Leading up to the race my training has been going pretty well. After racing the ITU Oceania Cup at Mooloolaba just 2 weeks earlier I was feeling pretty confident about where the body is at for this stage of the year. I am swimming great, riding strong and the run speed is getting better and better. However this didn’t seem to matter when it came to race day on the weekend due to a few reasons which I will highlight below.
With a 3AM alarm I drove from the Gold Coast to Pottsville which hosted the event. The start time was pushed back due to low light which meant the open men’s field started a little later than the planned 6:30AM. As soon as the gun went off I found my way to the front of the race and swam stroke for stoke with Clayton Fettell for the entire 1.9km swim with Shane Barrie just behind making up the lead group of 3. Hitting dry land we had around a 40 second lead which was enough motivation to ride hard and extend the lead. Clayton was first out of transition and set the pace for the opening kilometers of the bike before I took over and started to crank up the pace. I continued to lead until just before the end of lap 1 where Clayton came to the front.
I witnessed the riders in front continue the teams trial time for the remainder of the ride and when I had a word to one of the athletes involved about their draft distance I received some verbal abuse back. Honestly I was pretty angry about the situation on the bike leg with supposedly ‘professional athletes’ acting far from professional. Personally I think that I have a responsibility while racing to compete professionally and within the rules and it is disappointing to see other ‘pro’ athletes completely disregarding the race rules.
On a positive note, for the first ever Tweed Coast Enduro event the organizers did a great job on the course and a big thank you to the organisers for putting on a race like this. The course was pretty awesome to race on and I can only see this race getting bigger and better in the future.
*Photo 1 & 2 credit: VeloShotz*