"You guys are fast. Yeah?" "Yeah you guys ‘got game’!" Ahh cheers mate! I love America and the people and how encouraging they are. Everybody is generally pumped for you and wants to be your mate. This exchange happened a day out from the Chicago Grand Final WTS as myself and Aaron rolled the arms over for our traditional pre race day splash. It was no ordinary place for a splash either as we went about doing our ‘workout’ or ‘practice’ amongst the skyscrapers on the second floor of our hotel in an outdoor 25 yard pool!! They go big in America!
I was excited to roll the dice for one last time in Chicago. The course was deceptively hard from what on paper would look like a walk in the park, though there was plenty of dead turns on a challenging bike course that could potentially ‘deep fry’ the legs if not given the respect it deserved. As always coach JT ensured the bike course demands were exceeded in training as the ‘Wizards’ went about mimicking the course in an old rundown shopping centre car park in Vitoria.
A wetsuit swim greeted us on a revised one lap 1500m swim. With this change and a longer spell between buoys it did little to break the swim up and I would exit within the large front pack. A full first lap on the gas ensured I was established within the large front pack after the first lap on the bike.
The lead group swelled over the remaining laps of the eight and a half lap bike course. There was plenty of hustling needed to maintain good positioning and ensure the legs could arrive as fresh as possible for what would be one of the quickest 10km’s of the year with Mola running just under 29mins!
I went out hard. I laid it all on the line. I yo-yoed off a larger pack that was fighting for 3rd as Mola and Gomez cleared out quickly. I went through phases of Struggle Street within the 10km and really had to try regain composure at 6km where it felt like the wheels could potentially fall off. Somehow I toiled hard and came away finishing the day in 10th place and held onto 6th place in the Series. This concluded my best season to date on the WTS series.
So what’s next? Nepean and Noosa will finish the season. Two of Australia’s iconic non-drafting races, which I always look forward to round out the season.