Friday, July 31, 2009

Hamburg WCS

After settling in at the hotel in Hamburg and having a few good meals at the Hamburg Central Train Station I rested up and prepared for my last race in the April - July block.

I felt really relaxed and confident going into the race and was excited to finish this series of races with a good one. The swim was a little less the crappy with my goggles being knocked off twice but I tried to move up after the s*#*t show at the first turn and got out of the water just behind the front group. I had a fast transition and worked through the first lap with Frodeno and Docherty to quickly catch the group and settled in for the rest of the bike. There were several attacks that amounted to nothing and then one final one that managed to get away and stick and I chose not to go with it doubting it would stay. However it stuck with a 1min 20 gap so moved to the front and lead the main group into transition so that I could head onto the run with the front runners. I went out hard but controlled with the front three guys and held them until Kahlefeldt put in a strong surge and I started to string off the back. I worked hard to stay in touch and faught back at each of the two turnarounds on the first lap but they surged again on the downhill and I just couldn't summon the legspeed and a gap then opened. I ran solid and tried to let the gap open slowly and surged with each of the three Russian's that surged by mean holding the last one for the next two laps. The last lap I pushed hard but was struggling to draw in the last remaining guy of the breakaway fellow Canadian Paul Tichelaar. I got close but just didn't have the strength to pull the last 15sec or so to finish in 13th. I really gave it on the run but can't help but think if I hadn't needed to take a week off of running after Kitzbuhel I would have had the strength to hold the lead runners and crack that top 8 I wanted so badly.

I am still very happy with the performance and it was still a fast and strong run and a good way to going into the next training block now for the Grand Final on the Gold Coast of Australia.

Now it is time for a quick holiday (two days) with my girlfriend Carolyn on Hornby Island and then it is back to work.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Off to Hamburg

After a really nice 10 days of training in beautiful Kitzbuhel it is time to ship off to Hamburg for the last leg of our three week Euro tour.

I am starting to get my legs back after having some calf tightness post race but things are starting to feel snappy again. A good fartlek run today should have me firing on all cylinders by the weekend.

After a poor run here in Kitzbuhel I am motivated to get out and throw down a fast split this weekend. After this it is rest time and building till the Grand Final in all or nothing!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Oh Yeah

Even with a satisfactory race here in Kitzbuhel I have now reached my highest World Ranking of my career at 14th! The goal this season is to finish in the top 20 after the Grand Final.

OK in Kitz

After a brief 5 day stint at home after Des Moines I did some laundry and a few workouts and headed to Europe for my three week trip. After arriving into Munich Monday morning and driving 2hrs to Kitzbuhel I was thoroughly tired and stiff after the trip.

The stiffness and tiredness from racing three times in 7 days I guess had finally caught up but I was optimistic I could still find good form and run fast again.

I had a better swim then previous races which is a step in the right direction but I still have work to do. But the top of the first climb on the bike 1.5km down the road I was comfortably at the front of the race and settled in for a wet, cold and slippery ride. There were numerous crashes and several points of the course and I narrowly missed two of them and slid my front wheel cornering on two occasions. I stayed near the front and out of trouble heading into transition and was right where I wanted to be. Unfortunately my cold arms and hands struggled to get my shoes on and I lost a few places heading onto the run. Once I got going my partially frozen legs struggled to find any sort of speed and cadence and I lost the front two groups quickly. By 5km I had worked my way up into 16th spot but well behind the leaders and where I wanted to be running. I kept the effort high and challenged myself but the speed just wasn't there and I managed to hold off a challenge in the last 800m and finished in the 16th I had worked up to. Unfortunately this is the first spot without a paycheck for your efforts which sucks but that is how it goes.

My focus now is to recover and have my stiffness and fatigue gone in the next week so I can have a solid week of prep heading into the Hamburg WCS event on the 26th.

Currently we are training here in beautiful Kitzbuhel and will enjoy the riding and running in the awesome valley.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Des Moines!

I am settled back home in Victoria now for a whole 5 days before we head off to Europe for three weeks. Waking up at 5:30am and falling asleep at 8:30pm as I am still on East Coast time is annoying but I figure I will try and keep it this way as I will have less hours to change when getting to Austria. It also means I show up early to swim practise with a coffee in hand which is unusual for me.

The HyVee corp does an amazing job provided such a top notch race and treating us like true professionals. With over 1milllion dollars in prize money and welcome packages and free hotels they sure know how to do it.

As for the World Cup I was able to do everything I wanted and more in the race. I struggled the first lap of the swim but then made gains in the second and by the run up to transition I was 9th out onto the bike. I quickly closed the gap to the front 4 swimmers with a line of 40 guys behind me. The rest of the bike was a matter of controlling breakaways, staying near the front and avoiding any potential crashes through the very tight and technical stadium loop. I got into transition near the front but still needed to be up further as I had to quickly serge my way up as best I could. By 1km into the run I was just off the front group that was forming and couldn't bridge across. I then settled into a great pace and continued to push myself but could never get back in touch with the front six. On the last lap I pushed hard as they started jockying for the sprint and made up some time but was still just back of the sprint finish as I strided to the finish holding off Tim Don of Great Britain to come 7th. This was again a terrific run and perhaps faster then last weekend though the time doesn't show it. The three 180's and 4 90's per lap on the run course were definately a hinderance to the run time.

I am so excited to have backed up the DC race with another fast run and I can draw a lot of confidence that I can run with the front group. Next race I will be at the front of the pack coming off the bike to make sure I am right there at the start of the run.

Can't wait to race again!