Though it was a 50hr trip to get here from Maui with an overnight in LA and red eye to Buenos Aires the Maui camp was well worth it. I was very happy I took two weeks to do some speed work in the heat to prep for the early season race.
The swim was in a river with a heavy current so it made for some interesting tactics trying to make the turns and swimming back upstream was challenging. I felt strong as usual from 500m on and was in 4th at that point. Closing out the last 750 I moved up into third and then cruised through transition and headed out on the bike and began to push hard to challenge the splintered groups behind.
Having not done the race before and having three different course maps shown we didn't know where the bike went to. As it turned out we rode to a dead turn 180 on a narrow two lane road. This meant that the groups would most likely come together. So backed off the pace and looked to others to do some work but within three of nine laps we were a big group.
Around the fourth lap Tyler Butterfield (eventual winner) bridged up to two Argentine riders and had a small gap of 15sec. I put a small effort in to keep it close but being a marked man everyone was happy for me to do the work to chase. So not wanting to waste my legs I eased up and again looked to the others to help.
Being a chess game right now for Olympic points the guys I am racing were in my pack. If I had a good run I felt I could beat the guys I needed to. So though I knew I didn't want to give Butterfield too much time as he can ride hard and run strong I didn't mind losing points to him so long as I beat the other guys I needed to. I also thought that I could run him down if he didn't get to large a gap.
With everyone watching each other in the last two laps we lost an additional 45sec on the first 30 they had initially earned for a total of 1:15 down coming off the bike.
I pushed hard the final meters of the bike to get in first and out of transition first. I then punched the first climb on the run and opened a gap to the rest of the group with only a Brazilian hanging on. I held the fast pace through the first 1500m and gapped the Brazilian and put myself solo off the front chasing down the front three.
I felt strong on the uphills, relaxed on the downhills and smooth on the flats. I kept the pace high and hard through 5k (2 laps) and chopped almost 40sec from Butterfield's lead and caught both Argentines. I then focused on a solid third lap to see if I could whittle away the 35sec or so to Butterfield. At this time Butterfield was doing the same and pushing harder this lap and I didn't gain anymore time. The 35-40C heat was taking a toll and I wanted to make sure I was strong through the final lap so I dialed the intensity back after not pulling anymore time back. 35 seconds was just too much to try and get back in this heat unless he completely fell apart. Being a strong athlete and from Bermuda, this was unlikely.
Relaxed and smooth I ran through to a mile to go and then focused on maintaining the 20sec gap to teammate Kyle Jones behind in third. I pushed the last rise and my legs were a little rubbery on the final 400m downhill to the finish but I was happy to come across in 2nd and feeling solid in the heat and having worked thoroughly hard. Myself and Kyle got the job done of earning max Olympic points with USA not gaining many. So this was another big check mark in the olympic qualifying process done. Well worth the long trip.
Additionally, I had the fasted run time by almost 20seconds so another good swim run performance in the books.
It is now back to a nine week block of training before heading to the next series of races starting the end of March.
Sent wirelessly from my BlackBerry device on the Bell network.
Envoyé sans fil par mon terminal mobile BlackBerry sur le réseau de Bell.