The Double Up
The Double Up
After a successful performance in my first Individual Bundesliga race I then had to prepare myself for the double up the next weekend. Before I left for Europe we had decided that I would do the Holten Sprint ITU Triathlon on Saturday June 29th and then race the next day in Dusseldorf for the third Bundesliga race. The easiest option for transport yet again was hiring a car and driving the 650km trip to Holten, Netherlands and then driving the Sunday morning 200km to Dusseldorf. Again I wasn’t alone, this time I was accompanied by another ALZ athlete Anneke Jenkins from New Zealand. We left on the Monday morning and stayed the week in Holten in a Bungalow at a National Park.
Holten is a small town full of character but it was freezing all week. This didn’t bother me though as I was so excited to be in the country that my grandpa (Opa) was born in and I was anxious to check out the culture and different landscapes that included a lot of Dairy cows and milking sheds…
As always the field was packed for the Holten ITU Sprint Triathlon. It was a 750m clockwise swim in a lake that was 16 degrees, then we rode 8km into town where we then did two 6km laps over cobble stones and a small but steep pinch of a hill. Once off the bike and through transition we ran 2x2.5km laps through the town. Before the race I surprisingly had felt the best I had ever felt before a race since I had been in Europe. I knew I had to smash the swim start as hard as I could and I did except it started to go down hill fast as I entered the first buoy. It was fair to say I got my but kicked and nearly drowned. I got out of the water and I felt weak and Lactic but knew I had to go hard otherwise I would miss the bunch. Unfortunately I had nothing and I missed the group in front. I then rode with ten other guys but broke away with three others on the first lap. Even tough I broke away I was on my limit and my body had nothing and it showed when I got to the run. It was a really tough day at the office and not one I really want to remember.
On the bright side I had no time to ponder. I made sure I did a good cool down, I spent some time with my friends whilst enjoying the event Holten put on that night and then the next morning we were back of to Germany.
Once we arrived in Dusseldorf it was a nightmare trying to get to the meeting point with our team as all the roads were blocked off. For the people who know me you can imagine this increased my stress levels “slightly” and my patience was very thin. Once meeting up with team it was all flat out until we got to the race start that included me putting my tattoos on sideward’s.
The race was packed with big names including, Ivan Vasiliev, Jan Frodeno, Laurent Vidal, Will Clarke, Sebastian Rank, Ryan Bailey and many more so my expectations were not too high especially after the previous day. I knew I could race well if I just stuck to my processes. The race was one of the best races I have ever done with a crowd of 40,000 lining the streets it was ecstatic. I made sure I was aggressive in the swim and it worked I had a good swim. I got on the bike and nailed it as hard as I could and after a few km’s I noticed that Will Clarke, Laurent Vidal, and Ryan Bailey were all behind me including a lot of other great athletes. We worked hard and caught the group just in front of us on the tight and narrow course but there was still a breakaway of eight out the front. I had done a lot of work on the bike so I just gave it everything on the run and in the end I probably had the best run I have had in a long time finishing in 19th, which I was really happy with considering the depth of the field. There is a small video of the race if you are interested....
Even though I didn’t come away with all the results I was looking for from the weekend I still had a great time and got to race on some of the best courses. I have a local race this weekend as a hit out before my first ever World cup race in Palamos, Spain.