2015 ITU Elite Cross Triathlon World Championships-Carla van Huyssteen
The ITU Cross Triathlon in Sardinia Italy was the main focus race and highlight of 2015. All the hours in the pool, on the track and trainer all accumulated to this race. Having raced on the Island and race course before, I luckily knew what to expect of the conditions, and technical aspects of the route.
The course, a 1.5km (2x750m) sea swim, 32km (2x16km) MTB and 9.6km(3×3.2km) beach trail run on the eastern coastline of Sardinia in a small town called Cala Ginepro was a great venue, amazing crystal clear water, the bike route had a good combination of undulating riding, a few hard rocky climbs and descends and the beach run, half on the soft sand and half, luckily, on hard pack gravel around the campsite where the transition and finishing area was set up.
My race: I did not really know what to expect, but had done the work, hard training for weeks on end, so was hoping for at least a top 5 position. Not having raced many triathlons this season, but knowing many of the competitors I was facing, their strengths and weaknesses, did help guide my thoughts and create some strategy. My training under the guidance of Neil McPherson from Dynamic Coaching had come a long way, and I was quite nervous but excited to see the outcome of the hours of pain☺.
The race went pretty smoothly, with no real upsets or hick ups. I had a very descent swim, exiting the water in 3rd place, a slightly slow transition left me running out of T1 in 4th . Onto the bike I was caught and passed by another two girls. Luckily I managed to stick to the wheel of the 3rd girl, an Italian triathlete. We rode together all the way to T2, keeping the effort as high and smooth as possible. Running into the transition in 7th, I knew I had to make some ground if I was to get my top 5 spot. I had a quick T2 and passed the Italian in transition. My legs were quite heavy on the first lap, the sandy beach sections feeling like they took forever to pass, but luckily I kept pushing and started slowly but surely reeling in the 5th girl. On the last lap I caught sight of her, but it was with only about 800m to go that I was close enough to surge as fast as I could past her, and it did the trick. She could not respond and I ran over the line in 5th.
I am very happy with my race, I am happy that I stuck it out to the last meter. Obviously as always, it was quite exceptional to see the racing standard of the top step girls, clocking super-fast splits, something all the girls can aspire to.
Thank you Neil and Diana for all the support and helping me work my way to a great result at World Champs! Thank you to my sponser and team, Time Freight e-Team, for enabling me to race and compete at international events. Thank you Inov-8 and Pearl Izumi for some awesome kit, helping me look the part. And EAP active for the body “repair and conditioning”! A winning combination!