Well Stephen and myself arrived back today in Gran Canaria. Tired, stiff and a little swollen in the legs. With bad blisters and swollen feet means a long slow walk through airports…….lucky I packed my hotel slippers! Rasmus Henning was on the same flight as us and with me in my slippers and him just wearing socks we must have looked like a pair of hobos. With $50,000 in his pocket it was probably just me looking like a hobo. When we arrived in Gran Canaria the saying “You can tell a lot about a man by his shoes” kept popping in to my head.
So Abu Dhabi was fun, as most know it wasn’t on my radar a month ago. Stephen got me a start and for that I am really grateful as it was a great experience. We got flights and a very nice hotel room so couldn’t really turn down that offer. Hopefully I get an invite next year (if anyone from the race organisers is reading this put my name down please)!
We arrived Thursday morning before the race, both a little jaded from travel. Its hard to sleep some times especially when you are excited. I think I managed an hours sleep on the plane so it was something. We checked in and went to bed to catch up on some missed sleep. Feeling a little fresher we went about our training for the day. I have to say…..I was not feeling great but in my mind i kept saying this weekend is just training. Get a solid swim and a solid bike and that will be good later on in the season. My goal for the season is to race smarter when I get the chance to race. For me that is to sit in and enjoy the swim. Not make a conscious effort to be out front. Luckily on race day Clayton Fettel was in an eager mood to race alone and he quickly put in a gap on the swim. I was sitting happily in 3rd place looking at him swim away, hard to change something you enjoy doing.
Bling cars every where!
The bike was the longest time trial I have done so was trying to sit in and enjoy the ride. Its easier said than done. With winds, age groupers, helpers in the way, bottles all over the road and people surging all the time it was difficult to stay in a rhythm. You had to focus every second of the ride. It was a pretty epic ride, a group of 15 ish riders on a 5 lane motorway for as far as the eye could see mixed in with a few cameras was exciting. The road was ours! Cycling around the Formula 1 race circuit was exciting too, you don’t realise how undulating the course is or how tight some of the corners are for the speeds that they travel at. Luckily I cant quite reach those top speeds so I travelled around safely.
At around 170km I lost touch of the group going up and over a bridge. Its amazing how quickly a group can cycle away from you. I was really annoyed with myself, came all that way to get sucked out the back with 30 km to go and a head wind to cycle in to until transition. I battled on and got to T2 hobbling off the bike. Felt awful and wasn’t sure my knee was going to hold up on to the run. Sure enough I ran through it in the first 500m and started to feel great. It was a swim bike for me so I went hard, really hard and paid for it at about 12k but like I said the run was just for training. Felt good again about 16km and finished just outside the top 10 in the strongest field I have raced in.
Pleased with my form as its early on in the season and looking forward to putting in a big block now with Stephen and Mathias. In summary, some positives and confidence taken away from a good weekend.
Oh and Happy Birthday to Stephen for today!!