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DEVONPORT RACE REPORT

Last weekend I headed south to Tasmania, more specifically to the small town of Devonport. It was my first time to the quaint city and it was nice. The small sleepy city was slightly disrupted with hundreds of triathletes descending upon Devonport for the weekend to compete in the age group race as well as the Oceania Championship. This was a big weekend for all athletes as there was valuable country qualifying Olympics points on the line as well as all of the selectors looking at athletes for the individual positions. It was my first Olympic distance race for the year and I was looking forward to putting all that training to good use on race day. I felt great leading into the race and I had a race plan of attacking it from the start.

 

The swim was a wetsuit swim, which does not normally suit me and something slightly different was the hip-deep water start. I was ranked 18th heading into the race and I was interested to see everyone ahead going straight for right side for the swim start. I went far left where the water was shallower and more protected from the wind. This is why checking the water conditions before a race pays off. I had a fantastic start and had a substantial lead around the first turning buoys, which is normally the section of the swim I struggle with. I swam the first lap at a solid pace and wanted to see if anybody would try and come with me. At the end of the first lap I had a decent gap back to the next group of swimmers, which were singled out and under pressure. Wetsuit swims traditionally are bunched together as it is easy to stay with a faster swimmer with the rubber suit on. I backed off the pace on the second lap to just make sure I was ready to hit the start of the bike hard.

 

I exited the swim with a small gap ahead of a long strung out line of athletes. I ran to my bike ripped of my wetsuit and jumped on the bike and went for it. I had a nice gap and just put my head down and hoped the chase group would get caught up looking at each other. Unfortunately for me the group behind me was unusually well organised and chased me down, the group consisted of 8 Australians and 2 New Zealand athletes. This race was really important for Australia to Win as it would secure the 3rd Olympic spot. So it did not matter who won just any Australian other than Brendan as he is too highly ranked to make a difference. Once the chase group caught me they sat up and stopped working which was incredibly frustrating, there was only myself and two others that tried to keep the pace up while the rest were happy to be 'passengers' sitting on the back. It was important for us to stay away from the next group of athletes as there were some dangerous New Zealand athletes that could upset the Australian goal of winning the race. To be honest it was a bit of a race within a race with everyone watching each other, it was known publicly that each of the countries had their own 'team' tactic to win the race. Unfortunately these team tactics caused mass confusion and scared anyone from making a move but also stopped anyone from getting away, in the end everyone just sat up and waited for the run.

 

Once again the race went against me with the next group catching up about half way through the bike with mostly Australians working to catch us. It was a little frustrating to be working against teammates but that is racing. I decided to try and make a go of getting away with another athlete and we were quickly covered and not allowed to gain any gap over the main group. It was now down to a running race and I just put all the work I did earlier in the race out of my head and got ready for a fast run. I had a great transition and was out 3rd but my legs felt like they were filled with concrete and I quickly slipped down the field. The hard bike took its toll on my legs and I was unable to get my legs pumping as quick as I would of liked them to.

 

I would be lying if I said I did not think about withdrawing but I thought it was good training day to just make sure I kept pushing a spent body to the line. I finished in 18th place, I was very disappointed with this and certainly left feeling very down. I had been working so hard at training and to not have all 3 legs come together how I wanted on the day is disheartening but sometimes it is your day and sometimes it isn't. I returned home and have refocussed on the next race approaching on a favourite course of mine in Mooloolaba. It is a world cup race and will be my last race in Australia before heading overseas for the international season.

 

So with the disappointment of last weekend now being used as motivation I am very excited about the upcoming race and looking forward to getting amongst the best in the world in front of a home crowd. Thank you again for your support!

 
 
 
 
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