WHITE HOLDS POSITION
In the Elite Men’s sprint distance, an unexpectedly large group of 28 athletes managed to stay together on the bike, without the climb on course breaking it up. This meant it came right down to the five kilometre run to decide the placings.
In his third race in three weeks Russell White was just off the lead group after the swim which, as he describes, made things difficult on the bike;
“That resulted in a lot of chasing which always put me on the back foot, which I didn’t need today with terrain and the course – a hard hill three times.”
White was in a chase pack early on the bike but didn’t manage to make contact with the large lead group.
“I was in contention the first lap but just burnt too many matches to get up there and suffered on the second lap, missed the group and that was the end of the day.”
The two lap run course divided the field further, with White running well to finish in 45th.
“I ran ok which I didn’t do in Lisbon so that was one positive”
Initial analysis suggests that today’s result won’t affect White’s position on the Olympic simulation rankings and so he remains in place, with a potential two more races before qualification closes.
“That’s three races down out of the five that are counted for qualification before Olympic qualification closes and somehow, even though I haven’t had a good result yet, I’m still in contention. The fact that the races are so stacked and the fields are so strong at the minute, people are really struggling to get those points that they need coming from behind.”
Russell’s next race is at AJ Bell 2021 World Triathlon Championship Series Leeds on Sunday, 6th June. Leeds will be a stacked field with many of the best in the world racing with Tokyo in mind. White will be aiming for a solid performance to take the pressure off the last race of this campaign.
“I can’t be defensive and hold this slot, I need to start attacking. That has been the mindset of what I’ve been trying to do but I haven’t fulfilled it.”
“Hopefully I’ll put out a performance that will make me a bit safer going into the very last race, that’s the main aim.”
MANTHEY AIMS TO BUILD ON LISBON PERFORMANCE
Ian Manthey carried an injury picked up during swim familiarisation into today’s race, which ultimately affected his ability to produce enough power on such a tough course.
Speaking after the race Ian outlines how he was feeling, and how his race went;
“I’m glad this wasn’t my first race of the season because I injured my sacro-iliac joint yesterday. We worked on it a bit and the pain was manageable. The swim was good until I got to the first buoy and I got a bit smashed, my goggles got dislodged and I lost a lot of ground.”
After losing the pack on the first climb, Ian Manthey completed the 20k bike solo, finding it difficult to make up ground he “did a hard training run, and we move on to the next race”. Manthey finished the day in 48th spot.
Next for Ian Manthey is the 2021 World Triathlon Cup Huatulco in mid-June;
“I’m going home, training a bit and then hope to be heading to the next World Cup event in Huatulco, Mexico to build on the performance from Lisbon and show what I’ve got.”
MECHANICAL PROBLEMS FOR MAEVE GALLAGHER
Maeve Gallagher has said she will be leaving today’s event full of confidence and was thrilled with her swim performance.
Gallagher showed strong form in the Elite Women’s event today, and was well positioned until a mechanical on the bike halted her progress. Showing her resilience after an unlucky turn of events, Gallagher powered through once she was back on the bike and gave her all on the run to finish in 45th.
Speaking after the race, Gallagher summed up;
“I came out of the swim in the second pack about 30 seconds off. I was delighted because usually I’m coming out of the swim just a bit further back and I’m chasing. I’d say I’d the swim of my life!”
“It was a really tough bike course but I loved it. I was in probably the third chasing group and we were moving really well. Third time coming to the bottom of the hill my chain came off so not ideal. I got it back on eventually but the groups were gone so I just finished out the race, did the best I could on the run.
Smiling, Maeve concluded; “There’ll be another day, there’ll be another day.”
Her second race in as many weeks, Maeve has been building valuable experience in just her second season as a senior athlete and is already seeing improvements in her swimming;
“I’m going to leave this race behind me, take the confidence from the swim because I’m delighted with my swim, it’s finally just improving.”
“The next race should be the Europeans in two or three weeks time, in Austria. So I’m going to go into that race with full confidence and hopefully luck will be on my side.”