My little trip to Asia was a huge set back, although I finished both races neither were of any progression in the goal to qualify for worlds or pick up a pay cheque. My knee blew out in the first race and the following didn't help it at all. I returned home and wasn't able to train for a month due to the pain and waiting on a cortisone injection, again. The cortisone was successful and I was able to build up the training again, it was coming together very nicely and had a few strong back to back weeks. Time to start organising my trip to the United States...
Flights and accommodation booked for 3 months, 3 weeks out from take off and I find myself not being able to walk due to Tibialis Anterior pain. Literally the only training I could do was hobble to the pool and chuck a pull buoy in. Physio, Orthopedic and MRI, all able to pin point but not resolve. I almost considered cancelling the trip but I was all booked on with my good mate Matt Franklin so I was set on going even though I had not ridden or ran 3 weeks before flying out. I was hoping for the best.
Boarding the plane was probably the least excited I have ever been to travel. I messaged my manager to see what he could organise in the way of treatment and he put me through to one of his mates they call the witch doctor. I got into see Ben Cowin within just a few days of landing. After 3 sessions with him and probably the most painful treatment o have ever had, I was back riding and running pain free, I couldn't believe it, I was so happy and thank ful.
The training in the lead up to Racine was super light and was just a case of making sure the body was getting through everything pain free. I was thinking initially to use this race as a training run and make sure everything is working but when the body was hitting the numbers race week, my plans quickly changed.
Touched down in Milwaukee Friday afternoon and just chilled out at the hotel. Saturday morning headed to race site for training and briefing, had a dip in the lake and it was cold. Took a couple of minutes to warm up but was fine after that. Briefing they mentioned either shortening or cancelling if it was too cold and I thought surely not...
Sunday morning arrived to transition to realise the swim was off and it was a bike TT start, was pretty angry with this but it is what it is. Got setup for a TT start with athletes going off by rank and 30sec apart.
This was a little different but was kinda keen to see how a 90km TT played out. I was off to a clean start, clipped in straight away and up the hill. The wind was quite strong and the road surface was pretty average, 90% of it had cracks and was extremely bumpy.
I got settled into a good rhythm pretty early and the legs were working well at a nice wattage that was a bit beyond what I was expecting. Having only been set off 30sec back there were some stretches I could see other athletes up the road and could do a couple of time checks. Raelert was off before me and I was holding the same gap for the first 15miles until he caught TJ which I then passed them both around mile 25. The conditions were super windy but the P5X paired with a Zipp 808 and Super 9 was flawless. Felt confident across all sections in the race and continued to hold good power whether it was head, tail or crosswind. Around mile 38 Charbot was real close and could see another 3 rides maybe a minute up the road. I caught Charbot at mile 39 shortly after that's when the race flipped upside down...
Rear tyre went soft, bounced the back wheel and it was flat, frustration went from 0-100 real quick. Pulled over straight away and quickly got to work on fitting the sealant, it started working and could feel it going up but then the foam just started frothing all over the place and the canister broke. That was then game over, shoes off and started walking, no support or crew vehicles around. It was until I got to the next intersection there was a fire truck who called through for support, 30mins later and I had a new tube in to get back into town. I wasn't going home without running so continued on to test out the leg and make sure the injury had fully healed. Started off pretty easy and had a couple of pushes between timing mats. It felt great running and helped the mood a little form what had just happened. Got over the line in the end and finishing with no pain or niggles was a huge positive.
There's some good things to take away from the race but it still is very disappointing to flat when I was in such good form. Next up is Boulder 70.3, time to make things right there