British Triathlon are currently making a few changes to try to develop the way our youth and junior athletes race and are selected to race in Europe. One area that has been developed in the gateway events, this gives the best young athletes in the country a chance to show where they are and if good enough, to then race in Europe. Llanelli in Wales was the first of super series races in 2016 and Hollie Hindley has given her thoughts on her race.
Llanelli Race report
For me this was my first big triathlon of the season and I was excited to see how I could perform. The event was in (sunny for once) Wales where I had competed the previous year so I knew what to expect from the course. I had just received a new wetsuit from Zone 3 and a new tri-suit from Kiwami so I was looking forward to testing out the new kit. This coupled with the fact that I had recently been having a good few weeks in training and racing I was enthusiastic and full of nervous energy.
The swim course had changed slightly with the addition of a beach start and consisted of 2 laps where you had to come out after the first lap much like the set up seen in ITU races which added to the excitement. Anticipating a better swim than usual, as I had been swimming well in the week and I hoped I had improved from last season, I wasn't too happy with my swim coming out around mid pack. I could see I was around the normal swimmers I come out with so I would have liked to come out a bit further ahead. This was not the case for my teammate Archie as he led the swim the whole way and came out with a 4 second lead which was a massive improvement to his 33rd out the water last year! Despite the swim I was in a focused mindset so I put it to the back of my head, a slick transition in my new wetsuit and I knew I had to have a strong bike to catch some girls up the road.
Almost immediately a group of about 3 of us formed, we worked together for a while and dropped a few girls from the swim. Throughout the bike we caught lots of riders to form a group of about 12 by lap 4, with one more lap to go. The course was quite technical with 3 dead turns per lap, which I made sure I positioned myself at the front of the group for which worked to my advantage, as the corners were fairly dodgy in the pack. I felt strong on the bike, felt I had rode well and by the end of the bike there were just 6 girls up the road, which put me in a good position for the run.
Not really knowing what to expect from the run I went off at a steady pace out of transition and a few girls came past me. However once I had found a nice rhythm I was able to pass them again. Looking back now I don’t feel I truly pushed myself out of my comfort zone on the run so this is something I know I need to work on in my next races. I was gradually gaining on one runner who I managed to pass about 100m before the end.
I broke away slightly but seemed to slow down a bit so she managed to stay on my heels which led to me being pipped to the finish line in a sprint finish. I came home in 8th place, which secured me a place in Kitzbuhel Junior European Cup!
Overall I was happy with my performance and enjoyed the day racing and supporting many of my teammates from Optima Racing Team and the London Academy who all finished in very respectable positions.
Archie-6th, Jake-11th, Aurel-27th.
Freya, Alice-8th, Issy-11th, Jenny-17th.
Greg-5th, Reef-7th, Zak-10th, Abel-18th, Michael-22nd.