Things went decently well in Hamburg this past weekend. My only complaint is that my efforts only netted a 37th place. I swam well – I was pleasantly surprised to see names like Docherty, Ben “I only packed one shirt for this trip” Collins and Mark “I own a hamster named Hunter Kemper” Fretta in front of me as I exited the water. I felt great on the bike and easily chased onto the second chase group out of the water. We then caught the front pack and I was feeling great about things – if our pack of 25 or so athletes stays away then I’m looking at my best WCS finish ever! I stayed near the back of the pack trying to rest from my chase effort – BIG mistake!!! My TT ability on a bike is pretty good but my sprinting ability is pitiful at best and I was unhinged from the group as we accelerated out of a few tight turns. I commit the error of riding on the back on a regular basis but never has it resulted in such a huge penalty. I think I can truthfully say that never again will you find me at the back of a pack! The good news is that the group I was dropped to eventually made contact with the front group again, but not without a significant amount of effort on my part along with a few other guys in the pack. Despite my tough bike I still ran decently. If you take into account the fact that the course was lengthened from years past by 30 to 40 seconds then I ran just as fast as last year. The only problem is that last year I got 23rd place and this year I only got 37th. I think I have more in me, though. Going into London I’m going to try to ride smarter and get to the front and see how I run then!
I got the strong arm from Bevan Docherty on the first lap of the swim. Bevan is known for being one of the nicest guys on the ITU circuit but also as one of the most cut-throat racers out there. According to Manny Huerta I’m lucky he didn’t just shove me back in the water while using me as leverage! Photo courtesy of Andy Gerken.
The women on the run. We used to turn around at the big beer but the course was lengthened using these cones after being criticized for not being a true 10K in years past.
I rarely appear in the ITU’s race photo galleries but I finally made it in one. I was the first to rack my bike in transition before the race – for this I received a round of applause from the grandstands and a couple of photographers documenting my every move!