What a week
What a Week
I am currently sitting on a bus traveling from Tartu-Tallinn in Estonia on my way back home to Germany and I think it is the best time to reflect on the past week of adventure. Before I take you through what has been one of the best weeks of my life I would like to thank my family, friends and sponsors who are enabling me to let the "world be my oyster" and chase my dreams!
It all began Monday the 15th when I left Palamos, Spain after a jog on the beach and a swim in the crystal clear Ocean. I made my way by bus and a few trains to the city of Toulouse, France. I stayed with my family friends until Thursday morning in which I tried to recover and prepare for my next race in Estonia but also have a meaningful catch up. This catch up was filled with a lot of eating, including pigs stomach, lots of cheese and cassoulet.
Being a Tasmanian boy I am not a fan of the heat so when I left the warm 35degrees weather of France and arrived in a cooler climate of Estonia I instantly felt at home. Little to know my warming towards Estonia and in particular Tartu was just beginning... I was lucky enough to be hosted by two Uni students Silver Mikk and Liis Ojokas for my weekend of racing in Tartu.
As much as I am busting to write about my Estonian Family and my desire to live in Tartu I will get down to business and tell you the grit of my race in the Tartu ITU European Cup. The swim was in the river where we had to swim up stream and then complete two small loops. I had been feeling great in the water all week and knew that this tougher swim course would be suited to me and luckily it was. I came out of the water 10th/56 one of my best swims ever. The ride was four laps of a hilly bike course where we rode through the town of Tartu and the large cheering crowds. As I am not normally out of the water so close to the front of the race I made the most of my opportunities and tried my luck in a break away with Kristian Blummefield but it didn't succeed and we were caught. Onto the two lap run course after stuffing up my dismount and nearly crashing I had to work hard to stay with the front of the race. Blummefield was off the front but I was hanging onto a group of around six guys. In the final 1km push to the line the race split up and I came in fourth. I am disappointed that I didn't have the legs for a podium but its my best position in a European Cup so I have to look at the positives.
Finishing fourth was only one of the highlights. As mentioned before I was able to spend my five-day period with Silver and Liis who are now two of my favourite people in the world. On the Friday before the race we explored the town of Tartu and experienced a taste of Estonian life (in the summer). After the race on Sunday a few local beers were drank in celebration of a tough seven weeks of racing with great people including some fellow athletes/friends. The following day Silver took me to the countryside where some of his family lived, this was great fun including a traditional Sauna and a dip in the freezing river (but not as cold as winter, when all the rivers freeze over). There is so much more I could rumble on about but I'm not going to, I think you get the gist, I had a GREAT time.
Again thanks to my sponsor’s 2XU, Look cycles, Jail House Grill, Active Physiotherapy Launceston and also my family, friends and support from my Bundesliga team ALZ Sigmaringen.