Although Paris-Tours may have been Greg Van Avermaet’s pro road race, his competitive drive may be landing in other venues. On Sunday, he did a gravel triathlon in Girona, Spain.
The SGRAIL100 is a 1,500 m swim, an 88 km gravel race and a 10.5-km trail run. This was Van Avermaet’s first time competing in triathlons, let alone a gravel version. The 2016 Olympic road race champ took the win against fellow Belgian and triathlete Jim Thijs.
Reflecting on this new adventure, Van Avermaet shared his thoughts on Instagram, saying, “My first triathlon in the books. It took me out of my comfort zone, but it was a whole lot of fun.”
There are pro cyclists who do triathlons, and then there are triathletes who do pro cycling. Take Cameron Wurf. His hunger for challenges didn’t end with Paris-Roubaix. Just hours after that grueling race, he tackled a half-marathon run.
Wurf, an Ironman champion, has been juggling dual roles for several years now. He continues to excel as a professional rider with the Ineos Grenadiers while maintaining his status as one of the sport’s leading Ironman athletes. In 2022, he blended his pro cycling career with a second-place finish at Ironman Vitoria-Gasteiz and an impressive 11th-place performance in Kona. In 2023, he added another feather to his cap with a fifth-place achievement at Ironman South Africa.
Here in Canada, the national time trial champion is multiple ITU world champion, Paula Findlay. She has won the maple leaf jerseys two years running, in 2022 and 2023. She raced the world time trial championships in Glasgow in August, finishing 25th.
The most famous triathlete-turned- cyclist, or rather, most infamous, is Lance Armstrong. The Texan began as a swimmer, then jumped into triathlons. Eventually he would transition (see what I did there) into cycling, and well. You know the rest.