No, I couldn't re-tilt the photo at left, so excuse the oddity. TJ Tollakson came in 7th yesterday, making him my best placed male FantasyTri athlete (I swerved at the last minute and benched eventual 4th place finisher Richie Cunningham for no-show Leon Griffin—didn't I say his website didn't say anything about Florida 70.3? Shucks). For a while during the race I thought I'd made a canny decision, picking the only $4100 Tollakson for my team, since he came off the bike almost 7 minutes in front, after a bike split that distanced the pack by almost 10 minutes. He got around in under 2 hours, which is rare air for 56 miles on your own. TJ's effort would place him in the ballpark of professional cyclists competing in long time trials. Toss in the fact that the Florida 70.3 bike course is by no means a straightforward affair: it isn't pancake flat and swoops and curves out in the orchards beyond Orlando.
TJ put in the effort to win his way on Sunday, for which I admire him. After a disappointing race in Galveston where he bided his time, it seems he decided to go back to his trump card, the bike. As playing that card often does, he paid for his gamble by blowing up in the Disneyworld heat. Still, he played it. As an athlete whose strong suit is also the bike (can I really say that any more? I feel more and more middle of the pack these days on the bike) I admire the gamble Tollakson made. On a few days in triathlon the cyclists have their days: Normann's had two, TJ's had one at Eagleman, Jordan's had a bunch until he showed us that, actually, he's a pretty damn solid runner, too. Triathlon is drifting towards a conservative style of racing: sit in the pack on the swim, sit in the line on the bike, save it for the run, so it's nice to see someone still making triathlon about his individual strength.
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