Pan Ams was a big race in that winning would guarantee Canada an Olympic spot. With no Olympic points available it was Medal or nothing and ideally Gold.
It was also a strategic race as the Americans and us are competing for the final country spots at the Olympics. So the pressure was on and the race was a very tactical one keeping an eye on the Americans as well as the other countries vying for the Olympic spot on the line.
I had a good swim in the 29C water and got out in the lead group of five on the bike. We tried to stay away but with no Americans in the group they chased hard from behind to catch up and it was a group of 25 by the end of the first lap of six. We then played a cat and mouse game with the Americans and Brazilians with multiple break attempts but no one wanting to get away we entered transition as a large group. The last few turns in were very technical so after the Americans drilled the 1km stretch before I jumped into the corners hard and got in and out of T2 with a five second gap. I then focused on the leg speed I had been working on and put down a 2:50min first km in order to force a break and see who wanted to go for it. I separated myself and was only joined by Huerta of USA and Colucci of Brasil. My planned worked as we then ran together for 6km and built a gap on the rest of the field. I did small surges regularly through corners and aid stations to test there strength. At almost 6k I surged out of the 180 turn and up the slight incline and then Huerta came over top even harder and he and Colucci gapped me by 15m. I reeled them back in to 10m or so but couldn't finish the close. I ran the next 2k just behind them and then with a km to go the started challenging each other and the 35C heat started wearing on me and I just focused on pushing hard to the finish and holding the Bronze medal.
Though I was one spot lower then the Rio Pan Am games four years ago, this Bronze medal means so much more after all the hard work this year to get back in shape.
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