Friday, September 24, 2010
Elite Nationals Preview
This weekend in Tuscaloosa, AL is the USAT Age group and elite national championships. I have been in town for two days now and the thing that has struck me the most is how supportive and friendly the town has been towards all the smelly, legg-shaved, ridiculous compression sock wearing triathletes that have bombarded this small southern college town. I think the Elite race will be fun and it is a big USAT event. However, I think this best part of this weekend will be the Age Group race. I would highly recommend people putting this race on their calendars for next year if they qualify. It is truely the best of the best in short course Age Group racing. The amatuers I have seen here have all the focus and drive of the pros I have seen at other races. In age group racing it is really difficult to know exactly how you “stack up” becuase racing is so regional. I think this is a great opportunity for age groupers to really get a sense of where they are competing on a national level. The age group race is also awesome becuase it goes off early in the morning and then they get to chill out and watch the elites suffer in the mid day heat if they want to.
Anyways, enough promotion. As far as the elite race goes, I am excited; this is my first ITU race so I really have no idea what to expect. The bike is 8 laps instead of 6, so that is a little rough on the “less fast” swimmers like myself becuase it makes it easier to “lap out” on the draft legal bike (you get pulled from the race if you get lapped by the front pack). However, there is also a descent hill on the course which should play to my advantage because I am a strong hill climber. My focus is really just to swim 100% and see what happens after that. My swimming keeps getting faster and faster each month so this will be a good benchmark. Draft legal racing seems to be a lot less predicitable and more reactive than non drafting racing. I am pretty comfortable with the tactics of road racing so I think I’ll know what to do whatever happens after the swim. It is going to be in the 90′s by the time we start at 12pm so that should affect the race significantly too. All the big names in short course triathlon are here this weekend, including 4 olympians from 2008 so it should be a great race up front. You can check it out on Versus TV channel on Oct 14 from 4-6pm with Tour de France announcer Craig Hammilton. Good luck to Brian Duffy who is racing the AG race this weekend- look for a seriously dominant performance from him, cant wait!!
Lastly, here is an interview I did with Competitor Magazine that came out yesterday if anyone is interested….thanks!
Off to practice a few more flying mounts…