A Beginning To My Journey
Updated: Jul 22, 2022
Following 6 crazy months and a less than ideal Australian triathlon season, the trip to Spain had begun. After 3 not-so-quick flights and many hours in airports, I found myself at the beginning of my European triathlon journey. A naïve young man on the other side of the world.
Once we arrived in beautiful Vitoria-Gasteiz my excitement swiftly turned into disappointment as I had my first experience of my bike being broken in travel. After a small heart attack when being told that the part I needed was on 3 months backorder (luckily resolved by a squad mate bringing one over from Aus) I was in full swing in sunny Spain.
Beautiful scenery, amazing pools, and lakes, millions of trails to explore and it only takes 10min to be out in the mountains from the centre of town. If I was to describe Vitoria-Gasteiz in a word that would be breath-taking.
After barely a week in Vitoria-Gasteiz I found myself in a new country, ITALY, what a crazy life. Being my first European race nerves and expectations were high. Years of watching European competitions back in Australia had hyped me up for this moment.
The trip started the same as most others, with the typical police van escort with Richard Murry to the race hotel. Okay, that might have been a bit random even for me. Once arrived I started to realise my triathlon paradise wasn't what I expected. We were dropped off in an absolute ghost town. There are 2 parts of Carole, the people area and the tourist area, we were in the tourist area in the off-season. After walking down to our hotel and spending almost an hour finding the lovely penthouse room we finely settled in. After 2 days in Carole, it came the morning of the race and the first signs of life appeared in the streets.
Coming off the back of the Australian season my confidence wasn't high but my ego seemed to fill that void. The race began with an over-excited kid sprinting in and maxing the swim to find myself 15sec clear of the next person. After a solid transition and a strong first lap of the bike, I found myself in a pack of 6 other junior boys. With only 7 guaranteed into the finals on Saturday, I was sitting in prime position. We managed to get a 35sec gap on the rest of the boys and after a quick transition and a solid first kilometre, it allowed for the boys to jog it in.
After a solid hit out on Friday I was pumped and ready to rip it. Another strong swim put me up the road in a pack of 5 for the first lap before unfortunately we were caught and the whole field came together. After a couple of sketchy laps and a poor run, I came to the end of my first ever European triathlon experience. Disappointed with the result, but I had learned so much.
I had been so keen to race overseas and in a blink of an eye it had happened and was over. My first ever European race experience. What an experience. I was keen to get back to Spain and continue my European experience.