Evan Bayer is just coming off winning the Canadian Standard Distance Duathlon Championships, where his 1:49:36 clocking placed him firmly in the lore of duathlon in Canada and gave him a 1:32 margin of victory on the most competitive field assembled at a duathlon in recent memory. He took some time to answer a few questions about his race and the future for him.
You had an incredible race to easily handle a stacked field at the Canadian Duathlon Championships, winning in an amazing 1:49:36. Tell us about it…what were your keys to victory?
It didn’t feel easy, I felt like it was under pressure the entire way. I knew I needed to take time in the bike but knew it wouldn’t matter if I couldn’t minimize losses on the run. I’ve done a lot of quality run sets in the last 3-4 weeks and I think that helped keep me in contention on Wednesday.
Putting yourself in the shoes of an outsider watching the race…what did you think of the field that turned out, and how the race played out?
It was the strongest field I’ve seen in a duathlon to date which was great. Strong competition beings the best out of everyone.
The two sports are an interesting contrast because one isn’t necessarily beneficial to the other as many people seem to think. As an outsider I’m sure one would expect a large lead to do nothing but grow so it likely came as a surprise to some to see the race shuffle the way it did as it flipped through the two sports.
Your cycling talents are well apparent, considering we have seen 58:00 and 56:34 splits out of you so far this year. Your run today, however, was unlike anything we’ve ever seen from you. What prompted you to stick in the main chase all the way into T1?
To be honest I was racing sick in July. I was fighting a virus of some kind that completely sapped my energy for weeks. Although I was falling short in both disciplines the run was obviously harder to perform as it requires your entire body to be in sync. In hindsight this may have been a blessing in disguise as nobody expected any sort of showing from me on the run.
That being said, I spent the first 28 years of my life running and still run close to a dozen races a year. Early in the season I did the Adrenaline Rush Duathlon in High River and opened with a 34:02 10km and came home in 17:56 5km. Wednesday was all about running to my potential.
We hear you had a little bit of trouble with your chain coming out of T1? What happened? How were you able to recover?
As I was running through the transition my bike rolled over a sprinkler or tree root that popped the bike causing the chain to fall off. Unfortunately I didn’t notice until I tried to mount. I quickly tried to throw it back on but rushed it so it came off a second time when I went to spin the crank. The second attempt to put it on was successful and I was on my way. At this point I was panicked because I knew I had just lost 20-30 seconds and I didn’t have any time to spare given the strong field. It took a couple kilometers for me to settle down and remind myself that there was still 75 minutes of racing left and to continue riding my race rather than trying to immediately pull back the time I lost.
What did you think of the course? Is there anything the particularly suited you, and is there anything you would change?
I really enjoyed the course but would say it definitely favors runners as the run course is very selective and the bike course is neither technical or difficult.
The run course was a difficult but nice loop of downtown Penticton. Going in I thought the hill would be helpful because I consider myself a strong runner but not especially fast. In the end it didn’t really seem to help or hinder me. I did think it was great to see an event not afraid to put something that selective in a course though.
The bike course being so flat makes it very straight forward and safe but a bit harder to capitalize if you favor the bike. I think it’s more difficult to take significant time on such a flat course. My ideal bike course probably has a bit more climbing in it.
What’s next for you? We know you primarily race bikes, but will duathlons play a part in your future at all? Are you planning to race at the Worlds in 2017?
I’ll be heading to Edmonton this weekend for the Alberta Individual Time Trial Championships then changing gears to get ready for my first marathon in Toronto this October. Beyond that I’ll do some cross country running races this winter before preparing for next season.
Right now there are a few things on my radar for next year (gravel and road racing on the bike, road and trail running races and duathlon). I find the variety keeps training fresh but also difficult to balance so I’ll see what I’m most motivated to chase this winter and go from there. Right now the plan is to be back in Penticton next August.
So…where do we place our bet on Evan Bayer to be the fastest finisher at Worlds next year in Penticton?