Unfortunately I didn’t have the best day in Lausanne. Not sure what it was bit I was just a bit off the pace all day. Maybe the timing since I was at altitude? I had a good swim start and was in the first 5 at 300m, but then I slipped back a bit and wasn’t able to get into the very lead group out of the swim. Onto the bike and there was a small gap across to the lead pack which I would normally jump across without any trouble, but I couldn’t do it and had to settle into the chase pack. I struggled the whole bike and was in even bigger trouble when I started running. 40th. Bugger!
Onwards and upwards! From Lausanne I had 3 weeks to prepare for the 2011 Series Grand Final and 2nd Olympic selection race in Beijing. The course in Beijing should have suited me. A one lap non wetsuit swim, and tough hilly bike. After Lausanne I went back to Sigmaringen and spent 2 days in my room with a really bad flu and fever. I recovered quickly and felt in great shape nailing some key sessions and feeling particularly strong on the bike. I travelled well, and did everything right in the lead up to the race. On the day it was actually really cold. Every race this year seemed to be bloody cold and raining. I woke up after a week of awesome rest and recovery from the flight from Europe, ready to rumble. I didn’t think anything of it at the time but I had a bit of diarrhea. I felt ok and just got on with getting ready to go. I went into the race with an A and a B plan. Plan A was swim at the front, push the pace on the bike early and try to get a group away. A top 8 finish would guarantee me selection for 2012. Plan B was if the bunches came together or there were too many up there, I’d do what I could to help the other kiwis in the race and show I can do the swim bike job.
Once the race started I wasn’t feeling myself. I started in the middle and got clear of the field around me as I have most of the season. There was a long drag to the first buoy, and I was swimming parallel to groups on my left and right, but as we got closer I started to feel weak and wasn’t able to keep up with them. I slipped back and was not where I wanted to be out of the water exiting in 30th but still just 14secs from the lead. Onto the bike and I was battling straight away to make it into the lead group. I was the last to get there. I was hurting bigtime the first time up the hill, but killed myself to hang in there, expecting to be able to get some recovery later in the race. Plan A was off, so towards the end of the first lap I tried to make my way to the front of the bunch to help the other guys. We had Ryan, Bevan and Kris all there. I got near the front just before we hit the blue carpet, but then went straight backwards and was back at last wheel within 100m. Something was not right! I hung on the back, then up the hill we went again. Blinding headache, tunnel vision, then I got dropped 3/4 of the way up the hill and got spat out the back. 30 guys in the bunch and I’m dropped. My legs felt terrible and I was really not enjoying myself. I gave everything to get back in but I had no chance. I knew something wasn’t right and made the decision to pull out on the second lap. Horrible feeling! Highlight of the weekend was watching my training mates Andrea Hewitt and Laurent Vidal absolutely smash their races in Beijing. Both had already qualified for 2012 in London and went out and destroyed it for Laurent 5th and Andrea winning for 2nd overall in the series. Great to see and nice to feel a small part of their success.
It’s not quite the end of the season as I’m off to Yokohama in Japan for one more race this weekend, but getting close! Looking forward to a rest!