Lining up for a second time in the World Tri Series this time in Yokohama I was looking forward to getting out there and seeing some progression from my first shot of the series in Auckland. Yokohama was also the first stop on my overseas travel schedule for 2015 so there was a bit to do and organise before departing Australia. With a little bit of excess baggage, I was on my way with a ‘round the world ticket with Japan the first stop before heading onto the European base of the Wollongong Wizards in Vitoria-gasteiz, Spain.
After a few days to adjust after travel race day was upon us and all was looking good so far. The race got underway and I was off to a good start and feeling good in the early stages of the swim. Approaching the first turn buoy I seemed to be lacking the next gear needed to go round in this position and I dropped back, similar to what happened in Auckland so I’m glad I have recognised this now and can work on targeting this area in training and hopefully see some improvements soon. Out of the water I was a ways back still but in decent company. Packs formed on the road and I was sitting in the third group behind a small lead group and 20 or so chasers behind them. From different vantage points on the cycle course it was clear that the group I was in was gaining on both the chasers and the leaders and could see it would not be long until the three groups were together. At this point the ride began to get a little more difficult, with a group of 50+ on a technical course I didn’t want to be near the back in the danger zone, under pressure through U-turns and vulnerable to getting caught in or behind crashes. So it was a fight to ride up towards the front to stay safe.
It’s unlike any conti or world cup I have done, in the final two laps of the bike it is so aggressive with everyone wanting to be leading into transition two. My position wasn’t great coming into the dismount but it could have been much worse. And then it was time to run. I was in a position to see and get a feel for the pace that the world leaders run out of transition for the first km and was then settled into a group closer to my current off the bike 10k pace with some familiar faces including training partner Ryan Bailie. I was really fighting during the middle stages of the run but was able to keep myself in this group until the final lap which had then turned into just three with myself, Bailie and a Russian athlete. With about 1km to go I picked up the pace and got clear of them both and held that position to the finish line where I eventually found out I finished in 9th position.
I’m really happy with the outcome of the race as well as everything I did to get there, and am now looking forward to my next WTS race in London, now just over a week away.