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Bendan Sexton World Cup Win
CBD Cycles - 13/05/2011
Last weekend marked the beginning of my international campaign for 2011 when I race in the Monterrey world cup in Mexico. After a strong start to the year at home in Aus I wasn't sure how I would hold up after travel and in hot conditions but in the end I was not disappointed.
I travelled to Mexico from Scottsdale, Arizona where I had spend several days acclimatizing. The desert heat was something new to me and was a good lead into what was sure to be very warm south of the border.
Come race day I was rested and ready to go. I was able to take confidence wearing number 1 with the reminder of form and the work I had put in through the summer at home.
The 1500m swim took place in a winding decorative canal which for the most part was only around 6 meters across. This caused a very physical start as once canal narrowed positions were established and it was difficult to move around others. I was happy to finish such a swim in the front half of the group going into transition.
The bike was based on a car racing circuit which meant it was fast but technical with many tight corners backing into once another. The group came together and my priority was to stay as near as possible to the front of the 50 strong peloton to reduce the likelihood of being caught up in a crash. Unfortunately even this strategy didn't work and in a sharp right-hander in the 6th of 8 laps I touched the wheel of a bike in front as we decelerated and couldn't avoid hitting the deck. Several others came down around and luckily most of us were going to slow to do any real damage. I was able to get to my feet and back on the road before the bunch had gotten away. A crash was unlucky for more than one reason as this was my maiden voyage on my Parlee Z5 after officially joining the Parlee team last week. Luckily no severe damage and the bike was flying as normal.
Adrenaline now pumping double I moved through the group and recovered my position as we transitioned to the run.
By now the temperature had really picked up (at least it felt like it out on the road!) and I knew I had to run smart as a small group of quality runners formed at the front with me. It was a matter of wait and see and just before we entered the fourth and final lap a Swiss athlete made a move on what remained of the group. I saw the acceleration had splintered the pacesetters so I decided to counter the move and managed to pry a gap of a few seconds. For another km I stretched the gap out and then held it to the line for my first ever world cup victory, also my best result to date.
I'm extremely happy to be able to overcome seasoned athletes such as Fred Belaubre (2nd) and Hunter Kemper (3rd) especially in such an important year leading into London 2012.
Im now off to France and our training base in Spain for some solid work leading into Madrid WCS in a couple of weeks.