April 24, 2010
The baptism by fire here at Gernika is the best reality check on the circuit in the early season. With the best duathletes in the world racing over a tough 5.3km/23km/2.6km circuit it always shows the respective strengths and weaknesses of each athlete.
This level of competition always means that the pace is high and the bike is aggressive. I had a gut feel pre race that if the first run was comfortable I would be sweet but if it was hard throughout I might be hard pressed to make a real impression.
As it turned out, I hung with the lead pack of 8 on the first run and we already had plenty of casualties dropping off the group. I was probably close to my max and on the bike when the break went I didn’t have the condition to make the jump across. We worked quite hard on the bike in the chase group but with 4 different languages it was a bit of a comedy and working together was fragmented at best. It is quite comical at times and I am sure some of the conversations could win us all some money on a funniest home video’s show…to get the picture imagine lots of heated gesticulating and grunting and no one really knowing what on earth is going on.
A frustrating final transition (where I got sent back to put both handle bars on the rack) meant I trailled my group onto the final run and couldn’t make a dent into their lead.
In summary, as always the race was exceptionally organised by Cesar, Iban and Roberto and the Udraibai Triatlon Taldea team. The crowd and support is incredible and a credit to the Gernika community and the race sponsors. For me, it was a good reality check and showed I need to get another2% on the run and bike as I suspected.
Back to the grind tomorrow…hopefully better resulst in weeks ahead
Thanks for following up,
April 22, 2010
April 18, 2010
Good to start here today with a win in the Azkoitia Duathlon in the Basque country. A beautifully organised event and magnificent crowd helped compliment perfect weather. It is amazing what a contrast there is here in Europe in terms of support and acknowledgement for athletes and it really is a nice feeling to have your skill set highly valued
My training partner, James Attard and I have both been under the pump this week- him with a conservatively managed radial sprain which saw him on a spin bike for 10 days while it was in a cast and me with a mild flu which I picked up last week. Fortunately, we both managed to get back to racing and worked the 1-2 punch to seperate from the group on the bike and then fought out for the win on the final run.
One of my objectives this year is to race a little less often and try to win more medium scale events. I was determined out of transition and managed to convert today into a good victory.
Next week will be a stern test at Gernika International with most of the world’s best athletes. With a delayed start to speed work this year I need a little sharpening this week to be able to race at that level so early in the season.
Will put up some photos tomorrow
Thanks for your support
April 12, 2010
Solid first week training here. The Basque country is a beautiful place with lot’s of tradition and the locals can pick an outsider from miles away. Thankfully, everyone is very friendly and Cesar Ramos has once again looked after us with a wonderful abode and access to the local sports centre. The local coffee shops are smoke free this year which makes the coffee stops more enjoyable and the pintxo’s (tapa’s) heathier!
After arriving Tuesday all went perfectly till Sunday when I woke with a sore throat and decided to take a day off and plenty of Vit C to limit the damage. All good today and back on deck with 90 min bike and 45 min run. I will race the next three weeks here at Azkoitia, the big one at Gernika and then Zornotza
My main goal is to get back to back weeks running 100km and riding 400km, the racing at the moment is secondary to the primary objective of building base fitness. In May, I should hit Zofingen and MagicMan with a full head of steam and be near 100% fitness.
Lianne is getting plenty of gym time and always good to get more time with the little man Sebastian and seeing him running around looks like he could be a chip off the old block!
Will update post race Sunday
April 9, 2010
Firstly, my condolences to Chanelle Carter’s family and friends on her tragic passing. It is extremely sad when someone so fit and healthy and who has dedicated their life to fitness is taken away in their prime. Take care on the roads and pray for greater patience from drivers.
My family have now settled in Gernika with fellow Aussie James Attard and his wife, Emily. James had the misfortune of fracturing his radius last weekend but is soldiering on with a cast and the wind trainer is getting a work out. I am getting lots of work done and will do a local race next weekend at Azkoitia and then the Gernika International the following weekend. The riding here is very hard and even an easy 1 hour ride will have 300-400m of elevation. The coffee is always the highlight and it is very enjoyable to pay only $1.90 AUD for a flat white!
Finally, I have signed on to return to Bayern and compete in the MagicMan Duathlon in May. It will be a nice way to finish the trip and the German hospitality and scenery make it a great event. It also helps that the Schneider Weisse Beer tent will be at the finish line and I will have a day to recover before the flight home! They have a release on their website about my returning to defend the title from last year www.duathlon.info