Having such a Spanish time of racing, I had the chance in the morning to run, swim and sleep before the race. I had to really optimise the chance throughout the day to eat at right times, rest in the afternoon and still have efficient time to get ready for the race. Waking up with a slight cold and sore throat, all I could think was it picked the worse time to come.
To race start at 5.46pm, I was positioned about half way on the start list meaning I still had minimal choices of where to start. All the main girls went to the far left but a few of the later numbers went to the far right. I made the choice to pick the right seeing if I could get a clean start and move ahead. Within the first 300m to the first buoy I seemed to have good positioning amongst the field getting minimal heads knocks and pulls. The first lap felt very crusiey but I seemed to be stuck behind feet that I couldn’t get around. Diving back in, in about 20th place, I wanted to move up. Within the next 300m it felt like a lot of the girls were on a stand still. A could see a small gap in front of me and the next feet, so I put my head down and got within the bunch. From then on, I moved up in the field sitting in a comfortable 6th place out of the water. A long run to transition, I knew it was key not to muck around, unsure of how many girls were behind me.
Coming out of T1 in 4th place, with minimal time to put the shoes on before heading 8 times up the hill. From the start, I did not want to move back from the front few girls as I did in Sydney as the hill can be a make it or break it and I was confident in my climbing abilities. Everytime as we reached the top of the climb, we had a very strong wind with no where to hide. As the wind was moving left to right we were riding very close to the right gutter. The ride was fast and it was vital to stay on wheels to hide from the wind and minimalize the amount of crank torque to get back onto a wheel. At about the 3rd and 4th lap, the pace picked up going up the hill. I was sitting within the top 6 girls and I was just thinking in my head hold on for dear life. I was unsure if I could go this pace for another 4 or so laps. The hill was sharp to begin, then turned a left hand corner where it ascended gradually. That was when we increased our gap on the chase pack. Within the next few laps, the pace settled going up the hill as different girls lead up. I had to be dominant and take control of what position I wanted on the ride over some of the other girls. Coming onto the final lap, the girls started to be abit pushy but I keep my position, getting my shoes off early and mentally preparing myself for the run.
Coming out of T2, the pace was on from the get go as a lot of girls had positions, goals or markers that they needed to achieve to get their Olympic selection. My legs have probably felt the freshest they had felt in a while running coming off a hard ride which in itself it a positive. I felt good for the first 2.5km taking over a fair few girls and keeping within my ability. Within the next lap, my stomach started cramping and I felt my form started to drop. Taking in abit of my gel and water seemed to help. I am not sure what it was from…. A few more girls took back over me so I just tried to run with all I had left. Coming to the last lap, I just wanted to keep the position I had and run strong. Finished in 27th, I was extremely happy. Although gasping for air and water as it was so dusty, it was quiet hard to breathe for a lot of girls at the end. Its amazing how much you don’t realise it when you run till when you finish. Finishing at a late 8pm at night, meant many hours of lost sleep as the body was still running on a major high.
This weekend has taught me a lot about being confident especially in riding in a good position and taking advantage of all the possible controllables. I got some great positive words from people I respect a lot in sport and gives me some indicators of what I need to work on and get stronger at to be amongst the mid field. Thanks to all the staff on the weekend for their support and encouragement on the course. Thanks to Alex Price, our physio at home who has now joined us in Vitoria for the much needed massage and post race recovery.
Article from the race:
Article from the race: