Career Best Result on the Big Stage in Madrid

I’ve just had one of the best results of my career for 15th in the World Champs Series race in Madrid on Saturday. I’ve worked really hard for this since finishing uni and going fulltime 3 years ago. It feels fantastic to put one together for everyone who supports and believes in me. I've changed the way I do a few things and am making better decisions under new coach Pete Pfitzinger. More than anything I am doing everything I can to get to the Olympics next year. This is at the front of my mind when I get up every day and Saturday was a step in the right direction.

I had a perfect swim feeling great the whole way exiting 5th. I got on the bike and drilled it up the first hill to make the lead pack of 12. The pace was on up front the entire 40km and we rode about 1min45 into the chasers. A dream scenario for me, I helped pull some turns when I could, (mostly on the downhill and flat just after where there were no tv cameras!) while at the same time conscious that I’d need my legs to last the run. I ran sensibly; not wanting to be a hero for 5k and end up 30th. Three passed me but I paced myself and saved a bit for the end. Ryan Sisson’s group caught me 200m out, but I was ready and dug deep to hold them off in the sprint. I ran 32:40 odd, well behind the amazing Brownlees up front but a solid finish to a good all round race. It was awesome to see Ryan, Clark and Doddsy right there as well having very strong races.

For now; the plan has always been to shift my focus to running fast from this point in the year on. I know I have a great run in me and with the technical changes I've made with Pete over the last months and the big base I have laid down over the NZ summer I can't wait to get into some session work and bring it out. Once I've recovered I’ll head up to altitude to Font Romeu to make that last improvement to try to give myself the best chance to qualify for 2012 in London in 9 weeks. Should the possibility arise that there’s a place unfilled on the NZ Games team I've shown I can swim well and bike strongly in the big ones and could assist a NZ medal contender like Bevan.

Now its back to the NZ base in Sete, near Montpellier in the South of France. This weekend I have a sprint distance European Cup in Italy to top off my points score and guarantee my start in London in August. I'm ranked 1st on the startlist and will wear number 1 for the first time in an ITU race. Should be fun!

Check out the Madrid race highlights video on www.triathlon.org 

Happy James.

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