Monday, June 28, 2010

1st in Erbach!

Yesterday was my third club race in Erbach (Germany) and I won it after finishing second the past couple of years.It was'nt my best race and  my form is still improving leading to the end of my European trip next month but I was really happy to win this one.
From the gun I was off to a slow start in the swim and came out at the back of the front group and managed to lose more time from the long run to the transition so I jumped on the bike about 15sec behind a bunch of 7 guys who were working togeather as the race was draft legal and 5 of the guys were all on the same team. From there I had to kill myself to get into the lead pack but once I was there it was quite easy to roll through and take turns on the front but something didnt feel right on the bike, the gears were'nt changing like they should and I just didnt feel comfortable in the group through any technical sections and the hills, about 25km into the ride I found out rear wheel had come lose some how and as I got out of the saddle to climb one of the hills it locked against the frame causing a bit of chaos in the bunch and making more hard work for me to catch the bunch again which had now grown in size to about 20 guys and was cruizing along close to 45km/h. Once I had that problem sorted out I had to make up close to a minute again on the group and try and compose myself for the 10km run.
Straight out of transition I felt good and I was running well but 5 or six other guys had sprinted off and the leaders were about 100m in front. From here I really thought I would be racing for a top 5 position but as we rolled through the k's everyone seemed to be tiring and soon I had only one person in front who I was catching. My thoughts when I ran into the lead with about 3km to go went back to France where it was reported that the winner simply wanted to win more than me. I was determined this was'nt going to happen again and I had enough respect for all the other athletes in the race to know that they wanted to win just as much as I did and knew they would be chasing me as hard as possible to do so.
Gradually the gap between myself and second opened and I held on to win by about 20sec. I collected one of those big winners cheques (Happy Gilmore style!) that was probably worth more than the amount of money on it and I worked out that the problem with the wheel was simply the Skewer.
We made it home to watch Germany demolish England in the soccor and had an easy afternoon at home.
Now a few days recovery and back into some solid training leading into my last 2 races over here.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Walk the line

I have my second last club race this weekend in Erbach and my last of 4 in a row so it will be a big relief to finish this race and be able to get back into some serious training leading into my last two races in Europe.
Just trying to get the balance right between training and recovery the last few weeks has been a big challenge but judging by the results I think I have done alright and gone into most of the races well recovered from the previous week without injury.
Our race this weekend is only about an hour away from where I am living at the moment so its just a quick day trip and I have raced the course the last two years so I have a good idea of what to expect.
Will let you know how it goes on Sunday!

Monday, June 21, 2010

LBS Cup Shomberg

Had my second race for the club yesterday in Shomberg (Germany) over an olympic distance course. All went well and I finished in third place which I thought was a good result after two middle distance races the past couple of weeks. I felt I was lacking the top end speed that I needed on the run but I felt strong.
Luckily the race remained as a Triathlon as earlier in the morning it was so cold that the organisers were forced to make a decision weather or not to cut out the swim. Even when we raced many other competitors chose to wear their jackets and gloves it was still that cold. Its hard to understand that this is the middle of summer over here and the temperature is still hardly above 10degrees alot of the time.
This week is another olympic distance race in Erbach (Germany) again with the club over a flat course, so hopefully the race yesterday might have helped to get some speed back and I can have a good shot at the race this weekend.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

So Close!

Well things went better than I expected yesterday and I lead 99% of the race. Unfortunately the only part of the race I wasn't at the front for was the finish!
From the swim I was able to open up a 30sec lead although I didn't feel great it was enough to give me a head start onto the bike.
I had a bit of a plan in my mind before the race that if I managed to open a gap in the water I was going to try and ride solo for the 90km as the course was perfect for it. Very technical and hilly. If someone was 20sec in front of you alot of the time you wouldn't be able to see them, so this became my escape plan. Even though my riding seemed weak the previous week in Kraichgau I thought I could stay away as I had made some major changes that seemed to make a massive difference, the main one being that I swapped on to a new Planet X time trial bike that was 2.5kg lighter than my Orbea making the hills alot easier and the legs a bit lighter for the run.
Heading out of transition my shoe came unclipped from my pedal as I was trying to put it on at 30km/h but I managed to hang on to it with the tips of my toes and after a little juggling act I got into rythem and seemed to be flying over the course, still weary of what was happening behind me. (It seems funny but a group of guys that are not drafting can still work together as a group to catch whoever is at the front).
I got to the 20km mark and looked down at my average speed....45.4km/h. That blew me away, although there was alot of hills to come I felt comfortable and was enjoying all the support from every little town that we went through plus the media bikes and lead car helped to pump me up and I got through the 90km in 2h14 about 2min15 clear of the rest of the field.
The run was going to be hard and every second I had worked for on the bike I knew I would need. I felt great and was running well but the run course was basically half climbing up a hill then half down with very little flat in between. I held on to the lead until just before the 20km mark when Raynard Tissink came past me and I just could'nt hang on and I finished 12 seconds behind after leading the whole race. That was a slightly disappointing end to a good day.
Media saying that he wanted to win more than I did makes me even more determined for next time I race, so look out if your in my way over the next few months!
The only results that I could find were through the web address I attached below. Hopefully there will be some photos to come also.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Challenge France tomorrow

Another middle distance race tomorrow this time in Niederbron (France) and again it looks like the weather is going to be good to us. The course looks quite tough with a hilly bike and run with some very technical sections, the field is a little smaller this week as there are so many races falling on the same weekend so our pro field is down to about 10 guys but there is still a high quality in those few with some very good prize money on offer.
I'm not the best in the hills and after last weeks performance I'm not sure how things are going to turn out but I'm excited about racing again and keen to get a good result.
The race doesn't start till 11am so 7pm back home (Euro Style!). Will keep you posted with what happens tomorrow.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Kraichgau Triathlon

I finished a little dissapointing 8th place yesterday in Challenge Kraichgau. After coming 3rd last year I was hoping to improve from there, but it wasn't to be.
It was a good field over the standard half Ironman distance (1.9/90/21.1) with some of the top Euro guys there such as Norman Stadler, Sebastian Keinle and Thomas Hellriegal.
Coming out of the water in about 6th place I gave myself every opportunity to have a great race and quickly I was towards the front with all the really good riders still behind me. I rode hard for the first part of the bike trying to make the most of the lead that I had established on the bikers in the swim.  When they caught me I just could'nt go with them. It really felt that I was lacking the strength needed for the undulating 90km course so I found myself going backwards quickly. From about km15 through to about 60 I rode with one other guy as I watched the leaders gap get bigger and bigger then we were caught by a large group of guys about 4 minutes down on the leaders. I was angry at myself for not being able to stay with the leaders and now any advantage I opened up on the swim was wasted.
We rolled into second transition as a large group about 10min behind Stadler and 5min behind the other leaders. Once on the run I never really got into a rythem, three of the guys from our group had already run away from me and I was struggling to hold my position. I caught Hellriegal with about 5km to go to move me up to 8th place and that was where I finished.
I've got my next race in France this weekend, also the same distance and a tough course. I'm not sure if I can turn things around that quickly but I will give it a go and see what happens.