Tom has filed his report on the final race of the season at Bala, mid Wales in between moving into his new house. Congratulations Tom.
Time has flown by since the last ranking series race at lake Bala last weekend! I was pleased to finish the season with another podium spot taking second, 13 seconds behind Jonathan Hotchkiss. I had no expectations going into the race as training had been disrupted with the move and recent trip to Germany.
Having been warned about the chilly water I was pleasantly surprised when my wave of 290 competitors was allowed to enter the water. Despite a shaky start and someone neatly tearing the calf panel from my wetsuit the swim went OK and I was able to follow the lead group all the way round.
My first transition was a complete nightmare though as the new hole in my suit made it harder to get off, I was also caught out by the little rise departing transition which didn’t make for a speedy start to the bike leg.
Once up to speed I felt in pretty good shape and quickly made my way into the lead. For a ‘flat’ course there was a distinct lack of flat road (although given the environment it was probably the flattest road for many miles). I didn’t feel that my legs were 100% with me but seemed to be moving well against the headwind and I was a good 600m up on second place at the turnaround. I backed off the pace a little in the last few Km of the ride aware that I’d done very little run prep for the race.
In hindsight this easing off was a bad idea and may well have cost me those 13 seconds. I felt surprisingly good on the run but it is always hard to judge pace with nobody in front of you. Unfortunately Jonathan caught me at the worst moment – just before a long slightly uphill drag after the turnaround. I was unable to answer his pace up this hill and lost ground. Frustratingly I matched his pace for the rest of the run but couldn’t manage to bridge back up to him.
Although it was frustrating to see the race unfold as it did I have to say that I am pleased with the performance. I am very pleased to finish a consistently strong season with another good placing against a speedy field. It’s also great to have the consistency rewarded with a clear victory in the national ranking series.
I’m going to take a couple of weeks off now to finish the move to Wales and get everything sorted in preparation for a solid winter of training.