A smashin' good time at the WTS Leeds
Hard course, hard competitors and fighting for a good result
You maybe wondering why it’s been a bit quiet on the blog lately. Well, I was a bit disappointed with the last result in Yokohama so I wanted to get my head down and step up the training.
Leeds has always been my favourite WTS to race. The crowd, the course and the city is amazing! The spectators are celebrating every athlete and give the needed support to survive that hard course. That hill out of T1…that hill on the run loop…
I arrived in the student city with a big load of training in my legs and I only had Friday and Saturday to recover. Saturday rolled around I started to feel good again and was excited to race, to push that hard bike course and finish a solid run to get my target of top 20.
Standing on the pontoon, I could hear my heart pounding and the rising excitement. The time was here to fight that battle in the swim again. If I was to have my normal speed on the day, I’d be off in the top 5 around the buoy and wouldn’t have to use my fists.
Apparently I hadn’t recovered as well as I though and my arms were not turning fast enough! So I was around 15th place at the first buoy and I had to fight like hell! It feels like you are in a swim pond with a 1,000 other fish that go crazy to survive. In front and both side are blocked and behind people are pushing towards you. Most of them try to move away and stay clean, to not hurt you. But some athletes are not as considerate and try to push you down or grab you at the shoulder, legs or back, just to get out of that bad position.
When others pull me down and block my swim, I focus on not losing control of myself so you can get out there and continue your swim, without losing a lot of energy or even drowning! If you take a look at the race that was live on BBC2 (Leeds WTS is a big deal in England – I wonder why!?) and watch the swim action at the first and second buoy, you’ll know what I was talking about.
I left the water outside the top 10 and was really tired from fighting and taking back time. Out of T1 and onto the bike, I was the last guy of the first group and had no chance to keep up the pace. So I joined the second group after a couple minutes. When I saw Blumenfelt and Mola working together I knew we would pick up the pace and catch the front group in no time. I was impressed how they worked so well together! I stayed in the 6th place the whole time and wouldn’t have the chance to take my turn in the front.
It was a great speed and I knew, people would be tired for the run, everybody was hurting!
With some fast paced corners on a very technical course, I managed to get off the front without losing energy. Into transition 2 with no problem and onto the run. From the beginning I felt great and not tired at all, looking back on how hard the bike was. I managed to keep my pace high and ran the 10km in 33:16 with a long up hill (and down hill :P) section. I was happy to finish 16th and finally in the top 20 as a first in 2018!
Let’s see if that race turned around my season ;) Ready to push hard again very soon.