Winner of four Ironman races by the age of 25, father of a month-old son, about to compete in the Barcelona and European 70.3 races and a hot ticket for this year’s Kona Ironman World Championships, Patrik Nilsson is at the centre of a perfect triathlon storm.
Yet the young blond Swede is a picture of calm. Sitting deckside at the BEST Centre in Mallorca, he ruminates on his coming races and what they might bring.
“I’m planning to do Ironman Frankfurt. I’d like to see how Keinle is [2014 Kona world champion Sebastian Kienle] and see if it’s possible to follow him,” says Nilsson, as casually as you might wonder how someone’s garden is getting on.
Despite winning IM Copenhagen and IM Barcelona in 2016, after IM Kalmar (the Swedish Ironman race) in 2015 and IM Malaysia the previous year, Nilsson gives the impression that he’s still at the beginning of a long journey of exploration, with much to learn.
So joining the BMC Etixx team alongside some of the greatest names in contemporary triathlon was a massive kick for him.
“You see guys like Bart Aernouts and Andreas Raelert that you really look up to, it’s a fantastic advantage, it’s just what you want.”
This week Nilsson has been in Mallorca training alongside Aernouts, Will Clarke, Romain Guillaume, Maurice Clavel, Ronnie Schildknecht, Emma Pallant and Amelia Rose Watkinson, all of them heading for major European and international events in the coming months.
Having this concentration of talent, together with medical, physiotherapy, bike mechanic and financial assistance has been amazing for him. “It’s really fun to have other athletes to learn from – what they’re eating, when they go to bed,” he says.
For the moment, Nilsson’s next focus is the Mallorca Olympic triathlon hosted by the BEST Centre in Colonia Sant Jordi, where he will plunge, alongside 500 age groupers, into the crystal clear waters of the harbour.
I bet he’s the calmest man in the washing machine.