This weekend was the end of a big block of racing that started three months ago. The last couple of weeks have been a bit up and down. I raced in Geneva two weeks ago, at the European AG Championships. I ended up having a rough time when the airline lost my bike and all my kit on the flights over. I spent every day leading up to the race chasing my bike around Geneva, racking up a huge phone bill and riding the bus to and from the airport instead of looking at the course and enjoying the city. I finally got everything the afternoon before the race. I had to get my race head on in a matter of hours, changing mindsets on the spot, which threw me a bit. I lined up on the start line a bit frazzled, not expecting a huge amount but was going to race as hard as I could and see what happened. I had a difficult swim, finding it hard to focus and concentrate. I had a solid bike and run. Disappointed with my result, I set off on the bike into the mountains around lake Geneva for a few hours. I flew back the next day ready to start afresh and put the race behind me, but use the experience to help me in the future.
Racing in Geneva. Thanks to Dan Guerrero for the Photo
Castle Howard, thanks Colin Dilcock for the photo
My final race in July was Castle Howard 70.3, the third race in the six-race Castle Series. The Castle Series team hosted a fantastic race in a stunning location. I travelled up with Max Hazell on the Saturday, as he was to be racing the Olympic distance on the same day. The ground at Castle Howard features a large lake where we would complete the swim before heading out onto a hilly two-lap bike course, followed by an off road half marathon to finish.
We started just as the sun burnt off the morning mist. I had an ok swim but still lost 5mins to the first guy out of the water. After a trouble free T1 I was out on the bike and keen to regain my swim deficit. I set to work and passed a few guys in the first 10km working my way up to 5th. The riders ahead were a bit more difficult to catch. In the last couple of kilometers of lap one I caught sight of Matt Dewis on the crest of a climb. I worked my way up to him and past but had a bit of a battle trying to get clear and out of sight. In doing so I worked my way up to 3rd on the road. I passed the guy in second but never managed to get away from him, coming into T2 with only a few seconds advantage. Going hard out of T2 I managed to finally get away and didn’t see him again until the finish. All I had to do now was catch the present leader. After 3km I passed him and took the lead. I settled into a good pace completing the 21km run in 1hr18, winning the race with an 11min 55sec lead, one of my best performances yet.
Making the overtake on Dewis, thanks Colin Dilcock for the photo
Thanks to everyone at the Castle Series for putting on a brilliant race, a chilled atmosphere, tough course, slick organization.
Thanks to my sponsors Colin Lewis Cycles, Pedal Potential, Le Col, Huub, JWCT, Pulsin and new sponsors coming on board Cervelo and OTE. A huge thank you to Luke Watson for all the work he has put in so far.
Next up, Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Zell am See, Austria at the end of August.