With my 2nd last race in Japan at the end of September the season has been very long . I went through the event while being sick, and this had a huge impact on my health .
After a big push in Japan finishing 9th overall , and moving up the ITU rankings to 5th , I knew that I needed to pull my socks up with 3 weeks till the final in Auckland .
From Japan – Wollongong and then on to stay with the Barrie family . Upon arrival I was still quite sick and knew that I would need to take things easy for a few days before starting a small block for Auckland on the 22nd October .
Motivation and fitness levels were at a all time low at the start of my 2week stay in the Gong , but luckily I had Jamie Turner to help me through it .
Wollongong is really a training mecca and allowed me to focus on trying to get as much out of the 2 weeks to try and get myself in the best possible shape for the 2nd most important event of my season!
After a few days, a package arrived from South Africa with medication to fix my glands and throat and I was soon with the Aussie squad putting in a solid week training leading up to the week before Auckland .
The travel from Wollongong to the Copthorne Hotel in Auckland took a lot longer than I anticipated , but I was soon settled in by randomly sprinkeling my clothes and posessions everywhere .
A few very easy days was needed to get my body recovered for the race, and with the sign of a very wet race approaching I realized I needed other race wheels .
Pre race day prep was done with the current World junior champion – Wian Sullwald from RSA and my body felt like it was in the best shape since the Olympic Games .
Race day came and so did a change from carbon race wheels to a set of Aluminium lighweight race wheels …. I knew they were light , but was not aware they would put my bike to 6.69kg .
Everything went smooth pre race until my KTM revelator was weighed and came 100gramms short of the UCI weight limit of 6.8kg .
This then put me into a panic, as It was 1hour before the start of the race and I hadn’t done my run or swim warm up .
A trip to the bike mechanics saw me strapping a 17 spanner to the bottem of my top tube, brining my KTM to a more legal weight of 6.89kg 🙂
Nothing like a bit of bike pimping before a race I say !
The bike course, a monster with 24hills in it lay in waiting and we were soon underway with myself wearing the #5 swim cap .
My swim went very well, and I felt smooth and in control . I still battle to think that my 18:18min 1500m was on;y good enough for 37/45 athletes and this saw me into the 2nd group with J,Brownlee and Richard Varga in a 30second break.
The bike ride , was one of the most physically and mentally demanding courses I have done to date . A monsoon , loose rear wheel , near crash , time trail and skewer tighten was all part of the cycle race for me in Auckland .
I noticed after, that I hadn’t tightened my Tune skewers tight enough and the wet weather had managed to make them slip a bit during the hard efforts out of the corners .
Coming through transition I put the power down and my rear wheel almost came out of my bike causing me to slide out of control and almost eat the cobbels under the blue carpet .
I decided to stop at the top of the 3rd short climb and quickly tighten my rear skewer .
This then saw me needing to time trail back to the group and this took a lot of energy. We then had 5 laps to go, and my legs were really starting to show signs of fatigue at the top of the 1st climb .
The gap to the front bunch closed to around 20 seconds by T2 and I knew that this would allow me to pick off a few guys after the run …. BUT how many ?
I noticed that Alexander Brykankof had crashed out , and this ment that I would move up a place in the overall rankings to 4th !
Out of the run, my legs felt good , but were cramping a bit due to the hard/wet/cold bike . Closing a few guys down by the end of the 1st lap I noticed that Igor Polyansky was just ahead of me and I needed to beat him .
I decided to keep my pace, and he remained about 20meters in front of me for about 2 laps . I was going to keep them in firing range and take them on the last lap of the run . This didnt really go to plan as they went very hard on the last lap as did I .
9th place was mine just ahead of closing David Mcnamee and Ryan Sissions from NZL .
Wet , tired , happy , I found out that I was 5th overall in the series and was going to drug testing again .
What a race , what a year … last year I started with WTS “world triathlon series” racing and ended 63rd overall .
I would have likely not raced in Auckland if it wasent for the guidance and assistance from Jamie Turner – HP U23 Coach from Australia .
This season I have trained a lot with them, and without the “Wizards of Wollongong” I would not have had such an enjoyable and lucrative season !
A big thanks goes to my family, sponsors , South African Federation and everyone who has assisted in making 2012 the season of my life .
2012 has been : Craze , emotional , successful and amazing ….