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Tom's Rodgers Report
CBD Cycles - 02/03/2015
Since stepping up to racing in the open or elite category I’ve found that there is a big difference in the swim compared to racing as an age grouper. There seems to be a lot of ex swimmers or just very talented swimmers that make it a much more important part of the race especially in the flatter courses as the 12m draft zone allows a great advantage when in a group so if you cannot swim front pack it makes it very hard as the guys up the road will often work together unless you are on a challenging course such as this course in Warrnambool. In Geelong 3 weeks ago I made the mistake of riding very hard over the first 30 minutes to try and catch the front group that were 70 seconds down the road, averaging just under 330 watts for that section which is 20-30 watts more than I would average for a half ironman. Over the second half of that bike I paid the price and certainly was not in a position to run well. Some may say it was a bad decision but I see it as one that has bettered my ability and knowledge as a young athlete with little experience and although it did not pay off that day, on another day it may have been a different result.

After having such a great time in Warrnambool last year I was certainly going to come back to defend my title. This time having a lot of my close mates racing made the journey and the weekend much more entertaining. Race morning came and I knew that the swim was going to be tough with a number of pro’s making the trip to Warrnambool to compete. Initially the front pack split in two as some went right and some went left as we headed towards the bridge but luckily I was sitting on Monty Frankish’s feet and he managed to bridge the gap back up to Luke Bell and Alex Polizzi. At the 1km turn around there was a group of 6 that stayed together as we swam back to transition. The group contained Alex, Lachie Kerin, Monty, Leigh Strabyla, Luke and myself.

Once we headed out onto the bike the real race began as Monty decided to take it up the road. Finishing the first 20km lap and Monty had about 100m on me which I was hoping to real back over the next lap but Monty did not like the idea of that and picked up the pace once again putting 30 seconds into me on lap two and probably another 30 seconds into me over lap three. By the end of the fourth lap I think I was about 80 seconds down on Monty and hoping that I would be able to outrun him. We both had identical Giant Trinitys so on the day he just had better legs.

Starting the run I knew I was about 6 minutes ahead of Lachie and Luke so I thought that unless I fell apart on the run it was hopefully a race between two. Over the first 10km I felt good and got within approximately 1 minute of Monty but he was just too strong and went on to win by about 1-2 minutes I think. Leigh had a great run to finish 3rd just ahead of Lachie. Congratulations to Monty as he raced very well and really put it to the rest of us in what was a very fair race.

Thanks to David McIntyre and his team for putting on a great event down in Warrnambool once again. Also to my family and friends that made the trip over to support me thanks so much. For now it’s back to the drawing board to figure out what needs to be done to compete with the big dogs at Batemans Bay and Busso 70.3 which are 4 and 8 weeks away respectively.