After a week and a half spent training in Tuscany, I headed to Rotterdam for the Grand Final. While there is no single day “worlds” event for the senior elite athletes, the Grand Final weekend includes world championships for age group athletes, juniors, and U23 athletes. For senior elites, the Grand Final is one of the most important races in the WTS series and the points that count towards the final WTS ranking for the season are 1.5x that of the WTS races that take place earlier in the season.
The elite women’s race start was at 4pm and most of the day had been cold and raining. I opted to wear a long sleeve and tights under my race kit and I kept my neoprene swim cap on under my helmet. It actually ended up not raining during our race and I was a little warm in my full get up. It was fine though – I never complain about being a cozy temperature!
I didn’t have a great start and got caught up in the masses at the start of the swim. I managed to see an opening to my right and was able to move up to the back end of the front pack. Half the front pack split into a breakaway that became the end podium in the first few minutes of the bike and I got into a chase pack of seven.
The bike course was still wet from the rain earlier in the day, cobbly, and technical, with 152 turns over 40km. I’m proud of my execution on the bike in Rotterdam. I was able to hang onto the chase pack and only had a once or twice on the course where I was in any danger of being dropped off the back. I couldn’t have performed at this level on this course a month or two ago. I’ve been working really hard to be able to be in a competitive position coming off the bike on technical courses and I was able to do that in Rotterdam. To be sure, I’m not fully satisfied. I want to be able to ride gap free through all the turns on technical courses and be able to contribute to my pack vs. just survive at the back. However, Rome wasn’t built in a day. I am proud of my progress and will celebrate my steps forward while keeping my eye on my where I want to be.
I was a little toast on the run after the hard bike and faded to 9th (after running in 5/6th for 7km). I was disappointed to fall back, but I know the most important part of my race was my execution on the bike. My 9th place result was enough to bump me up to 10th in the WTS series standings for the year. This was my first year focusing on the WTS series (last year I mostly raced world cups and dabbled in some WTS races) so I was proud to finish 10th in the world! I’m eager to take my increased skill and knowledge into next year as I aim to finish even higher and continue improving.
Thanks to my family, Ian, Paulo + The Triathlon Squad, my friends, USA Triathlon, fortynine Group, ROKA Sports, Team Psycho, and the New York Athletic Club for your support. My next event will be Super League Triathlon in Jersey, GB on September 23-24. Super League offers innovative and exciting formats and will be live streamed and TV broadcast. I will race at 4 pm local time (8am Pacific) on Saturday and 1pm local time (5am Pacific) on Sunday. The stream will be available at www.superleaguetriathlon.com and at https://www.youtube.com/superleaguetriathlon. I believe the races will also be available for replay on those sites in case you miss it!
Sorry for the lack of photos! It seems I was hiding from the cameras during the race!