Giuseppe Lamastra ready to conquer the Winter Triathlon World Championships
18 January 2019
As Triathlon continues to grow around the world, the boundaries and limitations of the sport only being a concept of swimming, biking and running are being destroyed. In parts of the world when Winter approaches and snow covers the ground, while some Triathletes head indoors to train in covered swimming pools, stationary bikes and indoor running tracks, there is a widely growing culture of Triathletes that are embracing the snowy conditions to adapt Triathlon to their elements. Winter Triathlon was created for just that kind and thus expands the idea that Triathlon is only a summer sport. Instead, the sport opens up the possibility of Triathlon entering the Winter Olympic sports family because while maintaining the same three-discipline rule, Winter Triathlon consists of beginning with approximately 8 kilometres of running, then a 14-kilometre cycle on mountain bikes before transitioning and finishing on cross-country skis for 12 kilometres.
On February 9-10, 2019, the ITU Winter Triathlon World Championships are being held in Asiago, Italy. Elite, Junior, U23, Paratriathlon and Age-Group athletes will all gather in the Alps to compete for a chance to be crowned World Champions. One such elite who will be vying for the Elite Men’s Title is Italian Giuseppe Lamastra.
Lamastra won the bronze medal at the 2016 ITU Winter Triathlon World Championships when they were held in Zeltweg, Austria. However, with the event coming to his home nation, Lamastra is hoping to upgrade his bronze for a gold.
The Italian grew up with Winter Triathlon. As a kid, his older sister Giuliana participated in the first Winter Triathlon World Championships in Malles, Italy in 1997. As he cheered for her and watched her compete he was thrilled by what he was witnessing and became interested in competing himself.
“My family has always had a strong sporting background, skiing in the winter, biking in the summer, running in the fall and then relaxing in the spring, so eventually engaging in Winter Triathlon was my destiny,” said Lamastra of how he became involved in the port.
It wasn’t until 2002, when he was 18 years old that he eventually competed in his first Winter Triathlon competition. In those days the format of the sport was different and arguably more difficult. The race lasted more than two hours where the run would be at the bottom of a hill and then the bike leg would consist of climbing up a large grade slope of a hill before transitioning to the ski leg.
“Brusson, Italy was my first World Championships and the first edition of Winter Triathlon with all segments on snow and a multi-lap course. It was simply fantastic and I remember going back home extremely happy from the experience!” he said of his earlier Winter Triathlon days.
While Winter Triathlon is challenging from start to finish, it is the mountain bike leg of the race that Lamastra enjoys the most. As an Elite Athlete, Lamastra trains in mountain biking all year long and has even competed in many biking World Cups throughout his career. But riding in the snow is what makes Winter Triathlon so daring and enjoyable. When the conditions are good, snow adds an exciting element for mountain biking enthusiasts and it is because of Winter Triathlon that the discipline was introduced to that environment.
Now with less than a month leading up to the 2019 Winter Triathlon World Championships, Lamastra is busy training and preparing to compete. After he take his girls to school and goes to work in the morning as either a ski instructor or lawyer, he then fins three hours in the afternoon to train, usually doing combinations of running and biking or running and skiing, or just biking. When he is preparing for a big event, such as right now, he will instead train all in the morning and then do his work in the afternoon and evening.
With the World Championships taking place in his home nation, Lamastra is hoping that the familiarity of the course and national pride will help aid in him winning his first World Title.
“The World Championships will be in Asiago, Italy. It was there last year where I won my third national title after a tremendous race against my good friend Daniel Antoniolo. I would obviously love to get a good result there this year. To be on the podium would be fantastic!,” he said. “The Asiago organizers are great professionals, I am sure they will again do a great job with the event and they will really showcase our sport in a great manner! And added to this, we will be on home soil, with our supporting crowd so it will be an additional motivation to do our best!
The event is set to attract hundreds of people to bear witness to the sport. While a test event was held in China in January at the same location that the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games are expected to take place, the opportunities for Winter Triathlon are only going to increase. While Triathlon fans may have to take a break from their swimming schedule for a season to focus on the modified sport, Lamastra encourages beginners who are eager to start out in Winter Triathlon to really enjoy themselves and their training.
“Really focus on training all three disciplines and not leave any behind. Make sure you have well-adjusted shoes/boots for every segment, to deflate the wheels depending on snow conditions on the bike and to always wax the skis. The small details can really make the difference in Winter Triathlon. Also, never give up. You can always recover after the first segment even if you are behind. In life like in sport, you always need to remember that and apply it!”
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2019 Asiago ITU Winter Triathlon World Championships
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