Anyone who likes my Facebook page will know I was in Portugal last weekend for the first Junior European Cup of the season. As always its very hard to correctly portray my opinion about the race on a blog post but I will try my best.

A quick thanks to Petra in Triathlon Ireland for booking me a hotel room in Dublin for Wednesday night. This meant I didn’t have to get up until 4:30 on Thursday morning to head for the airport instead of my normal 1 am bus. Just a normal early morning right?!

I flew over with TI HP coach Stephen Delaney. It was one of the smoothest trips to a race I have ever had. In my hotel in Portugal with my bike built by 3 pm! Once the others arrived (James Edgar, Russell White, Aileen Reid and our physio Roisin) we headed out for dinner. Everyone was really relaxed which was nice?

Friday brought on the swim and bike course familiarization’s. It would have been handy if they had buoys out for the swim! The sea can be very choppy and with a steep bank on the beach we spent a good bit of time practicing our runs in and out. The bike is fairly simple. Three laps with 3 180 degree turns and a hard hill on each lap. Back to bed for the rest of the day to relax? Hard to relax on the physio table though!?

quatiera

Am I happy with that swim? NO. The guy who got out of the swim ON MY FEET made the lead pack because he put 12 seconds into me in T1. So my swim is borderline lead pack standard at the minute. But I wont be happy with a swim until I am comfortable in a lead pack, and I will keep working at it until its good enough. Losing 12 seconds in transition is a joke. I just wasn’t aggressive enough. There is no other excuse. There is no game changing tactic to fix my transition, just hurry the feck up! Simple as that.

shoulder-road-rash

Anyway…onto the bike. I jumped on my bike and I realized I was in the second group. I wasn’t very aggressive at the start and in hindsight that was a mistake. I should have just blitzed the first few kilometers instead of waiting for guys to start working. It was a split second race decision and it was the wrong one. I wont make that mistake again. Lesson well and truly learned! At the first turn around I saw James was in a break of 6 at the front. I knew there were some strong runners in my group so I stopped working. James had a good shot of a medal so I wasn’t going to go chase him down. I just sat in, stayed towards the front and was waiting for the run. Coming in towards the last dead turn two guys just in front of me locked handlebars and bang. Down I went. My right shifter snapped clean off and I couldn’t really move my wrist. Game Over. The bike had been really easy until then, I think our average speed was around 43kph. My biking has never really been an issue but bikes have been.

My new Focus Cayo from my sponsor Planet-Tri is a 54cm frame and its the first time I’ve had a racing bike that fits me. It just makes pushing power easier when you actually fit your bike so a big thanks for them for helping me out! (And sorry for breaking the shifter :-O )

portugal