This end of season is heck of a ride!
I arrived back home from Europe about a week and a half before leaving for Edmonton Junior World Championships. After a season that was not completely satisfying, but an encouraging result in Embrun, I headed to Alberta with the intention to achieve my season goal, a top 9. The fitness was quite good, the race execution was the main point to work on. Down there, we were very fortunate to have an amazing support team (Dave – Mechanic / Marilyn – Physiotherapist / Maria – Massage Therapist / Sharleen – Mental Preparation / Alan, Kyla, Kevin – Coach and organization/ Libby – pretty much everything also!), which I all want to thank for their invaluable work. With their help, I was able to attack the race in near perfect conditions!
I had a pretty rough start, and got caught (yet again) in the “washing machine”, therefore exiting the water in 32nd spot. After a quick first transition and fast bike start, I was able to bridge up to the front pack right before the first ascent of Emily-Murphy hill. Soon after, the second peloton made the junction with the front group, and the rest of the cycling portion was pretty much neutralized, with almost all the pre-race favorites in the peloton. I still remained on my guards for any breakaway attempt, staying in the lead 5-10 guys throughout the bike. I positioned myself in front of the group for T2, then had a decent transition to start running just outside of top 10. After catching up a couple of guys, I managed to maintain top 10 placing for the full two laps, and I finished in 9th position overall, second Canadian. I was very happy with my last race in the Junior category, it felt like a great relief, all that pressure I put myself suddenly disappeared. A few days of rest and light training followed, to prepare for my departure to home (2 days) and then to France on September 4.
I landed at Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport Friday, September 5th in the morning, then departed to the French Grand Prix Division 1 in Quiberon in the Metz triathlon team van for another six hours of traveling. Along the way, I met new, very friendly teammates from several countries, a great help to make the time pass more quickly, thanks to some awesome discussions (and a job as the team translator) 🙂 The pre-race feeling was yet again good!
After a great swim start, I settled in the lead group quite comfortably, had almost no contact with other swimmers before the buoys and got out of the water in 8th place (in front of some rather known names as Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee, Henry Schoeman, Vincent Luis). A good first transition allowed me to embark on the bike in the top 5-6, but unfortunately, the shoe decides otherwise and drops to the ground. I turn around, strap it back on my feet, but again I struggle to clip the shoe on my pedal! A couple of unsuccessful attempts were needed to clip bakc on, but a couple of precious seconds were lost and I found myself in a small group behind the big first peloton. We fortunately proceeded to catch up at the very end of the first lap. I then proceed to stay in the top 10-15 of the 39-man group, staying in the safe zone while attacks were coming from every side. On the last lap, finding myself in third wheel, I jumped to a small group of attackers, but it resulted in an unsuccessful breakaway attempt. I entered T2 in top 10, but manage to miss the Metz triathlon box… I turn around as quickly as possible, then ram my way, counter-current, to our transition area, which meant I started out onto the run course almost last of my pack. I managed to do a decent run and finished in 28th position in my second French Grand Prix ever. Unfortunately, on the team rankings, our men’s team placed 15th, meaning that the point gap between relegation and 13th spot got even bigger. Nevertheless, it was yet again an awesome and fun experience, I definitely enjoyed the entire team’s company!
With that being said, many thanks to you for following my journey as an elite triathlete! Special mentions to Nineteen, Eload, Trimes, Power2max, my coach Kyla Rollinson and my parents for their immensly appreciated support.