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Some more images from Portugal

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Xterra Portugal The Race

Race report

Well, its done and dusted, and a huge challenge it was too. Torrential rain the night before meant the bike course was going to be completely different, but nothing was going to change the temperature of the water as we all shivered on the steps waiting to enter the 14 degree water. The rain came down but was irrelevant standing in a wetsuit. The most concerning thing was the distance of the buoys which seemed an awful long way away for a two lap course. It was described afterwards as more like half ironman distance.

I came out of the swim mid pack and managed to escape any major incidents. Out on the bike for what was to be a brutal segment of the race. The sun was out now so I concentrated on remaining hydrated and focused on the seemingly endless climbs and technical sections. It was a very difficult course to build any rhythm on as there was always an obstacle or climb just around the corner. Two laps done and it was just the 2km blast along the tarmac back to T2 left to do, I tried to get as aero as possible but there was no one to tuck in behind.

Out on the run and the sun was really hot now. The course took us up through a park, over bridges, across rivers, up steps, through woods and then around a castle to the beach where the pain really began. The last part of the run was roughly 4km of soft sand with 12ft drops into sand dunes, it was destroying my quads. I felt strong from the start of the run and managed to pick off six athletes by the end with only one passing me. Last bit of tarmac back to the finish and a time of 3:14 and 5th place in age group which I am really pleased with. It was a really strong field throughout all categories with over 35 pros turning out.

This opens my account in the points table that goes towards the Xterra European Championship title at the end of the season.

Overall I had a blast and am looking forward to Sardinia at the end of May.

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Race day

Race steed ready to roll

Race day has dawned, with a grey overcast sky. Plenty of rain overnight so a high possibility conditions will have changed on the course. Had the race briefing last night and the run seems more like an obstacle course, I think this will suit me though with a strong run at the end.

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