Thursday, 22 May 2014

Bratislava ETU Sprint Triathlon European Cup, Slovakia

Running through puddles
 On Wednesday the 14th May I travelled to Slovakia to prepare for my third Continental Cup race of 2014, the Bratislava ETU Sprint Triathlon European Cup. I felt like I had learnt a lot in my first couple of races and was looking forward to racing again and hoping to improve on my previous results.

The elite woman's race wasn't until the Sunday, so I had a few days of light training in the build up to the race with British team mates Hannah Drewett and Kirsty Anderson for company. We swam in a 50m pool quite near to our hotel and I found a grass track even closer to do some running on. However, finding somewhere suitable to cycle was a bit more challenging. The roads were very busy throughout the day and so after our initial attempt to find a quiet circuit we stuck to the stationary bikes in the gym.

On race day, I had my usual pre race breakfast and did a bit of stretching before heading over to the course ready for a 11.30 start. The water temperature was 14⁰C, the air temperature was 12⁰C and it was raining, needless to say the athletes from warmer countries were not impressed. For me though, the conditions were perfect- I don't mind the cold (must be my Scottish blood) and I'm used to training in the rain.
The swim was one 750m lap of a lake. I had quite a good start and got stuck in. I wasn't in a great position at the first buoy, but I managed to swim past girls throughout the second half of the swim, coming out of the water in 23rd place.

The start of the swim
The bike course was four laps of a 5.1km circuit which was quite technical with lots of pot holes, drain covers and tram lines. I held on to Emma Pallant's wheel as she powered up to a group ahead, which turned out to be the second group on the road. Quite a few athletes came off their bikes early on and unfortunately Emma was one of them. I then stayed at the front of the group for the rest of the bike but was unable to close the gap to the front pack who came into T1 with a one minute lead.

Chasing on the bike
The run course was two laps of a 2.7km loop. I set off at my own pace and quite a few of the girls in my bike pack came past me over the first kilometre, but I caught and passed a few of them before the finish to cross the line in 13th. I was happy with my result, which is my best of 2014 so far and I loved racing, especially on the technical bike course.
Results here

Thanks to Peter for the photos.

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