After seven months of racing around the world the World Tri Series has finally come to an end for 2018. The racing was intense at every stop from the first event in Abu Dhabi at the beginning of March right up until the Grand Final this past weekend in Gold Coast, AUS.
After a 5th place, 2nd, 5th, 3rd, and a 3rd place finish I was entering the Final event in second place on the rankings behind 2016 and ’17 series winner, Spain’s Mario Mola and just ahead of training partner Vincent Luis from France. I knew I would need to race well to hold onto a podium position, and thankfully I did enough. **Spoiler alert, I finished 3rd overall in the WTS rankings for 2018**
We were faced with some tough conditions as winds approached 40km/h on race day which made for tough going in all three legs with the choppy water and then high winds on the bike and run. I got off to a great start in the water and eventually managed to exit the water in maybe my best position all season which had me confidently onto the bike and soon in the mix with the leaders. An aggressive ride with plenty of attacks and close calls switched the focus to marking the right moves and staying safe. I rode towards the front of the group for the most part and eventually lead the large group out onto the run with just two athletes up the road.
I was feeling great in the water and on the bike and continued that early on in the run leg but after not too long I was starting to feel the fatigue creep in and once that was set it became a long hard grovel to the finish line. The six leaders at this point had put some time between us and I was now running with Jonny Brownlee in 7th/8th place in a battle to keep up the pace and stay focused on those ahead of us. The two of us worked together swapping turns into the wind but as we closed in on the finish line it became clear that we had become too far removed from the leaders and were then racing for 7th. Without knowing the exact position I had to finish to hold onto my series position I knew I had to fight for every place and I eventually ran away in the final stages of the run to claim 7th place.
Far from my best day, but it was still such a relief to cross the finish line and be done for the year, it was a nervous wait to find out if I had done enough to claim the overall podium finish and I was so glad when I finally heard the news!
To stand on the podium at the world championships has been a huge goal of mine for as long as I remember and it is a moment I will remember for a very long time! Bronze is the starting point, so now I’m already excited for the years to come. But first I think I’ll need a bit of time to relax!