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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Geneva Grudges (on photographers)

If you have been checking here for a race report from the Geneva Euro Cup last weekend, and curse me each time when it's not here, blame the dozen photographers on the course who never upload their photos and seemingly keep them to themselves like it's some freakish fetish. Even old AV mate on the motorbike has failed. I've given these folk 5 days to publish something, so if this blog doesn't get down now it probably never will. So my cordial apologies to those hoping to see some optics. I mean, I wouldn't read a blog without pictures! I have found 2 shots from facebook, so please don't lose interest after the first line, that is if you're still reading, albeit, if this is blog is ever interesting at all.

So Being in Zurich for the last few weeks, it was easy to make the decision to don the drop bars on the P3 and race the Geneva Euro Cup. I decided to skip the breifing on the Saturday, and just catch the train to Geneva the morning of the race, which took 3 hours. I got off the train 90minutes before the race, and I had to accept a penalty for the start because ITU are anal folk, and because I missed the breifing. Nevertheless, I was happy to be there, and ready to have some fun in what was going to be a good hit out.

The swim start for me was really slow because I had a penalty. I was actually going to give up trying to get to the front because I was so fatigued. Wetsuits in my opinion are really quite counterproductive, it's almost impossible to swim past people in a wetsuit. In good time however, I poked my head out to the front of the pack, but was content to swim on old mates feet. The bike was where the deals were going to go down.

I didn't come to race to sit in a pack, so I made sure this was the case. I pushed really hard the whole bike, and we had a petite group of 7, which at times was rather frustrating, and took of bit of yelling to get the guys motivated. The first 4 positions in the race came from our pack, with the eventual first and second place getters (being Sharp and Elvery) doing a small dicks worth of work. I even said to Sharp (sly British lad) that if he f******* outruns us all....  (you get it). He replied in his silly accent that he was giving it all he has got (oh yeah lad, I believe you). This bike course was cool though. It had a neckbreaking hill every lap and I led up it 5 times out of the 6, the other was covered by partner in crime Jimmy Seear. Here's my file from the bike (someone ought to give me a power meter to make these things more interesting).

After half way on the bike, we really started to put time into the chasers. A few km's and middle fingers later, we were on the run. I really payed for my work on the bike, but still ran quite well, feeling I could tick off a good cadence the whole way. A good sign for my non-drafting races coming up! I actually came up short in a sprint and just missed out on the top 10. A bunch of guys ran really quick from the chase group and I lost 5 places in the last 1500m of the race, which thinking about it is actually quite disappointing. Nevertheless, it still puts a smile on my face that I was able to show everyone how a real triathlon is done. Breakaways are possible, it just takes committment! 40seconds quicker running, and I would have been on the podium.

So it seems like that could possibly be my ITU season over for the year in a whirlwind, but don't count it out. Next weekend holds some big apple pain, served across the Atlantic in New York. Sick lad!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Digital Manifestations

Some photos from my first week in Zurich after the race.

This is Parpaner Rothorn, a mountain that springs up out of the town of Lenzerheide. It sits at 2,891m.

It was expensive to get up to the peak, so I thought I would make the most of it and run down. I imagined it would be pretty easy going and breathtakingly scenic, but it turns out 981m of elevation loss and rocky trail makes for a brutal run/walk-whereit'stoosteeptorun. I only ran to the midway section too, I could already feel the DOMS coming on. Anyway, a bit of fun!

Above is the view to the top from the mid-section, and below is the path down.

My homestay Marco and I also went for a swim in the chilly lake at the bottom! Marco is swimming the English Channel in a team this week, so he teased me saying the water was warm.

Ash also came to visit me from the AIS base in Aix-Les-Bains in France. For those who didn't know, Ash won the Edmonton World Cup last week, a day after my 2nd in Zurich. Well done Ash :)

Breakfast is an important ritual between us. This is my rooftop view at breakfast from Marco's house.

Another part of the ritual is finding wild blackberries from the bushes around Marco's house for our cereal!

And here's some shots of the wonderful city.

That's all for now :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

2nd in Zurich

I did my final 5150 to qualify for Des Moines on Saturday in Zurich, the day before the Ironman, with the result reflecting my upward progression of fitness!

I didn't really know what to make of the race before the start. There were some really good guys lining up. Chris McCormack, 2-time Hawii & ITU World Champ, and born again short course racer. Sven Reiderer, Olympic Bronze medal and some recent hot Dextro results. Paul Amey, Olympian and 3-time ITU Duathlon World Champ. Ruedi Wild, hot results in World Cups this year. Richie Nicholls, forwarding the trend of crazy british leg speed, and a few other guys. So this field was essentially Ironman champs, ITU champs and Duathlon champs, which puzzled me to think how I fitted into the race. Well I guess the whole thinking about everyone was stupid anyway, because I wanted to go right off the front anyway!

I got to work in the swim and led the whole way, shaking off all but the Salvisberg boys (there's three of the bastards that look the same, with the big grinning Swiss smile and all).

I made short work of these boys on the bike, they each had ITU setups which was probably a bit silly. Anyway, the ride was a three lap course, flat except for a 900m (with 88m of elevation) stinger each lap, aptly named Heartbreak Hill. This hill was a small chainring job!

With total ignorance and disrespect for the hill, I opted for the disc, and I think was one of only 2 pros riding one. Big mistake boys! I could see I was putting time into everyone each lap because of the u-turn at the other end of the course. I think it was the strongest I've ever ridden, and was the first race I've stayed off the front solo. Quickest bike split by 50 seconds over Macca. I'll take it!

The run was a weird 2 1/2 lap course, but was rather fun and there was plenty of support out there from the spectators. I knew now I was running for the win, and felt the best over 10km I have felt all year. To be honest I forgot Richie Nicholls was in the race until I hit the 6km mark, and saw this  kid blazing the other way to the u-turn. When I saw this effort I knew I had a hot race on my hands, but he caught me at 7.5km. This guy ran a 31.16 10km in a  non-drafting race, incdredible! I clocked in for 2rd after plenty of celebrating at 34.00, 40seconds behind Nicholls and Macca came in another 30seconds behind me.

So now I'm ranked 9th for Des Moines on September 4, and it's all eyes on the prize :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Düsseldorf Deeds

On Sunday I saddled my P3 with drop bars, and hit the sprint race in  Düsseldorf. Watch a short video of the race here.

I was really excited for this race. It was only 40mins from where I'm staying in Witten, it had some big names, it was draft-legal and good money. I wanted to do it for a good training race, to check my speed and have a bit of fun!

The speed was on the whole way. The swim was pretty quick, and I was swimming next to Frodeno the whole way, until (and you can see it in the video) I did a Wiltshire, grabbed his hips and jumped over him. We were swimming totally the wrong way, and I knew we were but didn't want to change direction because I assumed the Olympic Champion knew the course. Anyway, it didn't really matter, because all the good guys were going to be in the front group anyway. The ride was 3 laps around a techincal course with some decent cobble sections. I pushed hard and I think i was the strongest rider on the day, but Iknew the run was where ther pace was going to go down! I ended up running well I think, and finished 5th. Almost 90 seconds down from Zipf who won (the guy ran mentally quick) and 1 minute down from Frodeno. Loschke rounded out the podium and Olympian Prochnow finished 4th. I think my split would have been just under 16minutes (the course was too short to know the exact times), so I'm happy with this knowing I can still improve a lot more. I think if I was a foot taller, running would be a lot easier for me! Look at the behemoths in the pictures below! 

All in all, a lot of fun, and a great day out enjoying the triathlon life.

This Saturday is Zurich 5150. Should be great fun with some big names present- McCormack, Reiderer, Wild, Amey and heaps others. Hey Macca, 'I'm here to win!'


Sunday, July 3, 2011


Tomorrow I'm doing a small sprint ditance race in Duesseldorf, draft legal as you can see. Frodeno, Prochnow, Zipf and Loschke are starting though, so I guess it's not really that small.

It should be some fun!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Border Ride (special velo edition)

Aachen is one of my favortie cities, but until a few days ago, I had never actually been there. So why is it one of my favorite cities? 3 of my favorite bands are from Aachen, all of which are signed to Van Records, my favorite record label, surprisingly also from Aachen. My adventure played out like this...

12:30pm, pick up by the CoffeeRide crew.
2pm, arrive in Aachen.
2:01pm, begin looking for Alexander von Meilenwald of The Ruins of Beverast.
2:05pm, have student 2Euro coffee & muffin deal.
2:20pm, begin looking for Zorn of Nagelfar.
2:31pm, move to different cafe, have another coffee.
3pm, loiter Aachen and get some lunch.
3:59pm, begin looking for Gnarl of Verdunkeln.
4pm, head to student dorms, drop off gear, suit up.
5:30pm, cross Netherlands border like it was 1939.
7pm, crit start.
8:30pm, crit finish.
9pm, cross the German border like it was 1944.
9:30pm, arrive at student dorms to clean up.
10pm, student dinner in Aachen.
12:30am, home.

Above is the loop with the country borders in yellow. I hacked a 55min effort off the front with a few guys in the crit, then bowed out citing pedantic Triathlete training theory. I have actually felt rather good since riding the crit, and am thinking about doing a lot more crit work, even for the non-drafting. I might even do this all over again next week, considering TT bike are permitted!!!!

Here you can see how techincal the track was...

Dutch Border

Plenty more riding is being done in North Western Germany, and Tuesday's ride was the second ride I had done in 3 days where I had been riding past 9:30pm. Where else in the world would this ever happen??? Oh and when I say plenty of riding, I also mean plenty of coffee too :)