Eton Sprints weekend and European Sprint distance Qualifier for 2023

Having completed a race course reccie last weekend on my TT bike, I then found out that the qualifiers were going to be draft legal, and on the modified bike course (21.2km on the not so lush and smooth new tarmac), oh well!

I have never done a draft legal event so I was very excited about this but totally underprepared – my road bike has spent a winter covered in mud after using it for a bit of commuting. Thankfully amazon came to the rescue with a last minute order of bar tape. One enthusiastic 4 yr old child and a bucket of hot soapy water with a bit of elbow grease and it looked almost race ready!

Race day was wet and miserable – same as previous weekend race so felt well prepared for about race in the rain! Turning up for age group qualifier events I alwasy feel a complete rookie compared to the age group ‘speedsters’ who turn up, especially seeing all the lovely aero road bikes that people race on compared to my winter training bike!

Swim – 14:16, was pleased with this, but comparing it to last weeks personal worst it would not have been hard to improve on this – haha.

T1 – 1:40 knocked of a couple places on this, i’m quite proud of my transition times generally especially as I don’t even do ‘shoes on the bike’ which i must practice and start doing again for sprint races.

Bike – 37:26 for 21.2km. Very happy with this. Such good fun doing the draft legal format, however I need to be a faster swimmer to catch the faster cyclists as I ended up jumping from one set of cyclists to another only to get on the front and find I was pulling the group along, and when I sat on the back the pace was slower I wanted to be riding at. Oh well, swim work needed, but not surprise there!

T2 – 1:18 – uneventful, straight onto the run.

Run – 24:20 – what can i say, i haven’t run for almost 3 months as nursing a plantar plate tear so in fairness, although i need at least 2-3mins taken off this time to be competitive again i am just happy to got around a few sprint races whilst injured.

Overall i got yet another 1:18, consistent at least haha. Time puts me at 109% of my AG winner so still in with a shot of a qualification for Euros but not an automatic Q unfortunately.

Onwards and upwards – another sprint this weekend albeit an open road bike course and off road run so no records being broken but fun to get out there again for the 3rd weekend in a row!

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