NEW Forest Cycling Club triathlete Tony Rendall returned to Hampshire all fired up to start training for next year’s World Championship after taking 14th place in the 35 to 39-year-olds’ men’s Sprint World’s in New Zealand.
The competition was won by GB teammate Phil Holland in 1hr 5min and 53sec from another UK competitor, Ian le Pelley who clocked 1-16-16 for second.
Tony was the third GB counter in 14th with an aggregate time of 1-10-21 (12-00 for the swim, 32-55 for the bike competition and 18-55 for the run, against Holland’s 12-14, 31-01 and 16-48 and le Pelley’s 10-29, 32-29 and 17-31).
In an email Tony said: “After what was not really an ideal race build up (I couldn’t train for a couple of weeks due to a back injury/infection) I made it to Auckland, New Zealand for the two week event.
“Having never raced at the finals of the World Champs before I didn’t really appreciate how big this was, until I arrived!
“There were nearly 50 countries represented from all over the world and it seemed like the whole of Auckland was taken over by triathletes. In the week before the race, you couldn’t go anywhere without seeing finely tuned athletes running or cycling up and down the streets of the city on some of the most expensive time trial bikes I’ve ever seen. It was almost surreal.
“We also had opening ceremonies and parades of nations with thousands of athletes marching through the streets, which really made it feel like a lifetime experience.
“I managed to get a few days training in the week before the race but everybody’s biggest worry was the weather and in particular the wind. I’d taken very deep carbon wheels with me and this was looking like a bit of a mistake. The bike course had three very steep technical descents which were being made particularly dangerous by the wind and rain. If it wasn’t enough to race at this level the conditions were really adding to the tension.
“Race day came and amazingly the rain had stopped. The wind was still there but it was just about within the deep rim riding limits, so no wheel restrictions were given by the race officials.
“All the streets on the harbour side of the city had been completely closed as well as over 25km of sea front roads.
“The build-up before the race was quite intense and longer than any race I’d done before. I could hear the guy on the tannoy talking about the race and particular athletes, and this really got the adrenaline pumping.
“The gun went for the start of my wave and it was soon apparent that this was going to be one hell of a quick race.
“I would say I’m a pretty strong swimmer but it turned out that so were 70-80 guys around me! I came out of the water and started the bike leg in 20th position and set about trying to catch the guys in front while managing the windy conditions.
“By the end of the bike leg I was up to around 16th position with just the fast run through the harbour ahead. This turned out to be probably the hardest run I have ever done, but I managed to pick up another couple of positions to finish 14th in my first World Champ Finals.
“Overall I was pretty pleased with the way I raced, and being the third GB athlete home I automatically qualify for next year’s finals. I know now what I need to do to finish nearer the sharp end of the field, so I am starting to plan my training/racing for next year already.”
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