ITU Cross Triathlon WCS Penticton / Canada

 After some relaxing of my last two races and some stressful weeks while travelling around in Europe I had to make some days off in the beautiful nature of Canada. I travelled around in Alberta, to Jasper National Park, to beautiful lakes like Lake Louise doing some hiking and relaxing in different places on different mountains. 

After a couple of days I started proper training again for the last race prep for the World Championship. I was training around Edmonton and Calgary. In Calgary I went to the former olympic park for some MTB technical trainings before heading on to Vancouver where I met a friend from Switzerland, Jan Pyott. We went together to Whistler Mountain to get some MTB training block done. After a couple of days and hundreds of amazing trails in Whistler we went to Penticton by car. We arrived there three days before the World Championship, we checked out the bike and run course when we arrived there and relaxed on the next day to get a little rest before the big event. On the last day before the race I activated myself with some fast sessions.

On Wednesday the 23rd the Elite Men started into the race. We had to swim only one big loop on this very big and beautiful lake. It was a little bit of waves and a lot of sunlight reflection in the water what made it a little bit hard to navigate. During the swim I realized that another athlete from Austria a teammate and very good friend of mine, Michael Szymoniuk, was swimming next to me. We exit the swim in the same moment and could race on the bike together.

The bikecourse started on a gravel road for 7km flat. We worked together with two other guys from Italy and the UK to get a fast start into the bike part. We reached the first climb together as a pack of four. After half way in we lost the first. About 2km before the top I started to attack and I managed to pass both of them and only my teammate could follow to the front, I increased the pace a little bit and managed to get a gap between us the the guy from the UK. Shortly before the downhill section we overtook some other guys and rode together like a train down back to the gravel road. Micky and I worked together again on our war back to get the final running duell.

In T2 I did a little mistake and pushed the handlebar of my bike into the fence which made me fall down over my bike. I got up again and tried to keep up again in T2. I am a very fast changer and came out first on position 12 now. Micky was suffering behind and had to take out some speed. I tried to catch up some places on the run as well, but the course was flat and fast, and not very easy to be faster than someone else. Some guys changed, but in the end I finished this World Championship on the 12th place. I beated my goal and this was the best I could do, I have never reached such a good position in a World Championship before.

 

Xterra Canmore / Canada

 The next big and very important event for me was the ITU Cross Triathlon World Championship in Penticton / Canada. Thats why I travelled there already 3 weeks before to get used to the country. There was this very nice Xterra Canmore race only one week after Romania and I wanted to race it as a final rehearsal for the World Championship 2,5 weeks later.

I travelled to Canada on thursday, checked out the course on friday and saturday and raced the Xterra Canmore on Sunday. I didnt expect a very good race, because all the travelling, time differences, the highth and the intense weeks before were quite hectic. When I did the preride of the course with my very good friend from South Africa, Aidan Nugent, I fall in love with these trails here immediately. It was such a great fun out there on the trails with the bear spray on the belt. Also the running course was super nice and flowy, even the swim in this very little lake was nice.

There were two different transitions, because the lake was a little less up in the mountains than the bike and running course. We had to swim three laps of 500m each because of the size of the lake. For me it was nice, because all the good swimmers couldnt swim that fast because of the shore leaves. I still felt very slow and thought of any top result. I told myself that I will only know this after the finish line and I never stopped pushing hard on the bike. When I caught up with the guys in front of me after a few kilometers I knew that this could be my race. I raced to the front and came to transition two in second position about one minute behind the lead with a gap of one minute to the third. 

I saw the guy in front of me and he seemed to me like almost dying. After about 2km into the run I was already on his heels. I relaxed a little bit behind him, but then I started my first attack. He didnt try to keep up with me, but I still had the feeling that someone is chasing me. I was running and running, and when I came to the second loop they told me the gap to the second place. It was already about one minute and even after the second lap it was about one minute. I couldnt believe it when I won my first victory in a Xterra World Tour race.

This place is awesome, and if I get the possibility I will definitely come back here again.