I was really looking forward to racing llandudno olympic tri, i had never raced it before but heard great things about the race so was ready to give it a good crack, it was perfect timing for my build up towards the Oultaw ironman distance triathlon at the end of july also.
I have had a great last block of training, and had scheduled in a race at the end of each week for the last 4 weeks including this week, managing a win at abersoch sprint, at 10km road race, and a win at chatsworth peak distance tri last week. llandudno was the last of the race preparation and was hoping for another solid race and a poduim finish.
The course consisted of a 2 lap 1500m sea swim, a 4lap 36km hilly and technical bike around the Great Orme followed by a tough little 10km run finnishing along the promenade.
The week leading into the race had been a big heatwave so was looking forward to a nice sunny race, however unfortunately the rain started to lash it down just before the race leaving the technical bike descents a little more tricky and slippy, although it didnt stop my kids playing in the sea and sand.
The gun went of and it was i got away at a solid pace, there were two guys drilling it up front so i latched onto them and held on for as long as i could, they were gunning it and after around 400m i started too lose touch and spent the remainder of the swim solo, i still felt i was maintaining a solid pace but the short course ITU specialists gave me a bit of a hammering.
About 600m into the swim i got a big burning sensation on my neck which chafed a fair bit for the remainder of the swim, im guessing it was a jelly fish as i had a nice rash after the race, apart from that the rest of the swim was unevenful and i exited the water around 2min down from the 2 lead fish.
Then out on the bike and up the Orme for 4laps. The bike course was pretty spectacular consisting of a longish climb up, folllowed by a pretty winding and fast descent back down, the lashing of rain didnt help much but made it alot more interesting.
My legs felt a little tired on the first lap, but eventually warmed up and i started to enjoy the course. by the second lap i was getting a feel for the course and started to push the descents, only until coming down off the second lap i was travelling over the cattle grid at speed and my front wheel completely went from under me slipping on the wet metal grid, i fully expected to hit the deck but thankfully somehow i managed to stay upright.
following that my arse went a bit and was alot more cautious for the remainder of the ride. This was just a hard training day for me and i didnt want to take any stupid risks before my main races coming up.
looking at my splits i got faster as the ride progressed and each climb was getting progressively quicker, and the last ascent up was the quickest which is a great sign that my fitness is right up there. i managed to catch the leader phil Wolfe on the last lap and tried to put a bit more time into him for the remainder of the lap, until my rear mech started playing up on the descent, with my chain bouncing everywere which wasnt that much fun when your trying to focus on the descents, however i managed to nurse it back into to T2 and out on the run.
I really enjoyed the bike course, and the last few races i have done have been very similar with lots of climbs and twisty descents, much more fun that the pancake flat draft fest races, and suited a road bike over a tri bike which i a first for me.
Getting off the bike my legs felt great and really fresh so i tried to push the run as hard as i could, the first two km were flat along the promenade followed by a long climb up and descent to the turnaround and the retrace your steps and back along the promenade to the finish.
Myself and Wolfe exited T2 together and foor the first 2km along the promenade were in very close contact.
Out of T2
Wolfe started to pull away on the long climb up out and by the time we hit the turn point he had a bit of a gap.
I kept pushing it all the way to the line but was unable to stop Wolfe from opening up a 2min lead but was pleased with my performance to finish 2nd.
My legs are still lacking that top end pace that is essential at the shorter distances, but despite not being able to match the speed my legs at the end felt like they could have done the whole thing again so thats looking positive for the Outlaw in a few weeks.
Full credit to the winner, he smashed the swim and had a real solid run to give him his 3rd or 4th win at llandudno.
It was a great day out for the family at llandudno, the weather may not have been the best at times but it was a great setting for a triathlon. The kids werent dettered by the rain and still enjoyed a splash in the sea and a ride on the good old donkeys.
So a solid 4 weeks of racing for me that i feel has benifited me hugely and i feel in good shape for my next Race at outlaw at the end of july. I plan to take a few easy recovery days then start to taper things down and be fresh and rearing to got for the end of july.
Big thank you to all of my great sponsors and support crew.