Nikki Bartlett IRONMAN Marbella 70.3 – Group Ride Questions & Answer Session

Unlocking Victory: Nikki Bartlett reveals winning strategies to FulGaz riders on IRONMAN 70.3 Marbella course

Tuesday 20 Feb, 2024

Join us as we ride alongside Nikki Bartlett, two-time reigning champion of IRONMAN 70.3 Marbella. Nikki recently joined FulGaz riders for a group ride on the course where she made history, now set to host the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships in 2025. After months of winter training on FulGaz in the UK, Nikki’s excitement was palpable as she returned to the course that holds so many cherished memories. Here’s a glimpse into some of the questions she fielded during this special ride.


  • What do you like about the Marbella 70.3 course. It must suit you as you are the defending double champion?

Marbella as a place is beautiful, this attracted me to enter in 2022. The swim start is on the beach, easy to navigate, warm and lovely to swim in. Short t1 run with lots of spectators. Out onto the hilly bike course. With a flat and fast section to start, then the big climb into the hills with stunning views. A simple non technical descent into a fast out and back, before climbing the hill in reverse. A total of 1400m of climbing!!! The run is multi loop, spectator friendly on compact hard sand / tarmac. With the finish line ON THE BEACH, which is an epic way to finish.


  • Road or TT bike? Disc Wheel or not?

Definitely TT bike, the last two years have been fairly low winds. So I’ve chosen 60 front, disc rear. I averaged 34kph on the bike, so it does have flat and fast sections in the race


  • Any pro nutrition tips and secrets?

Practice practice practice. I’m no sports nutritionist, but I aim to get in 90g carb per hour on the bike. I sip on energy drink between a light breakfast and race start too. Then approx 2-3 gels per hour on the run. But I make sure I practice this in training, not just on easy rides but race pace too. Get the stomach trained, experiment with what works, how you’re going to carry the nutrition etc. Some people like solids, some just liquid. Find what works for you, and don’t leave it until 3 weeks before the event. 


  • What were your winning margins the last two years?

2023: 6mins 45 seconds

2022: 4mins 30ish


  • Did you feel pressure last year as the defending champion?

I feel its a huge honour to head into a race as defending champion. How many opportunities in life can you say that? My first win there was just as special as my second.


  • Do you go hard on the bike and survive the run?

Brilliant question. Last year I had a fantastic swim, getting out just 90 seconds off the leaders. Which for me is unheard of. So I used my strength on the bike to try and give myself a couple of minutes lead into the run. It is very very rare that you feel great all day racing, and it was just one of those days I did. Which I grabbed with both hands, as you never know when you will get that again.


  • What would be your perfect 70.3 course?

Based on the races I’ve done…

  1. IRONMAN Marbella 70.3 swim
  2. IRONMAN Pays d’Aix Bike
  3. IRONMAN Staffs or Pays d’Aix 70.3 for the crowds!


  • Do you use drinking straws?

I haven’t to date, mainly because I’m a heavy sweater and I think the admin / stress / anxiety around refilling it at an aid station is too much for me.


  • What’s the best mode to ride FulGaz in? Reactive or Steady?

Reactive mode will give you the best understanding of your true speed and effort as the video will speed up or slow down based on your effort. However steady mode has it’s place if you want to focus on checking out specific course landmarks like aid stations etc and might be crunched for time. In steady mode you will go at the pace at which the video was filmed, so for more IRONMAN courses that’s around 40-45km/hr.


Next Group Ride Details

  • Date – Monday 18th March
  • Time – 7pm GMT
  • Course Details – All will be revealed soon!