Training Tips

PowerUp Tri Podcast Episode 31: Jesse Thomas

by Matt Lieto
on September 10, 2020

The PowerUp Tri Podcast is hosted by former pro triathletes Matt Lieto and Jordan Rapp, who lend their in-depth knowledge of the multisport to the Zwift Tri audience. Listen/follow/subscribe on SoundcloudiTunes, Spotify, or Podbean.

Play Episode 31


It was recently Jordan Rapp’s birthday, so we decided to give him the best present he could ever ask for - a podcast with good buddy Jesse Thomas. The three of us good friends took the opportunity to have a chat and a laugh while we reminisced over Jesse's highly successful (and somewhat unlikely) professional triathlon career. Intertwined in the sport from the very beginning, we definitely had lots to talk about from the “glory” days.

In May, Jesse announced his retirement from the sport in order to focus on family, his business (Picky Bars), and well, because he is old. I kid, and speaking of kidding, hold on during this episode as the constant ribbing of good buddies may catch you off guard but I promise, this one has high entertainment value. Due to Jesse’s retirement, we spend most of this episode simply reliving the heydays and “talking story” about his crazy ride in triathlon.

Jesse tells us about his favorite race memories, one of which was Roth. It was Jesse’s last major race and was one of his best performances, going sub 8 hours in that event. He tells us that his favorite memory was riding up Solar Hill behind Cam Wurf and Sebastian Kienle, “... and then getting completely annihilated on the second (loop) because I rode like 2:03 in the first 56 miles. They call that a positive split; it was very, very positive.” Turns out he still had the run legs to run a 2:44 off the bike and finish 3rd behind Sebi and Andi Dreitz, so not too bad, Jesse!

Jordan and Jesse dork out juuuuust a little bit in the tech corner as these engi-nerds talk us through some drawings that were leaked from a new SRAM “front derailleur” or shifting system. Jordan explains why Sram is so far out of the box on this design:

“Shimano has this patent that is incredibly hard to get around that really governs how a front derailleur works.”

Let’s just say it looks very interesting and kudos to SRAM for innovating and thinking that far outside the box.

Lots of good laughs and good vibes on this episode. If you love a good bromance, you certainly don’t want to miss out on this one!

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