Edmonton was host to both the World Tri Series’ 7th round for 2018 as well as the third and final leg of the Mixed Relay world series; which made for one big weekend, again. After completing the same double only two weeks earlier in Hamburg, with the sprint individual and MTR, I was unsatisfied with my individual performance in Hamburg where I finished 5th and was left feeling like I underperformed on the run. 5th place was still enough to move me up in the overall series rankings to 4th place. Racing again within the fortnight, I was able to maintain my form and carry it on to the next event where I would use both the disappointment and the ranking boost as motivation for a strong performance.
I have good memories from Edmonton having performed well there in the past and made mistakes there as well (I lost count of the times I was reminded it was a 3-lap run, not 2 after last year’s race!).
The swim, I find, is hard to get right there, with a sharp left hand turn first up and then the remainder of the lap is a continuous right-hand bend which makes positioning tough. I wasn’t in a great position, but I was confident knowing that a tough, hilly bike course was up next. This plays to my strengths and I should be in a position to fight for the win. It ended up being a large group together, therefore, the focus turned to holding a good position towards the front and assessing any moves, as many athletes tried to break away.
Early into the 5km run there was a lead established by 6 or seven guys and the pace was on! I found myself hanging onto the back and began to fade off the pace during the middle stages, before clawing my way back into the podium race over the last 1.5km. I always know I will be able to bring back some time, but it’s impossible to know just how much, and to be honest, I surprised myself here. With 1km to go I was still in 6th place and trailing behind Alarza, Brownlee and Louis, but thought I had the chance of making my way into the top five. I gave it my everything until I crossed the finish line and in doing so I managed to pass the three in front of me and cross the line in the bronze medal position. In doing so, I improved on my world ranking again to move into third with two events to go.
Day two and relay time. It is never easy to back up after the individual race, and this time was probably the worst I have felt having to back up for a relay. Thankfully, once the race was going, the adrenaline flowed and I was able to put together a strong leg for the team. I raced as the anchor and thanks to my team mates, Nat Van Coevorden, Aaron Royle and Ashleigh Gentle, I was in a good position to fight for the win.
I started my leg on the back of a small group with just two more athletes up the road and we were in a great position to take the win here. Having made my way into third during the swim, it wasn’t long until we caught the guys up front and, from there, it became a tactical affair on the bike and the 6 top teams began the run in one group. I wanted to control the pace set on the run, so I went to the front and ran the race exactly how I wanted to, an honest pace. Over the last 500m, I applied the pressure and tried to stretch out a lead before the final kick at the end and it worked out just as planned! I was able to round the final U-turn into the finish chute and cross the line first for Australia once again. I love this relay format and am glad to have the opportunity to compete in it with several capable Aussies!
I am currently training in Flagstaff, Arizona, in the lead up to the last race of this overseas stint in Montreal, before heading home to Australia to finish off the WTS season back on the Gold Coast.