It took three Olympians and World Triathlon Series stars to keep Max Neumann off the podium at the Noosa Triathlon, so the Brisbane youngster is in good form and happy to be bringing some genuine foot speed to Ironman 70.3 Western Sydney.
The two time Mooloolaba Triathlon champ returns to the International Regatta Centre on 24 November hopeful to exorcise some demons from his 70.3 debut in 2017, and make amends for his unfortunate DQ.
“Funnily 70.3 Western Sydney was my first ever 70.3 race and I actually got disqualified because I forgot to stop for my penalty. I learned a lot that year, so hopefully I don’t get disqualified this year. It was a good lesson learned,” he laughed.
“Coming off Noosa, I definitely have some speed, so we will see how we go when we go back to 70.3 distance. I have raced quite a lot this year, so I will have a good base. I am not too worried about not getting a lot of training in at the moment. I have so many kilometres in my legs, I can always find something.”
Neumann is looking to wrap season 2019 with a win at 70.3 Western Sydney before heading over the ditch to check out the competition in Taupo and get a feel for the venue that will host the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in November 2020.
“Western Sydney’s swim is quite simple and once I am on the bike it is quite a nice ride on some nice country roads but if it is hot, the run around the lake, with little shade can be quite brutal. If you get onto the run with a good group of people, it will be a good battle. It will be a good race.
“After travelling all year I was just looking for a good local race where I didn’t have to leave Australia, so I thought why not head to 70.3 Western Sydney and then to 70.3 Taupo to finish off the year. I have never raced in Taupo before, but I do love it over there, so I am definitely looking forward to getting back. I am already qualified for Ironman 70.3 World Championship at Taupo 2020, so it will be just a bit of recon for next year.”
During 2019 Max has been mixing up his ITU commitments with some international long course racing, with the ultimate goal of breaking into the ruthless World Cup circuit and cementing himself a reputation as one of the consistent performers in 70.3 racing.
“I have had a big season overseas, mixing up ITU races with some long course racing. It has been a pretty successful year. I raced and won 70.3 Xi’an in China on the way home from Europe this year and I just finished up with a fourth in Noosa against a quality short course field.
“I love the ITU racing but if you are not right at the top of the sport it is very hard to make a living out of it. I enjoy the long course racing even more. I enjoy both, so why not do both. If you get results at both, why not?”
“The level of the swim in World Cup is amazing, when you have 70 athletes swimming 1:10 pace it is very hard. Especially coming from a non-swimming background. It is very hard to be in that front group, no matter how much swimming you do.
“I find the swim in long course not as crucial and definitely not as fast. So long course suits me a lot more. I definitely do enjoy riding the 90km because it is a completely different effort to the ITU, where it is jump on a bike and the first five minutes of the bike is very crucial. If you don’t get that five minute power right, your race is over.
“The 70.3 racing is more about controlling the effort and heart rate and getting through the four hours of racing as best you can. I haven’t cracked it at World Cup level, but I have done well at Conti Cups, so that is something to work on next year.
“The 70.3 World Championship in Taupo will be a good opportunity to go up against some of the ITU guys looking to race the 70.3 worlds, after the Tokyo Olympics. It will be a very interesting race and an extremely good quality field with people deciding what they are going to do with their race careers. It will be very cool, so Taupo is probably the biggest goal of 2020 for me. I have a lot of work ahead,” Max said.