Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Bridgetown Continental Cup

This weekend, I traveled down to Barbados for a continental cup. I got down to Barbados two days before the race on Sunday, April 22nd. Training leading up to the race was tough with the very sketchy riding on small roads with lots of cars, but it was fun being in a different country.
The swim was nice to train for since I could walk from my hotel room to the ocean and get in great swimming right in front of me!

The morning of the race featured what a lot of Barbados people called "liquid sunshine" or rain.  The country gets very little rain until the summer, so the roads were covered in oil and became very slick. I was slightly excited about this as I felt comfortable handling my bike on slick rainy roads. With two 180 degree turns, this would be paramount.
I got on the pontoon next to two guys who I have biked with in past races, so I figured I was in a good spot.  I started the swim well and was swimming next to Andrew Bysice and Jason Wilson (the eventual winner) the whole time.  I felt comfortable exiting the water in 9:50 with the leader only 10 seconds up on me.  I was stoked to be that far up and thought if I was in that group, I could win or get top 3.  That was, until T1 when I failed to buckle my helmet for a good 20 seconds and watched that group ride away. That was frustrating, and then a crash caused a lead group of 5 guys to get ahead on the bike and we never caught them.
The bike was chaotic as there were so many crashes, and guys were putting their feet on the ground to make the 180- degree turns. I never had to do that and even made a small break with Eric Lagerstrom after a 180 turn when people took it very slowly.  The break did not materialize, but it was good to keep the pressure up. After riding fairly comfortably, I was confident in my run.
I got out of T2 hard in pursuit.  Alex Hinton got a small gap on me early, and we caught some of the early leaders.  I moved from 8th to 7th in the last 1/2 mile and was pretty happy, but not satisfied.  If I had not had the hiccup in T1, I could have contended, but with variable change, there is really no telling of what would have happened.   

Next race up is REV3 Knoxville in two weeks time. Time to get on the TT bike.

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