I crossed the line in Galveston last Sunday with great pleasure & some sense of certainty that I had actually won, but I couldn't be too sure. I had to wait and see for all the others to cross the line! I'll spin the yarn in the following...
Galveston was my last stop on my nomadic 5 month tour of the US & Europe. After 70.3 Worlds, I stuck around at a friends place in Las Vegas and waited until Ashleigh arrived in direct from London WTS. We planned a little respite together, and gave some service to our sponsors at the annual Interbike expo. It ended up being a whirlwind week full of debauchery, intoxication and gambling (just kidding, we're model triathletes), with no moment to spare or relax as intended. I even managed to squeeze in a supersprint race in Las Vegas to little success, but it was a lot of fun on these tired middle distance legs. I arrived in Galveston in pretty rough condition with a cold, and many missed hours of sleep & training, but still motivated to make up for a winless 2013.
When I arrived, the Galveston area was experiencing some large weather fronts getting pushed in from the North, dumping lots of rain and blowing enough wind to give Team Oracle another victory on the right day. Come race day, the RD decided it wasn't going to be safe to swim because of the choppy water so they called it off. By this point, I was so over the travel and still feeling ill that I didn't care what they did. I just wanted the race to be over with so I could get on that plane and start the journey home.
The format was to be a bike/run, with TT start at thirty second intervals. Being #1, I led off first and was chased all day. To be honest, I hardly new any of the athletes in the field, and was just interested in racing my own race. I was still in some reasonable biking shape, but was getting frustrated when I wasn't putting any time into the #2 athlete Daniel Bretscher. Turns out he was fresh off a second place finish in Ironman Wisconsin and also riding very well. We battled it out & even splitted the whole 40km in the heavy heavy crosswinds and uninteresting roads of Galveston. Daniel ended up riding only 5 seconds quicker than me, but we both rode considerably clear of the rest of the field. I felt as if I had a good ride considering my undesirable lead up to the race, and rode at 316 average watts (65kg race weight). You can view my power file
Onto the run, I knew I would have to put time into Daniel quickly to break his morale. The run course was really fun, full of corners, u-turns & technical sections. There were many chances to get some sort of split of the competition behind, and I knew I was putting time into Daniel but he kept pressure on me the whole way and made sure I delivered a honest performance to take the win. My travel buddy Brooks Cowan from Detroit was third.
In summary, good move from the RD to cancel the swim. I really enjoyed the format of the race, it kept me on edge the whole time not knowing where anyone else apart from #2 in the formation was. Would be interested in racing this format again, but a swim would need to be added of course! Any more RD's out there fancy on making another pro race a TT start? Any interest in Australia? Ahh anyway, keep dreaming. Here's a few shots!
Thanks to the community of Galveston for hosting such a good event. My homestay Bel & George were very accommodating, as well as the locals who shouted Brooks & I dinner, Kim & Steve, owners of the local tri shop who showed us around and all the athletes who came up for a chat. What a blast! For now, it's really good to be home, bring on the end of season races in Oz.