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WCS Madrid Race ReportWCS Madrid Race ReportWCS Madrid Race ReportWCS Madrid Race Report

Madrid was home to the third race of the ITU World Championship Series. I went into the race feeling good and had some solid training behind me. The course in the Spanish capital suits me, as the swim is a lake swim followed by a hilly technical bike course, which tests even the strongest athletes.  The run is not hilly, but is either slightly uphill or slightly downhill, but never flat. The weather usually contributes to a hard day out on the course, with hot humid conditions similar to Australia.

I went into the race with the number 12 on my arm. I had a good starting position and started on the left of the pontoon.  I was nervous, but was raring to go. The horn blast sounded and we were off. I swam hard from the gun and had a great start. I was inside the top 20 through the first buoy and then started to move my way up. I stayed calm, relaxed and knew that I swim better on the second lap.  We jumped out and ran around the cone and entered the water again.  The strangest of things happened. It seemed like the middle of the swim pack opened up and I swam straight up the middle to sit in or around 5th place. I remained there and, nearing the swim exit, I started to kick a bit to get some blood into my legs for the bike.

I jumped out of the water with a strong front pack and we ran quickly to the transition area. I had a great transition and was off onto the bike. It was around 400m before you we encountered the hill for the first time, so it was important that I had my feet in my shoes and that I was ready to hurt myself. I was surrounded by all the race favourites and I was happy that I did a good job on the swim. A small group of around 10 athletes formed after the hill and we really worked well together, pushed the pace hoping to catch the other athletes off guard.  I thought we were flying and that this was the winning breakaway. Little did I know that a chase pack of around 40 athletes had gotten organised and mounted an organised chase, catching us at the end of the second lap. I then settled into the front of the main group and kept myself in a good position in case another break away went down the road. Also it makes it easier on the legs if you are positioned near the front of the group so you can smooth out the accelerations. I was attentive and on the look out for any dangerous moves that I could potentially join.   As always my Cervelo was moving like a dream!

On lap 6 of 8, I was at the front of the main group with a small group of 3 athletes down the road. As we tackled the hill, a big attack was made with 4 of the pre-race favourites getting involved. I dug deep to make it onto the tail end of the group and we caught the front group of 3 at the end of lap 7. We all worked well coming into the final lap. In the lap and a half we had escaped from the main group and put approximately a minute into them.

I was 3rd off the bike and ran quickly to my position in transition, swapped my Cervelo for my Saucony flats and ran out in a great position.  There was a u-turn straight out of transition and I was still in 3rd position at this point. My legs felt like rocks in those first few hundred metres.  I just relaxed and tried to push it as much as I could and waited for my legs to come good. They were being very stubborn and no matter what I did they did not want to cooperate with me.  I tried to hold onto some of the other athletes from the front pack and I just couldn't. I tried not to get upset and just kept pushing. It was not my day for running and I think pushing too hard on the bike ultimately took its toll. My legs and I have fallen out for now, but we will have a clear the air chat this week and try to mend our friendship…

I ended up in 26th overall, which I am not very happy with. I can look at the race and say that I had a great first 2 legs, but to be successful you really have to put all 3 together. I am now recovering from the race and will then use my frustration during my next race this coming weekend.  It is a French Grand Prix team race in Beauvais, France. I am looking forward to racing for my French team Poissy as I have not previously competed in this series.  It is a very competitive series and should provide a great challenge!



IMA 2010 Winner - Best in Class
Web Awards 2010 Winner