It has been quite some time since I've put up a about what’s been
going on despite the fact that quite a lot has happened. Now that London World Champs is over I guess it’s a good time to reflect on my lead up to the championships and my race.
Prior to the race I, along with the 7 others on the Australian team (3 males 1 reserve and 4 females) spent 5 weeks in Europe where we were based in Vitoria- Gasteiz and travelled to race the ETU junior races in Tizzy and Eton Dorny as our final hit outs before worlds. At both races I was pretty disappointed with my results, a 12th in the final at Tizzy and then a 4th at Eton Dorny. Both races I’d missed the front group out of the water which cost me the race as on both occasions I had the fastest run split.
A week out of London I wasn't feeling great while swim training,
the leg which is do or die for me because I knew if I missed the front group
there was no way I could walk away as the world junior triathlon champ. I managed to convince myself it was all
in my head though, which it probably was! I knew exactly what I had to do and
what I had done wrong before and was confident it would work out come race day.
The morning of the race we woke up to wet rain soaked roads which I wasn’t real happy about. Everyone rides on the same roads though so I tried not to worry as there was nothing I could do to fix it. My random number drawn
for the race was 76, meaning I was the 76th athlete to pick my position on the
pontoon for the race start, not ideal but I ended up on 72, not too far away from where I would have gone if I were number 1 (as number 1 gets the first choice of where to start).
Race time! After the start I got off well and was in pretty clear water until the first buoy, and I also avoided most of the congestion there too. I held my position over the back end of the swim and got out in a good position. Then it was all downhill from there. With race number 76 it meant my transition area was one of the first when exiting the swim, so close that I had not even been able to unzip my wetsuit at all before arriving at my bike. While in such a rush to get out and onto the front pack I'd completely forgotten to put my wetsuit in my box, giving me a 10 second penalty which I found out about in T2. After probably a bit less than 2k on the bike I was on the lead group and as far as I knew my race was set up, all I had to do was stay safe on the bike and the podium was mine for the taking. I was making my way around the group to get a position up near the front so I would avoid any crashes in the middle-back end of the pack and going around a corner I was pushed wide by the group and off the racing line of the corner, right into the railing at the base of the fence. I think I rode over three metal poles angled on the ground and in slow motion my bike slid from under me and I hit the pavement. I won’t repeat what I said but I definitely was not happy! There was no way I was pulling out of this race though.
I got up, straightened my hoods, put the chain back on and I was off again just in front of the second group. After not long I remember thinking to myself; "this was plan b, this is where I could have been anyway. If I didn’t have such a great swim I would have been in this position working my arse off to catch that front group". . So that’s what I decided to do. Thankfully unlike my last race at Eton Dorny the riders were actually willing to work hard too and we caught the front group with about 3k still to go. I was back in the running to win this! Then I heard I'd been given a penalty, 10 seconds over 5k is a lot, and that doesn’t include the pre slow down and getting back up to speed. There went the Podium, I took it after the first lap of two and watched the top 5 run straight past me. I kept working hard but it’s so much tougher to keep up the pace by yourself in 6th than it is when you are in a 5 way battle for the world championships like the guys ahead of me. I put some time back into some of them but came across the line still in 6th.
l Was really disappointed with the result, and it all came down to that stupid mistake in T1. I've got plenty more races left in me and l won't be making that mistake again that’s for sure. Since the race though I've had a fair bit of time to think about it and I can now see the positives. It just goes to show that no matter how ready you are and how badly you want something things can still go wrong.
A big thank you goes to triathlon Australia, The National Talent Academy and its coaches and managers for giving us the opportunity to do this 6 week tour during the lead in to London and the Australian Junior Commonwealth Games Association for assisting with funds. Also to my own coaches Craig Redman and Kim Gillard. Another big thank you to my sponsors ASICS, Giant, Gatorade, Zipp and Speedo.
Now it’s time for a quick break before getting ready for the 2013/14 Oceania season.