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Coach Frank is one of the top endurance coaches. His experience with both top-level athletes and "weekend warriors" spans more than 20 years. His passion for the person before the sport has made him as popular as he is successful. More about Coach-Frank

Yvonne van Vlerken 7th Place Ironman World Championships Hawaii

In the morning and only 1 hour before the start the highly favorited Brit Chrissie Wellington had announced her withdraw from the race due to „flu-like symptoms“ (in the transition-area before the race it circulated the rumour that the three-time world- champion faced a mental breakdown after the stress of raceweek and the extreme pressure that was put on her). So the women's race was wide open. In the end the Top20 women´s results did show nearly only names of female´s that had won an Ironman race along her career. Of course Yvonne van Vlerken counted to the favorites on a top-ranking.
With a solid swim performance in the pretty rough ocean in 1:01:58 h she positioned herself in striking distance for the bikeleg. In relatively windy conditions Yvonne could show once more her class on two wheels and entered the Female Top 10 after 90km. With one of the quickest female bike-times in 4:59:41h and on 5th position she entered T2. Already after few kilometres she had taken over 4th place from Ironman Canada-winner Amy Marsh and made ground on Caroline Steffen and Julie Dibens. But behind her two top-contenders with Virginia Berasategui and Rachel Joyce were also running well.
With km 25 Yvonne van Vlerken faced problems with the stomach partly because of the extreme heat out on the highway (measured were more than 40°C, the tarmac had even 48°C due to sources at Berasategui and Joyce used this moment of weakness for an attack. Finally Yvonne van Vlerken could secure the excellent 7th overall rank and is back after her bad luck last year.
At the finish only 11 minutes (!) separated place 4 to 10 in the women´s race. In the men´s race Chris McCormack could secure his second title.
Thomas J. Vonach delivered another good result at his 9th participation on Hawaii only 8 months after a surgery where an artificial intervertebral disc had been implanted. After 59:15min out of the water he closed in on the bike in 5:01:14 hours and could once more prove his consistancy with a respectable marathon on the Pacific island.
In 9:28:56 he took 152nd overall and the 22nd in his category. With this he secured himself an excellent starting-position for the Xterra World Championship on Maui where the „Hawaiian Double“ takes place, the combined results of Ironman World Championship Hawaii and Xterra World Championship Maui. There Vonach will start from 2nd position only 1:46 min behind the American Slater Fletcher.
In the Austrian's results-list he ranked 4th among 37 starters.
Quote Yvonne van Vlerken: „I was very pleased with my swim-performance and even more about my strong bike-time. Also the first 25 km on the run I was flying. Though it is a pity that I fell back in the final part because of the problems with my stomach, however, I am also glad that I could show, after my bad luck last year, that I belong right there. Yesterday the race was of course something special because we all could race for victory even though it is very sad what happened to Chrissie. This made the race after the last two years specially exciting for everybody.“ Quote Thomas J. Vonach: „The race felt subjectively pretty tough, although the times were quick. I did suffer on the run, however I managed to pull myself together to get a solid time for the Hawaiian Double at Xterra Worlds Maui.“

Thomas J. Vonach hits the startline of his 6th XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP as the defending champion in his category and with winning-chances in the Amateur´s „Hawaiian Double“ (*). (*) combined results of Ironman Worlds Hawaii and Xterra Worlds Maui

Only two weeks after the Ironman World Championship on Hawaii coming Sunday, 24th of October, the best of the Offroad- Triathletes will meet at the „Xterra World Champion-hip“ on Maui/Hawaii. Some of these protagonists target even on the socalled „Hawaiian Double“, the base to be in this exclusive combined result is a successful finish at the Ironman World Championship two weeks before Xterra heats. To be able to go fort he first place in either the Pro and the amateur´s division, some needs to come up with a very good result in both competitions or with an extraordinary in one those.
Thomas J. Vonach, the first Austrian „Hawaiian Double“ - amateur winner in 2006 and Xterra-amateur world champion last year ranks on 2nd in the amateur´s „Double“ recorded a respectable performance at the Ironman Worlds (9:28:56) and will start from the second place fort he combined results on Sunday. He takes 1:46 min remains on the American Slater Fletcher with him. Vonach´s advantage could be his experience on Maui and the knowledge of the course.
The young American Fletcher raced on Maui fort he first time last year. But he didn´t finish after a bike-crash. However, he was strong this year at different Xterra-races and might be just as hot on the title. In general it will become an exciting race fort he amateur´s „Double“. With 5 guys within 10min it could be quite a race. But for Thomas J. Vonach it is not only about the „Hawaiian Double“. As the last year's amateur world champion in his category M35 he is the defending champion on Sunday. Quote Thomas J. Vonach: „Of course I would like to win the Amateur´s Double again. So many factors play a role to get this title. This makes it for me such a big and spezial challenge. My race in Kona was solid but not exceptionally outstanding this year. So I will have to lay it all on the table at the Xterra World Championship if I want to be at the front in the end.“

2010 Post Ironman Sprint Race

Thomas Vonach (Endurance Team Austria/Tri Team Lustenau) defends his title on the triathlon sprintdistance, breaks own distance record.
Traditionally three weeks after the Ironman World Championship the “Team Mango Post Ironman Sprint Triathlon” is taking place in Kailua-Kona/Hawaii which tested participants over 800m of swimming in Kailua-Bay, on 16 km on the bike and 3.2 km on the run along famous Ali'i Drive.
Thomas J. Vonach came out of the water behind the Dutch short-course specialist Diederik Scheltinga and an exciting battle unfolded on the 16 km oout and back bike-loop. Scheltinga could develop a lead of more than 50sec., while Vonach shortened that gap later in the second half of the bike-leg with the quickest bike- time of the day to 20sec.! (42.8 km/h average speed)
However, also on the short run the Dutchman did lead out with a good 30sec. on Vonach after Scheltinga having a fantastic transition.
Vonach succeeded to reel in Scheltinga after 1 km and could pull away from him. The 25 year old Dutch athlete replied a few times but finally could not follow the pace of Vonach who successfully defended his title and thanks to the great battle broke his 2009 course-record by 4:31min.
This was the last training-competition before IRONMAN COZUMEL/MEX taking place on November 28th ( where Yvonne van Vlerken will be the defending champion and Thomas J. Vonach will race for the qualification of the 2011 Ironman World Championship Hawaii.

Results Top-5 Men (*) course record
Place /name                                                  Finish Time
1 Thomas J. Vonach (Vorarlberg/Austria)       40:36 (*)
2 Diederik Scheltinga (Arnheim/Nederlands)  41:21
3 Matty Cunningham/USA                                44:36
4 Kris Kiser/USA                                                46:53
5 Matthew Adams/USA                                    49:46


Yvonne van Vlerken crowns herself to the first queen of the Challenge Walchsee-Kaiserwinkl.

Chilly 12 degrees air- and cold 15 degrees water- temperature were no hurdle for about 1200 starters to test themselve at the premiere of the newest Challenge-race on a very scenic but demanding course. As a clear favorite in the women´s race Austrian resident Yvonne van Vlerken knew the course by numerous training stays in Sankt Johann (her friend and manager Thomas is half Tyrolean) where she had also prepared for her 2008 long-distance
world record (at the Challenge-"mother-race“ in the Frankish Roth). Eva Dollinger, winner of the Ironman Austria in '10, was also as valid title-expectant like the multiple Ironman winner Edith Niederfriniger/ITA. Yvonne van Vlerken came out of the water 4 minutes off the then leader Tyrolean Dollinger and this should be also the only discipline in which she was beaten on this day. On bike the Dutchwoman showed her class and that her curve shows upwards and into the direction of Ironman Hawaii. With the quickest bicycle time in 2:24:38 she equaled her swim-gaps on Eva Dollinger who could show a strong performance on the bike. The half marathon on the selective because quite undulating track in four laps around the Walchsee turned into an enjoyable one for the 31-year-old Dutchwoman where the Ironman Austria-winner Dollinger had nothing to oppose. Already after two laps van Vlerken had ligh-footed opened up 3 minutes, then she switched, as from Head-coach Frank Senders recommended, in the autopilot and could enjoy the idyllic scenery with the „Wilden Kaiser“- mountains sitting proudly above the Walchsee. At the finish-line nearly 5 minutes separated Yvonne van Vlerken and Eva Dollinger.
Thomas J. Vonach who had to fight a bacterial infection of the digestive system and the remains after his amateur long distance-world champion's title at the beginning of August. With low expectations he went to the race, however, he even surprised himself and with a solid portion ability to suffer he reeled in the silver medal in his strongly occupied AG. Overall he was ranked 27th and became 3rd Austrian in the field. The race impressed with a perfect organisation and will be for many triathletes probably soon a fixed date in the annual racecalendar.  


Quote Yvonne: „I have been pleased very much by this race and it was the last test before leaving for US to prepare for Ironman Hawaii. It was great to win here, for me it was also a sort of home-race and I am impressed by the perfect organisation of the premiere-event.“

Coach Frank your Personal Coach?

STAP is Dutch for step - to take a big step foreward.

Stapsport is a Coaching, Testing and Information center. Stapsport has been coaching endurance athletes from a wide range of endurance sports such as cycling (road and mountain), running, speed skating, and triathlon/duathlon for almost 3 decades. The level of athletes coached ranges from Olympic Champions and Tour de France cyclists to all levels of amateurs and juniors.

Coach Frank created Stapsport under a very simple philosophy Ev
ery athlete whether champion or participant has equal but drastically different needs. The only way to successfully guide any athlete is through extensive PERSONAL service. was established in 1988 because of the great need for quality personal coaching at a reasonable price. So many athletes could enjoy their sport more if they had a training plan to follow that is affordable. The service that Stapsport gives you for the cost is a great value compared to all of the other coaching opportunities. So whether you want to complete a local sprint triathlon or you have aspirations of  winning a stage in The Tour de France, Stapsport is the way to attain these goals!!!!!
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