My Weekend in Stockholm…
August 28th, 2012 by Clare
I’ve just come home from an exciting weekend in Stockholm, Sweden. It’s a new flag for me which is always nice, I love to travel somewhere new as sport usually takes me on multiple, almost cloned visits to the same locations. I thought that Stockholm was beautiful place, however it’s extremely expensive and definitely far fewer blondes as I expected!?
I was in Stockholm for another World Series race but also on Sunday competing again in the Triathlon World Relay Championships. It’s a an event in the next Commonwealth Games and hopefully, fingers crossed in Rio if they get it. Training had been going pretty well before this one so I was thinking I was in the shape to pull a decent one out of the bag. The course was really cool, taking us up and down a steep, cobbled hill that also led to the finish but in total 60% of the course was cobbled, there were many while lines and sharp turns so if wet this bike course would be very challenging! I had a really bad race, my swim was well below par and I spent most of the time getting beaten up, although I was actually in a competitive position. I jumped on my bike and something didn’t seem quite right, I was cornering really badly, couldn’t sprint well and was almost a hazard to the other athletes on the course because I couldn’t hold my line. After the first lap I began to realise that my back wheel was working it’s way loose and sure enough after hitting a cobble my wheel actually popped out for a second! I can’t tell you how nervous I was riding on that course with a wheel that’s not fixed to my bike. In the end I rode as hard as I possible could and managed to hold the guys in front at 12 seconds on my own but I got off the bike and I was totally stuffed from the effort and I crossed the line with my worst ever result of 40th!
Luckily for me I had another chance to redeem myself. I worked hard on my recovery that night taking in my Multipower protein recovery shake and bar, went for a long cool down and the next day we were back at it! In our team we had Vicky Holland leading us off, myself in second, Non Stanford in third and fresh from his bronze in London Olympics, Johnny Brownlee. It’s obviously a strong team but we were certainly not the only ones so it was always going to be a big fight. The weather had been terrible the whole day so we were all aware that we had to be very careful about crashing out and causing harm to ourselves and also in the process letting the team down. We came off the first leg in 14th, still in touch but definitely some work to be done. I felt pretty good out there and put in the 2nd best split to claw us back 8 places. Non also put in a brilliant performance to take another 4 athletes handing over to Johnny Brownlee in 2nd place. Germany started the wave with a 25 second head start on us and for a while it was definitely a tall order to win this now. Johnny is a total class act though and put in an incredible performance to cross the line in first just ahead of a very talented French Team. I was really proud of the team, everyone put in their very best performance and we came out on top, we certainly put on a show and won it the exciting way that’s for sure and I hope we get to compete in this at Olympic level one day!
I was disappointed to read about the Lance Armstrong case, I did put something up on my twitter account the other day and I discovered that many people have very different opinions about the subject and it certainly made for interesting reading. I do believe that we still live in a world where you’re innocent till proven guilty and I don’t know if Lance Armstrong took drugs or not but at the end of the day they have nothing on him apart from a bunch of athletes who can’t be trusted, testifying against him. This could never end, he’ll probably never be able to prove his innocence, a crazy amount of money will be spent on this case and I’m pretty he’s not happy to be living his life like this moving from injunction to injunction. I think he’s probably got a very close circle of friends and family, an incredible cancer foundation and probably quite a nice house and I think he’s happy to just let it all go now and let people believe what they want to believe. I don’t know all the facts, I’m sure there is more to it that there seems and at the moment I don’t think anyone knows the right or wrong answer because there is no evidence. I’m sure there are plenty of other dirty athletes to pick on instead, maybe investigate NFL for example?