PICS from ITU CROSS World Champs

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ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships



Extramadura, Spain - 30th April 2011

Event website


14th Place and first Brit!

The venue was ‘The Ring’ a modern eco structure on a reservoir in the rolling hills 3 hours to the west of Madrid.

The weather forecast for race day had always been rain in the preceding few days, but the torrent that fell the night before was going to make the race interesting….

I had practiced the course on the Thursday and Friday when there was a firm line but with many bogs and water crossings to negotiate. The whole course was ridable, but with several tricky sections. The race organisers had done their best with a flatish venue to make an interesting course with a mixture of fast and open tracks, twisty singletrack, loose rocky climbs /decents, and the inevitable bogs and loose sand. However the key to the course was at the turnaround where you headed back to the venue, this followed the edge of the lake and consisted of large sections of fist size rock gardens. The only way to tackle these was at speed and with power to skim over the top, otherwise you would loose momentum and be thrown off line.

Race Day

The swim was 1000m open water, straight out and back. Should be a fairly simple affair, but I was gridded right in the center of the start pontoon (I like to start at the side). The inevitable scramble for position insued and left me a little off course and not where I wanted to be in the pack. It wasn’t until the turn back to shore that I settled into my stroke properly.

The bike 20 Km two laps. In to T1 and I knew I was going to have to put the hammer down and make up some places. This is what I had trained for, due to the flat run at the end it was always going to be about the bike leg. The going was slick and slippery with bogs and puddles everywhere, it wasn’t long before the sea of rainbow coloured national trisuits became the next brown rider to pass. All was going well until the climb before the turnaround on lap one, when I dropped my chain on a steep climb and lost 3 places that I had just taken. The frustration and adrenalin kicked in and by the bottom of the decent I had got two back. My next target was fellow Brit and Team Mate Dil Wetherill who I fought hard to catch and pass, as I knew he had a good run in him. The rock gardens were attacked and by the end of lap one I felt like it was all coming together. Could I keep up the pace, had my training worked? The answer I think is yes, as I steadily picked people off throughout the 2nd lap and didn’t loose a single place on the bike leg.

Now the run, 6K off road consisting of two laps. I normally run well off the bike, but due to a niggling injury hadn’t run in the month running up to the event. I am sure I had lost some top end speed, but I set about picking people off again and passed two more brits coming into the final stages. A quick check behind and then the sprint for the line.

I placed 14th, and first GB athlete in my Age Group, which I am happy with against a very strong field and in challenging conditions. Could I have got top 10 if I had produced a better swim? Maybe, but I know I couldn’t have pushed harder on the bike or run, so I am a satisfied boy.

Thanks to all my sponsors and the people who have helped me! My Cannondale Scalpel ROCKED!

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