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Video: Coming to an Ironman near you the new Belgium Uplace triathlon team

Posted Jan 14 2011 11:23am


Triathlon isn't really a classic team sport. In fact it's much more of an individual sport, yet triathlon teams are now all of the rage.

Pioneered by Timex, ten years ago, the team triathlon concept has caught on largely because it provides a natural way for sponsors and professional triathletes to work together.

This week we're witnessing the birth of another new pro triathlon team.

This time in Belgium.

Watch the video below (one of the best triathlon team videos that we've ever see) as it documents the birth of the Belgium Ullace Triathlon team which includes pro triathletes Rutger Beke, Tine Deckers, Bert Jammaer, Axel Zeebroek Bart Aernouts, Sofie Goos and Bruno Clerbout.

The complete press release is below:

Brussels, Belgium, 13 January 2011 – The Uplace Pro Triathlon Team, the only Belgian professional triathlon team, today announced its 2011 line-up. Ironman champions Rutger Beke, Tine Deckers, Bert Jammaer, Axel Zeebroek and Bart Aernouts join 2010 team members Sofie Goos and Bruno Clerbout. The Uplace Pro Triathlon Team athletes are backed by a comprehensive professional support system and materials of the best quality. The goals are ambitious: Belgian wins in a sport that internationally is becoming increasingly organized and competitive.

The Uplace Pro Triathlon Team was founded in 2010 with the goal of realizing Belgian top results and a leading position in the international long distance triathlon. During the team's rookie season, Sofie Goos and Bruno Clerbout posted solid results with wins in Lisbon, Antwerp, Geel, Bruges, Brasschaat, Knokke and Ypres and a fourth place finish in the Cozumel and France Ironman races. In 2011, the team completes its planned expansion with the addition of Beke, Deckers, Jammaer, Zeebroek and Aernouts.

"With the new line-up, the Uplace Pro Triathlon Team can live up to its ambitious goals. Rutger, Tine, Bert, Axel and Bart are world-class athletes who elevate the team to a higher level," said Bart Verhaeghe, chairman and CEO of title sponsor Uplace. "But this is not just about what the athletes bring to the team. It's about what the team can do for the athletes."

"Our experiences in 2010 confirmed the very reason to create a professional triathlon team: the world's best pro triathletes are becoming stronger by the minute in a sport that is now fully professionally organized", said team manager Ben De Wolf. "Belgium has an illustrious triathlon tradition and no lack of talent. But in today's triathlon, there is only room for those athletes who can focus 100% on their sport and their own development."

The Ironman world championships in Hawaii are the main goal of the Uplace Pro Triathlon Team athletes. From 2011, pro athletes can no longer secure a slot in one race. Only the 50 men and 30 women who have collected the most points in different races throughout the Ironman season, get to compete in the 2011 Ironman Hawaii. "The new rules make the season longer and tougher", said De Wolf. "Working as a team with best-in-class support and materials ensures that our athletes are ready for that battle."

On January 23, the Uplace Pro Triathlon Team season kicks off with Bert Jammaer and Tine Deckers participating in the Spec-Savers Ironman 70.3 South Africa. Rutger Beke heads for South Africa a few months later for the Ironman race on April 10. That same day, Sofie Goos and Axel Zeebroek start their season with the Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3 Texas. Bruno Clerbout has to wait until May 7 for his first race, the Ford Ironman St. George. Bart Aernouts will complete an intensive training stage focused on swimming in Canberra, Australia from January until April. The Ironman 70.3 Austria on May 22 will be his first European race of 2011.

Rutger Beke
Rutger Beke (08/08/1977) shocked the triathlon world in 2003 by, as a rookie, finishing second in the world championships Ironman in Hawaii. Five top-five finishes in Hawaii later, Rutger still claims his place among the very best in triathlon. The eight-time Belgian champion can look back on a track record that includes victories in the Ironman Arizona (2007) and Cozumel (2009), and in the Ironman 70.3 Monaco (2005).

Tine Deckers
Tine Deckers (05/07/1978) already wrote Ironman history. In 2009 she was the first Belgian woman to win an Ironman race. In 2010, she defended her Ironman France title and finished third in the Ironman South-Africa, securing a place among the world's very best women in triathlon. Deckers has captured countless OD titles in Belgium (including Knokke 2009; Leuven 2009, 2008 and 2007; Bruges 2008), and won the Belgian long distance championship in 2005 and 2010.

Sofie Goos
Sofie Goos (06/05/1980) made her big break in 2008 with wins in Ibiza, Lommel, Izegem, Knokke, Mechelen and Kapelle o/d Bos. In 2009 she proved her early success was not a fluke with nine victories, including the Ironman Florida, the Challenge Barcelona and the Ironman 70.3 Antwerp. As a member of the Uplace Pro Triathlon Team, Sofie continued her winning streak in 2010 with victories in Lisbon, Antwerp, Geel, Bruges, Brasschaat, Knokke and Ypres.

Bert Jammaer
Bert Jammaer (01/03/1980) succeeded in winning the toughest Ironman in the world, the Ironman Lanzarote, two years in a row (2008 and 2009). In 2010, he finished second. He also won the 2008 Volcano Triathlon Lanzarote. In the 2009 world championships Ironman in Hawaii, Bert finished as the fastest Belgian.

Axel Zeebroek
Axel Zeebroek (25/07/1978) can already look back on a full Olympic Distance career. He won the Belgian championship OD in 2009 and finished 13th in the 2008 Olympics. Broadening his triathlon horizons, Zeebroek went on to win his first half distance race, the 2009 Ironman 70.3 Monaco. A third place in the 2010 Ironman UK and a fourth place in the 2010 Ironman Cozumel confirmed his place among the international long distance elite.

Bart Aernouts
Bart Aernouts (05/06/1984) is the reigning world champion duathlon. As a member of the Uplace Pro Triathlon Team, he is making the definitive move to triathlon. The youngest member of the team, Aernouts focuses on the short and half distance. From 2009, Aernouts has been steadily expanding his triathlon schedule. That year, he won the OD races of Geel, Bruges and Knokke. 2010 brought the first big international wins, including the Alanya ETU Cup and the Ironman 70.3 Antwerp, his first half distance victory.

Bruno Clerbout
Bruno "Bruce" Clerbout (06/10/1976) became a professional triathlete in 2008 after years of teaching grade school. His most remarkable results include a fourth place finish in the Ironman France (2007 and 2010) and in the mythical Embrunman. In 2009, Bruno won the OD triathlon in his hometown of Kapelle-op-den-Bos; in 2008 he won the Metz triathlon. In 2009, Bruno crossed the Ironman Hawaii finish line as the second Belgian in his first time competing in the race.

The Uplace Pro Triathlon Team athletes are all professional athletes. They are backed by comprehensive athletic, medical and logistical support under the supervision of team manager Ben De Wolf, supported by trainers Pieter Timmermans and Bart Decru. Ronald Gaastra and David De Wandel/Swim Academy conduct swim training. Maarten Thysen is responsible for strength, stabilization and injury prevention. Topsport ABC is the team's sports physiology partner. Vincent Vanbelle is the team doctor.

Additional support comes from Skinfit (race and training clothing), Blue Seventy (wetsuits), Zeb (leisure clothing), Ridley (bikes), DI2/Shimano (bike parts and materials), Easton (wheels and handlebars), Tacx (bike training), Athlete Fitting (bike positioning), SportsControl (nutritional supplements), BES&T (sportscare), Topsport ABC (sports physiology), Sports & Health Care (massages) and Best Swim Centre (training camps).

Follow on twitter @ everymantri or view latest videos on YouTube .

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