In 2013 I began my first season in Europe competing as a Triathlete and in 2014 I had a year out from racing. So when the time came at the start of June for me to head over to Germany to kick start my euro season under a new coach, with a new squad, a new Bundesliga team and a French team, to say I was excited would be an understatement. On the down side I had been battling a few injuries and when I arrived in Europe I had some troubles with my allergies. This didn’t stop my busy schedule. I raced 5 races in 5 weeks. So let me take you on the journey…
It started in Germany with my new Bundesliga team. This is part of the German national series where I race for a team rather than my country. With a 8.30PM start it was very difficult to prepare for. I managed to come off the bike in the front bunch and sprinted out of transition with my bright red 2XU headband, a pretty gutsy thing to do in front of Richard Murray who was the eventual winner. With a lack of running I faded away but held onto 24th/100.
In between races I was travelling back to my base in Vitoria-Gastiez, Spain where I was with my coach Warwick Dalziel and squad. The weather was/is hot, the riding very scenic and the food on point. It is nearly compulsory to head to the local tapas bar and enjoy a tortilla with crusty bread and a café con leche.
The week after my Bundesliga race in Germany I headed to France where I made my debut French div2 race. This is the same system as the Bundesliga but just a French league. I was so lucky to be looked after by some of the team members and they spoilt me with fine food and great company. The race was in a beautiful town of La Rochelle with a massive crowd for the race. Again I managed to ride myself up to the front pack in a large field of 100. Riding a LOOK bike in France, I think it was only fitting that I would ride fast. My run was a massive improvement from the previous week and I finished a happy 10th.
After shaking the legs up in the GP and Bundesliga races it was time to hit the ITU circuit for a sprint distance race in Burgas, Bulgaria. To be honest I never thought I would ever go to Bulgaria but that’s one of the best things about Triathlon and the ITU circuit. The swim was long and in the surf, so I was slightly nervous. I had a great swim coming out mid pack and was in the front bunch within the first few kms. The ride was fast and technical, I made sure I got off the bike first and headed out onto the run in first place. I lead the race for the first 1km and then was passed by some super fast runners. I finished 14th/75, I was happy with the result however a bit disappointed as a higher result was definitely there for the taking.
By this time I started to get very fatigued and on the edge of being sick. I had all ready confirmed for my next two races so I had to try and manage myself to get through. The next race was in Dusseldorf, Germany for the next Bundesliga race. I really didn’t feel like I could get up for this race, I battled hard all day and finished 34th/90. I moved on a put my focus on ITU Holten in Netherlands. This was a key race for me, it had been changed from an Olympic distance to sprint because of the heat which I think worked in my favor. With out doubt I had my best swim out of the 5 races and was in the front bunch in the first few km’s. The ride was very fast with one hill and some cobbles. I found it extremely hard to get to the front on the bike and when I come off the bike I was towards the back of our bunch. In one of the strongest fields I have raced in I just didn’t have the legs for the run finishing 39th/75.
I definitely had a lot of fatigue hanging around, so I was given a few days off and I went and explored Amsterdam and was lucky enough to see where my Opa was born. This was an awesome way to refresh and recover. I am now going into a big block of training and my next big race will be in five weeks in Riga, Latvia for the ITU sprint Triathlon.
A massive thank you to my sponsors and family for supporting me whilst I continue to progress and move towards bigger things.