Friday, 9 May 2014

Antalya ETU Triathlon European Cup, Turkey

The start of the swim

On Thursday the 1st May I flew out to Turkey to prepare for my second Continental Cup race of 2014, the Antalya ETU Triathlon European Cup. I travelled out with British team mates Hannah Drewett and Jess Learmonth. Apart from it being nice to have their company, it was also handy to have someone to wake me up when I fell asleep at the gate so I didn't miss the flight.

The elite woman's race was on the Sunday, so I had a couple of days to swim in the sea (which was warmer than the hotel pool), do a few short rides and runs and read Bradley Wiggins' autobiography. I didn't enjoy it as much as Mark Cavendish's, but it was still interesting to read. On race day, I spent the morning relaxing and doing a bit of stretching before heading over to the course ready for a 10.30 start.

The swim was 1500m in the sea as 2 x 750m laps with a very short beach run in-between laps. I had quite a good start but in trying to avoid getting caught up in the fighting, I let the main pack get away leaving me out of the race pretty early on. I passed a few girls over the remainder of the first lap but swam by myself on the second lap and came out of the water in 38th place.

Quick run around the buoy before heading back in for lap two
Exiting the sea at the end of the swim
The bike course was eight laps of a 5km circuit which included two dead turns on each lap. I caught and passed a few girls before a small group led by Emma Pallant caught me up. Together we caught a few more girls forming a group of about 15 athletes but unfortunately only about five were willing to do any work and we lost time to the large lead pack.
The run course was four laps of a 2.5km loop on the seafront. I set off at my own pace and quite a few of the girls in my bike pack came past me. But by the final lap I had overtaken all but two of them, Emma Pallant and a Russian girl. Emma was now well ahead and chasing down the girls in the lead pack, I started to catch the Russian girl but couldn't quite reach her and finished in 28th. I was disappointed with my swim and therefore my overall result, but I still really enjoyed racing and can't wait for the next one which will be the Bratislava ETU Sprint Triathlon European cup in Slovakia on the 18th May.

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