Woah! The last few two weeks flew by. A month ago, when I went back home to Montreal I had no idea I was going to go to Europe for two races. It was such a great experience and I will certainly remember this for the rest of my life.
The first race was in Tiszaujvaros (Tiszy), Hungary. It was a junior European Cup and it gave me the opportunity to race some of the best Europeans of my age. The race had a different format though. There were two semi-finals of 35 athletes and then the first 10 of each semi-final would go forward to the final as well as the 5 next best time. So there would be 25 people competing at the end. The first race was 500m/12.4k/3.2k and the final was 250m/6.2k/1.6k. The semi –final went pretty well for me. I got beat up a little during the first 100m then hammered and worked my way back up to the lead pack. We worked well on the bike. Unfortunately, an Irish guy crashed just before coming into T2 and I had to avoid him, so Ì came out last of the transition and had to work hard for the first 800m to catch up, then ran tempo for the rest of the run. Came 2nd and I had to recover in 2hrs to get ready for the final.
The start of the final was pretty nice…I didn’t get hit that much and I was well established on the feet of the fastest swimmers….THEN we hit the first bouy, I got dunked, hit, kicked, etc. Once again I had to hammer the rest of the swim (I had only 150m left…) and just made it on the tail end of the lead pack. Hammered to T1…but then made a mistake on the bike…didn’t put my feet in my shoes chasing for the first K’s and got dropped going out of the turn around (I still didn’t have my feet in my shoes…). I got to T2 and I was second to last with a Hungarian I believe. I only caught one guy on the run from the main group, disappointing finish, but great learning and I know I’m ready to compete with the best Europeans at junior Worlds.
The next day was the World Cup. Craig Taylor, the head coach for this trip, had a second coach accreditation and I’ve been able to use it to get to all the VIP places and the athlete lounge, finish area etc. It was great. The day was even better because Brent won the men’s race. What a champ. Good races as well for Andrew Russell who almost made it on the stage (top 20) and AP B-Smith who went over 500 watts 102 times during the bike leg. Chantell and Manon have both been pretty solid too in their race despite a hard swim.
We stayed in Tiszy for a few extra days, and then left for Lausanne on the Wednesday for longer than anticipated day of travel with a lot of bike box carrying. Later that weekend I was going to assist to my first WCS ever. I made it to the race briefing. I saw all the biggest stars of tri: the Brownlees, Javier Gomez, Brad Kahlefeldt, Jan Frodeno, Emma Snowsill, Emma Moffat etc. The race was pretty exciting to watch J. Brownlee and Gomez CRUSHED that run with 5k run splits of 14:24 and 14:28 respectively. Good result for Andrew Yorke who came 21st in his 1st ever WCS with a 15:27 run split.
The next day was team worlds, my time to shine and race against the best guys in the world. Manon was the first one to go, then Yorke (who had the 5th fastest split of his leg), then Chantell who was only 10 seconds slower than Helen Jenkins and I was the one finishing. I started with Leckie for GBR, Robins for AUS and Brukhankov wasn’t too far behind. I respected the race plan established with Craig (Hide on the flat of the bike, then surge in the last third of the hill) I executed it perfectly I think. I swam on Leckie’s feet really comfortably then hopped on the bike with Leckie, Robins, Brukhankov and the Japanese guy. This time I put my feet in my shoes and took only 1 pull on the flat section. Then we got at Ouchy hill…the guys went in the first part of it really aggressively but I felt pretty good and decided to wait. Then….BAM! surge by the 19 year old Canadian…Leckie responded pretty well to my surge but unfortunately Brukhankov brought us back in the downhill right away, obviously…Then got off the bike and got crushed on that 1.5k run haha. We still managed to finish 14th but 11th on the official results (all the Teams 2 were removed of the results). I manage to out split Jonathan Zipf of Germany and Peter Croes and only 6 seconds slower than Mario Mola the 2009 junior World Champ. Pretty happy with that…definitely my best racing memory so far. I got to race the big boys and bike with Alexander Brukhakov…pretty sick I think.
Back in Victoria for two weeks of hard work then off to Beijing for Worlds.
I would like to thank Craig Taylor for his support and making this trip possible and fellow triathletes AP, A-Russ, Brent, Jason, Yorke, Manon, Chantell for making this trip even more enjoyable!
Thanks also to my sponsors and supporters: maman, papa, Teschner, HED, Kiwami, Trimes.org J