After a good hard race in Holten I arrived in Tiszaujvaros, Hungary for the World Cup. I settled in well and was just doing race preparations all week to get myself ready for a very fast sprint format event. A different format from usual, we raced in 3 Semi-Final heats and the best 8 plus the best placed 9th finisher qualified to race the final the next day, making a start list of just 25 athletes.
I was feeling sluggish and dead all week and I think it’s from eating a lot of bread and carbs, so on Friday I cut out bread completely and started feeling a difference already.
We raced at 16:40 so I had a wake up swim after breakfast and tried to relax in this heat during the day. It was very warm when I was busy warming up before the race and felt reasonably good.
We started with a start list of 27 athletes and the first 100m was a mad out sprint and I was caught in the middle of the bunch but found myself 3rd after the bouy and moved up to the front very quickly and kept the pace up high to maybe create a few splits in the field. I exited with the quickest time of the day with 8:32 for the swim.
On the bike a group of 7 athletes joined together, including RSA team mate Wian Sullwald, and started working very well together and made a 50 sec gap to the chase pack.
I didn’t have a good transition as I was last of the 7 athletes out of T2. I never quite found a rhythm and felt my legs weren’t ready. They just didn’t want to go fast. The last lap I pushed and gave everything when I saw two athletes passed me and I had to beat them to at least be placed 9th but they were sprinting and I could only hold on and not pass and finished in 11th in my heat.
My time of 54:46 gave me 26th placed on the day and some good ITU points! I am disappointed I was so close to making the final, and didn’t but it’s my first World Cup and was happy to soak in all the experience. I love fast racing like this, I feel like I am in my territory because I can swim hard and have athletes around me and make a break away.
I want to thank TSA and Lotto For giving me this opportunity to get this racing experience I really hope I get to do many more in future. I also want to thank my family and girlfriend once again for all the support back home.
I am leaving back for South Africa on Tuesday for a long 30 hours plus traveling time, but will be happy to be home and get into hard training again.