I went into New Orleans hoping to turn things around after a disappointing flat tire in Texas. Unfortunately the swim got cancelled due to a little bit of rough weather. Back home that would have been laughed at. The race organizers decided to do a time trial start with 30 second spacing between each athlete. I really feel sorry for Terenzo, who had to go off first. He got the raw deal. Luckily for me, I had a good mate racing who just happened to have a trainer in the car with him. I managed to get the bike set up on the trainer and warm up before the start. It proved to be a bit hit for everyone else. Should have charged 10% of the winnings. I would have had a good day.
Once again, the winds were blowing hard, which seems to be the thing for this year. I really hit the first few miles hard and everything was going well until I messed up and went straight through the turn. Long story short, I need to enroll myself back in triathlon rookie school. That was the dumbest thing I’ve done in the race since grabbing the wrong transition bag in the 2009 world championships. By the time I got back on the course, I’d lost about 50 seconds and missed getting onto the front group. I spent the next 10 miles swearing at myself. After I finally cooled off, I set my sights on pulling back the time I’d lost. About half way, Sebastian Kienle came past on the bike – well I think it was him because it was so damn fast. It was more like a flash. I knew that was my chance to pull back some time if I was able to go with him. I managed to stay with him for the next 5-6 miles (not drafting).
Coming into transition, I didn’t really know what position I was in as everyone’s times were different. My legs were feeling good on the run. I could see Van Lierde, so I set my sights on chasing him. Once I caught him, I could see TO was struggling a little bit from his race the week before. I had a little bit of a cramping problem between mile 11-12. In that time, I see Barney was catching me and I knew he had started 1 min behind me in the time trial. I really pushed the last mile hard to try and keep the time to 1 min. In the end, I ended up having a great run and finished 4th. It was good to finally feel good on the run. Congrats to Sebastian Kienle for one of the best bike performances I’ve seen in a long time.