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A Cold National Champs !!!

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Bry Back Parc

The national champs this year were held at Parc Bry Bac in Wales on a tough and technical course and to make things tougher it was freezing cold.  We had race briefing at 11 am which was 4hrs before our race stared, I was slightly annoyed by this as we had a lot of time to hang around in the cold but everyone had the same problem so we just had to find somewhere warm to rest.
I did not do a swim warm up because the water was only 13C so instead I just went for a run with my wetsuit on to keep my body temp up. I gave my arms a good swing and a good stretch on the run.  Once we were called into the water we were held there for a long time because all the men including myself were in front of the two start buoy. All it takes is one person to be edging forward and everyone will edge forward but before we knew it we were half way to the first turn and the race had begun. I was ready and took the lead straight away. I lead the whole swim and exited the water first only to be joined by the brownlee brothers.  My hands were very cold and I lost time getting my helmet on and to make things worse I mounted my bike after the finish line not at the mount line so was expecting a possible time penalty when I came in after the bike.  I was slightly down on the brownlee brothers so had to bike hard to catch up to them.  I caught up to them and had dropped all the other athletes around me but I was in massive oxygen debt and couldn't pull my turns which is unlike me I think I was affected by the cold as well so that didn't help.  Aliaster was giving me a lot of abuse and tried to push me off my bike which didn’t affect me and with two laps to go I had warmed up and started pulling some bigs turns.  Me and the Brownlee's came into T2 with a large gap on Tim who was on his own the whole way (fair play to him).  Into T2 I had to take my 15 sec penalty up which I feel was unfair because you never have the finish line and mount line so close to each other. After my 15 sec penalty I began to chase the brownlee's and  I got them down to 7 sec but after the first lap my legs blew and they increased their lead to 17 sec so I had to settle for 3rd.  Tim was 4th and had a very gutsy race considering he had a very sore hip and some nasty road rash from his crash in Budapest.
My next race is the Dallas Open which is non-drafting so really looking forward to that one. This will be my last race of the year   and then will take a break which I feel I will need by then. Im really looking forward to it.

I also finished 2nd in the British Super series which Tim Don won so congratualtions to Tim.

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