The first race for the 2012/13 traithlon season took me up the NSW coast to Forster. I have been up to Forster a few times now to race and love the spot. This race was also round 1 of the Shimano Pro Tour which attracted a very competitive field, including Brabara Riveros' brother Gaspar Riveros who I had been training with alongside the NSWIS (NSW Institute of Sports) Squad a couple of weeks prior to the race. Training down in Wollongong has been awesome the past few weeks as the NSWIS group has just returned from their trip in Europe along with some 2012 Olympic Triathletes, Erin Densham, Brendan Sexton, Gwen Jorgensen, Sarah Groff and Vendula Frintova. Gaspar Riveros and I drove up on the Friday morning to arrive just after lunch to go for an easy ride for course familiarisation and an easy run afterwards. Weather was extremely hot on Friday with temperatures around 35 degrees Celsius but luckily temperatures for Saturdays race was only about 20.
Race registration was at 5:20am, very early start. We rode out to the race and arrived just after 5:30 to register, rack our bikes and get a warm up done before the 6:50am race start. The Pro Tour event consists of a 750m swim, 20km bike and a 5km run with 22 U23/ELITE males lined up for the start.
The race was underway and I was out to a good start in the first 100m of the swim. Had a good swim, was placed between 4th and 5th position throughout. Transition 1 was not so good as I lost some ground a just missed the front pack on the bike, although I was lucky enough to have 2 other athletes just behind to chase down the front pack. The lead pack consisted of 4 riders, all very strong, it took us 8km and a lot of hard work to catch the leaders but very glad when we joined the group. The lead group now of 7 worked well for the remaining 12km and put more time into the pack of 10+ riders behind us. I came off the bike in 2nd place with the others closely followed, a good T2 led to me coming out on the run still in 2nd. The run course was mainly flat, 2 laps but half of it was on grass which made it a little harder. My run was OK, although I lost a couple of places as I was very fatigued from chasing the front pack in the bike. Still did a good time to put me in 5th place at the finish.
Overall really happy with my first race for the season, it gives me a good indication of where I am at in relation to my competitors and what areas need to be improved on. Finished 5th out of 22 U23/ELITE male competitors with a time of 57:07. Was really pumped to do my first triathlon race on my Stevens Stratos, it was awesome. Had some mini clip-on bars as the course was flat straight out and back and posted the 2nd fastest ride time for the race. Thanks to Stevens Australia and Alltrack Bikes Heathcote for their support.