With the removal of one of my favourite events on the 2017 calendar, Vineman 70.3, I was forced to pick another race in July to use as my last hit out before 70.3 Worlds. Racine, Wisconsin was the obvious choice to fill this void, as the attractive prize purse and scenic lakeside town seem to draw big names year after year.

This year was no different, with notable names lining up including, but limited to; Tim Reed, Joe Gambles, Matt Hanson, Andreas Raelert, Andrew Starykowicz and Matt Chrabot.

In the days leading into the race, there was chatter of the swim being cancelled due to frigid water temps. Blowing it off as little more than a rumor I resumed my normal pre race preparation. Upon arrival into transition on race morning we were told that the swim was indeed cancelled due to water temps of 11 degrees celcius. Cold no doubt, but definitely swimmable in my mind. Coming from a swimming pedigree, this did little to lift my mood leading to the start of the event. I had not had much success in the time trial format that was put in place in the past, so I must admit I was filled with some mild feelings of doubt.

I tried to push these thoughts aside and focus on how I could give myself the best chance of winning the event. I was to start in 6th place, 2.5min behind the lead off man Matt Chrabot. Most of my main competition to challenge for the win was setting off ahead of me, and I used these guys as the rabbits for me to chase. I was pleased to be greeting with strong numbers as soon as I started the bike, and I set about reeling in the guys ahead of me. I was afraid the uber cyclist Andrew Starykowicz (who set off in 3rd) would catch Matt and Tim Reed (2nd starter) and take them up the road and I would never see them again.

With this in mind I set off at a very ambitious power output, but I was pleased to note that my legs were co-operating with the effort. I rode hard, and caught Matt Hanson first, soon followed by Joe Gambles not long after. I reeled in the leaders of Tim Reed and Starky about 45min into the ride, and from there on I knew I just needed to hold my position as I already held a time advantage over the other guys.

Starky and myself continued to ride hard and established a break over the other guys chasing, and I held around a 3min advantage on Tim Reed who was, in my mind, most likely to steal the win from under me. I knew I needed to run well, as 3min on someone like Tim, who is a consistent 1:11 runner, was far from a guaranteed victory.

I was pleased to feel quite strong on two feet and I quickly distanced myself from Starky who had ridden superbly. My main concern was the time gaps to guys like Reedy and Joe Gambles, and I was happy to see that I was holding a decent advantage at each turn around. At the half way point, I was really starting to fatigue, but I had a little time to play with and tried to relax into a sustainable rhythm to ensure I got to the finish line. I was ecstatic to take another win for 2017, which included my best numbers to date on the bike and run – It looks like all things are tracking along well for 70.3 World Champs in September!

From here I am taking a really easy week to physically and mentally recharge before putting my head down for a big training block for the next 7 weeks! To my sponsors and team it’s been a dream year so far – and a trend I am aiming to continue through the back half of 2017. It is only made possible because of your support. I’m incredibly grateful. Thank you Giant Bicycles, FFWD Wheels, ROKA, Wattie Ink, Shotz Nutrition, Sarah and Matt- Purplepatch Fitness