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Race suit is ready

My new World Cup race suit is ready

It has been a while coming but my new World Cup race suit is nearly here. A big thanks to the nice people at Fusion Sports. The suit is super comfy and includes compression for improved performance and recovery.

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Xterra Italy (Sardinia)

European Xterra Championships

Arrived late on the Tuesday before the race, my preparation had gone OK but I wasn’t feeling 100% in the zone. I practiced the bike course on Friday which seemed much more technical, rocky and sandy than the previous year. Having said that it was a fantastic course with some really steep climbs, fast descents, bike carries and obstacles to make you concentrate. I also practiced the swim course on Saturday which this year felt much more like the proper distance.

I was staying with my family (Anne and Sam) in the Gli Ontani about a mile from transition and the start. This is a popular location with other brits and the role call of pros included, Sam Gardner, Graham Wadsworth, LLewelyn Holmes,Pete Hawkins and Brit Female Elite Jackie Slack just back from an ITU win in Strathclyde. We really hit it off with Jackie and Rob (her boyfriend) and Sam wanted to race Jackie right up until we parted at the airport in Stansted…...sorry Jackie!

Race day. The swim is a mare here with all the Italians fighting out their own very competitive Italian Championships and so I decided to keep out of trouble and have a steady swim. On reflection I wish I had gone out faster as the heat and other incidents were going to compromise my day. It was 28 degrees at 7am in transition and I think it peaked at 34 by the finish, so hydration was the name of the day. It didn’t help when I lost a bottle on a fast decent near the start of the bike lap 1, but I had a reserve. Everyone was suffering in the heat and there was no shade until late in the lap. Through for the second lap and a big cheer from the support crew really pushed me on, but a heavy crash on a fast tight decent left me wounded and blood covered. As I jumped back on a French competitor passed and said ‘Mon Dieu’, I decided not to look and just carry on, but that familiar feeling of running blood down my arm and leg was a sign of the damage done. I couldn’t quite trust my front tyre after that despite having stopped to check it wasn’t punctured, so this made for a less than rapid finish to the bike leg.

Into transition two and I was moving OK, but the look on Anne and Sams faces as I came through was a picture. Sam apparently said what happens if Daddy runs out of blood? I actually felt fine on the run and put in a strong finish, but the steady swim and compromised bike ruined my day. I had come wanting to add points to my 5th place in the European standings and finish top 10 in age group but it wasn’t to be, so I move onto Xterra France on 11th July where I aim to continue my campaign.

I finished 19th in age group (two places better than last year) 204th overall in a time of 03:33:35

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