Hamburg WTS

After spending the lead up days after Tizy World Cup in the south of France, a few days of hard training and a new environment to excite the trip, with a good 30 pieces of luggage between us, we set off to Hamburg. Never being to Hamburg before, I was just going off what I saw on TV or from the race last year and using my little knowledge of the German language. Right in the centre of Hamburg, 400 000 people lining the streets to cheer on first to last- the atmosphere was amazing!! I have never seen anything like it. Arriving and already getting asked to sign photos…of Erin Densham; I had to point them to the right person. Hamburg is a pretty busy place- shops, bakeries and a big lake in the middle. Walking around in tracksuit pants or to swim familiarisation in my wetsuit, I felt slightly underdressed.

Race day weather was described as changeable; a few clouds, rain and some sun if you’re lucky. A late start to race day again, the day had time to work itself out and for me to get myself ready. A wetsuit swim with only 17.2 degree water and an outside temperature not much warmer, I had to prepare for myself for what the boys race yesterday looked like- fast, fast and fast. Being only sprint distance, there was really no time to muck around. From last week in Hungary, I knew how important it was to get to the first buoy. In briefing they told us that number 24 was where the first buoy would have the shortest line. Finding out from the boys yesterday that number 1 still had the prime position, being in 35th position, it looked so far away. It probably was the first swim in a while that I haven’t got hit or punched. We were pretty wide going around the buoys, with the swim not breaking us up much. Coming back under the bridge, I was hoping to get around more people as it felt like I was just sitting behind. I was stuck on the far left towards the shore line, not being able to move around. Coming into T1, I just didn’t have a very fast transition and lost a few extra seconds that I didn’t need too.

Running out of T1 with Erin Densham, I thought this is sweet- good wheels to drag me up to the group. I don’t think I have ever needed to ride so fast within that first 1km of my life. The pace was on from the start and I was just hanging on. The pace got the better of me and I got dropped with Emma Jackson and a Japanese competitor. Within the first lap we got caught by the group behind us. Not having the opportunity to ride the course but a brief ride of the day before, it only had a vague idea of what it would be. The group that caught us were motoring, trying to catch the main group up the road. We caught a few people that had also got dropped. In my head, I knew I should be up the road with the other girls and my transition did cost me big time. After some mental games in my head and a few chats, this course isn’t technical. The word technical defined by google means something that requires technical knowledge to be understood.  The course demands lots of accelerations- high power, low power, high cadence, low cadence efforts due to the corners. It means holding good wheels, weight on the outside foot and taking the corners big. The roads are pretty skinny in some sections, has a few cobbles ( lucky it didn’t rain) and is quiet deceiving on TV as the false flat is more of pretty decent rise. I didn’t ride as smart as I should have and it cost me. After 4 laps of 5km and some fast riding, the main pack was getting closer and we came into T2 within a few seconds behind them.

The first 500m of the run felt shocking. It didn’t feel like I was moving anywhere. Within the next 1km or so, I found some rhythm. I was moving my way up through some of the girls that had nailed the first 1km and were now moving back slowly. The 5km went so quick! An important thing for me on the run is to keep my cadence high and keep tall. The front girls ran extremely fast and showed to me that the Olympics are only 2 weeks away. By the end I felt good but definitely not as quick as I want to be. Finishing in 29th, I suppose I am happy. Still have so much to work on as sometimes is the little things that cost you and to be honest I didn’t realise how fast this race would be. After 3 weekends of solid racing, I am excited to have a few days off and get back into some solid training, working on my weaknesses, to build to end this year on a high….


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