Looking back at previous blogs it's quite a while since we updated on our trials and tribulations! With the season starting the last 6 weeks have been pretty hectic. We raced the 1st French Grand Prix in the Ardennes. The French triathlon scene is unbelievably strong, we're racing division 2 this year yet there's still 100 elite athletes lining up to race with the top 25 normally finishing within a minute of each other.
After screwing up pretty badly last year we were under a bit of pressure to perform. Being the 1st race of the season you never really know what form you're going to be in but we both had solid races. Coming into the last 400m three of our team were together in 3rd-5th. Harry put his sprinting ability to good use to out kick us both and finish 3rd. My poor excuse for a sprint saw me come in 5th. Not a bad start to the season and most importantly a 1st place finish overall for the team.
We then headed down to Southern France for 3 and a half weeks altitude training in Font Romeu. Harry's put some great stories of our travels on his website. They really are worth reading so check out www.triharry.co.uk if you want a chuckle.
The plan was always to head back to race at Windsor on the 15th of June. It's always a great atmosphere with most Age Groupers staying on after their racing to watch us race. Somehow Windsor also always seems to have great weather and this year was no exception! Being one of the high profile drafting races in the country there was a decent elite line up with Rich Stannard back to defend his title. Harry had his usual great swim and by the time the bike started there were a group of 3 up the road with myself and a couple of others 45s down.
It's the 1st time we've come down from altitude to race and you certainly notice it, for the 1st 15 minutes on the bike I hardly had to take a breath and I was riding as hard as I could! Myself and one of the other lads in our group rode hard for 25k and caught Harry's group with about 15k remaining leaving 7 of us in the front group. From then on in it was a case of waiting for the run and hoping our legs were there!
As soon as we hit the run Rich set off hard and neither of us were able to go with him. The course at Windsor is three laps and by the end of lap 1 he had a 15s gap to myself with Harry a further 5s back. Rich maintained his lead and by lap three Harry had closed the gap to myself, it was like Tuesday nights a Tavi athletics club all over again with each of us trying to drop the other! With about 1k to go Harry ran back up to me again, the boys got a sprint on him so I decided to give it a go from 800m out and had enough left in the tank to just pull away and finish 2nd. Harry milked the applause and trotted home 3rd. All in all a really good day's work that sets us up for the rest of the season. There should be some coverage on Channel 4, provisionally scheduled for June 29th at 7.30am if you want to see us in action!
We're back to France in just over a week for the 2nd stage of the FGP so we'll update after that.