Friday 22 August 2014

Holten Premium European Cup

After Kitzbuhel I travel with Marc Austin and Grant Sheldon to Majorca for a training camp before heading on to Holten, Holland.

I managed to loose my race flats at Kitzbuhel, I wore them back across to the lake to do a swim warm down after I finished the race. I walked back to the athlete lounge without them and once I remembered and went back for them they were gone and nobody seemed to know where there would be a lost and found.

Left me in a difficult spot because as I traveled straight to Mallorca for a sharpening up camp, I now had no flats for fast sessions and what was worse I had no flats for my race in Holten a week and half later.

Thankfully Ladi who works from the Ferrera Hotel we were saying at works as a  rep for ‘On running’ shoes. He was good enough to lend me a pair on On CloudRacers. They are awesome shoes, comfortable snug fit and super fast.
I was lucky enough to get to keep the pair that I was borrowing and am maybe going to start wearing the On shoes for the Commonwealth Games and beyond.

Disaster struck in the middle of the camp. On a jog out to some trails to do a Saturday session I went over on my ankle, not what I wanted a week before Holten and 3 weeks before the Commonwealth Games but sh!t happens.

I managed it as best I could and it settle enough to justify still going to Holten.

I traveled to Holten and actually had a very good race.

Swim was ok nothing special. My lack of kicking in the swim made it hard to get out fast but managed to do enough to exit the swim on the fringe of the front pack. First part of the bike was strung out and with a long drag of exposed roads to get from the swim venue into the town the power was down until the front pack formed.

There was a decent hill on each lap, who would have thought; a big hill in Holland but it was true. I wasn’t sure how the ankle would hold up on the run so I worked the hill hard to at least use it as a session for Glasgow and get something out of the race. Not to try and get away but just not to hide.

Onto the run I actually felt good. I ran out of T2 in the 1st couple and unlike other races I wasn’t falling through the field. I had a good first 5km, 3rd lap I felt the bite and 4th lap I popped. I finished 19th; pretty respectable against a good field and especially after the struggles of the week leading in.

Time to head back to Stirling for my Final Prep before the games; Exciting times J

Kitzbuhel European Senior Champs.

Kitzbuhel European Senior Champs.

First Senior European Champs.

Not a very good day at the office but what an experience.

Awful swim; smashed at the buoys and lost a lot of placing and resulted in having to work very hard to swim up the outside to get out in a half decent position.

On to the bike and it was time to get a move on. Unfortunately there was very few willing to work in order to catch the front of the race, something I will never understand. It’s never game over. Thankfully I had Conor Murphy and Matt Sharp willing to work as well and there wasn’t too many more pulling turns but we caught up to the front halfway through the bike. Time to sit in and get ready for the run.

Great transition and out right at the front – but that didn’t last long, my legs were cooked and I was on an express train backwards through the field again. Super frustrating that I am unable to put a run together off a bike even though the training is telling me I am more than capable.

Loved racing senior Europeans, learnt a lot and I will be back to stay up near the front for longer than the 1st 800m of the run.

Dunkerque French Grand Prix

This was my 1st ever French Grand Prix race, and long awaited, I had my team all last season but due to injuries, other races and lack of form to justify selection I didn’t race for them.
This year after a half decent performance in Chengdu I was given a start for the team which I was really looking forward to. It is a great change to race for a team in such an individual sport. Although everyone is focused on their own race its all about getting the best place possible in order to have the highest possible team placing.

Dunkerque is renowned for a crazy swim. 1st buoy at 220 meters its all about getting out rapid and avoid the carnage. Thankfully I can said I did that and probably had my best swim of my season so far; I got there very close to the front and that was job done, sit in for the rest of the 750m swim. I managed to get into a lead group of 11 with some top boys, Mola, Royle, Benson, Belaubre et al and it was pressure on to stay away. We didn’t put much time into the field after the 1st lap. We just held the gap and stayed away.

Hit the run and my legs knew that it was the 3rd race in consecutive weekends, they didn’t play ball and to add to it neither did my stomach, at this level if you aren’t moving forward at a rate of knots you feel like you are moving backwards faster than forward as the rest of the field cruise past.

So that was my 1st FGP, 33rd and a pretty good 2/3 of a race, unfortunately missing the most important 1/3, but team was happy I was flying the flag up near the front for so long so that was a positive.

Great experience and a big thanks thank to TCG79 Parthenay  for everything over the weekend- it was honor to race for them and cant wait for the next one.