Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Mandurah 70.3

After Port Macquarie 70.3 I had planned to travel to Noosa to race there for the first time and was keen to get an Olympic distance race in, however, plans changed within that week and ended booking my first trip to Western Australia. I entered Mandurah hoping for another good result and gain some more points. I was pretty excited heading to WA for the first time and had heard a lot of great reports of Mandurah 70.3 from previous years. With such a stacked line up in last year's pro race, I was a little nervous to see what the 2015 race would bring. The course is super fast having an almost dead flat bike leg and I was in need of a disc wheel ASAP. The week of the race I was in touch with the guys from Titan Performance Group who put in the good word for me and managed to organise a Zipp Super 9 which arrived about 8hrs before leaving. Thanks to Elton at Echelon Sports for getting me on one at such late notice, it did it's job superbly.

After spending the first half of the week training in the rain all day everyday I was glad to be getting on a plane to head somewhere else. Left for WA early Friday morning after a 5hr plane trip and a gain of 3hrs time zone I was here. Headed down the coast to Mandurah where I had booked a room in at Una's riverfront B&B for the three nights. It was a pretty sweet spot, was able to jump off the jetty on Saturday to do my pre race swim and it was right around the corner from Transition which would be handy when race start was at 6am.
The swim is known to be a downhill swim due to the tides but we were informed that this wasn't the case for Sunday with tide movement between 6am-9am only .01 The bike was 2 laps out and back with a little side road on the way back which had the only rise of the course. The run also 2 laps out and back with a bit of undulation running next to the coast. There were 16 professional men in the race including high quality International and Australian athletes.

Chilly Sunday morning was here and stoked it was a wetsuit swim so I could suit up in my Xterra Vengeance again. Lined up in the water ready to push myself to the limit it was only 50m or so to the first 90° turn buoy, getting there first was my main priority. Horn was off and we were underway, I had a wicked start and was flying to the first buoy, already leading the way and rounded the buoy ... that's where I made my break. I settled into my pace and after 100m I looked back a couple of times and the sun was right behind me, I could only see the splash from my kick. This remained the same until after 1.2k when I started through the chicane section and was able to see I had a sizeable gap luckily my polarized Zoggs were clear as day. Exited the water with a trip up the steps and a 37sec lead on the chase group.
Out onto the bike I put the hammer down from the start, I was confident after being able to train with power again for a couple of weeks and installing a disc wheel the day before. Couldn't believe how comfortable I was on the flats, Ryan from 3D BikeFit works wonders. Pushed some really good wattage for the first 45k and extended my lead to almost 2mins. Although, I didn't know this during the race as I wasn't getting any splits, I could tell from my judgment I was putting time on them but didn't know how much. If anyone read the report saying I "tried to hold a bit back" this is not true, I gave the bike leg 100% knowing that my current run form was far from ideal and in the process of trying to get some valuable time up my sleeve for the run I completely cooked myself. On the second lap my power was slightly less and the wind seemed to be affecting me more but the Cervelo P5 sliced through the wind all morning. Came into transition with a 3:25min on Bozzone and almost 6min on the chase group.
Started the run feeling pretty average, legs were OK but the stomach was turning and it wasn't happy. I couldn't hold off nutrition so had to take what stayed down and by the first third of the run I was sweet and it was now a case of survival at the fastest pace I could go. I knew these guys could run behind me and thought Bozzone would catch me by the first turn around. It wasn't until after the first lap I could see what was happening behind me, Bozzone had closed the gap a bit but it was Chevrot who was moving. Heading out to make the turn home I could see Chevrot closing in fast and as I turned he was now only 100m behind. He passed me at about 4k to go, I tried to stick with him but the legs were shutting down for the day and there was nothing I could do but watch 1st place slip away. My legs ended up that bad I was worried about Bozzone being on my heels before the finish but next thing I knew I was heading down the finish shute, High5's left and right as I ran down, this was the happiest and best race of my triathlon career coming in 2nd overall in the Mandurah 70.3
My first podium for 70.3 came in my first year of racing at this distance and am very happy with how the race turned out. I used my strengths to extend my lead as much as I could, leading the race until the last 3k of the run. So close to a win but the confidence I gained from this race pushes me even more to chase the win in the near future. I have a local 70.3 next, Western Sydney in 3 weeks time which should be a great race and looking forward to lining up at the start.
A huge thanks to all my sponsors and family, I couldn't do it without them. Being backed the brands I am partnered with gives me a huge confidence boost during training and racing knowing I am using the best equipment available. Also thanks to my travel partner, mum, for being there all weekend for support.

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