matter of principles counts the presumption of innocence. Nevertheless, one has to deal with this topic.

 

What are your goals for the season 2015?

In the previous months I learned the lesson that one has to make the first step before the second. Because of that, I wish that I can build upon and stabilize the achievements from last fall. When I am in peak form, I can attack at the highlights, this would be my goal. I completely include Andy in this thought and plan, and I hope that the name Raelert will be on top of the lists of results as many times as possible this year. 

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