Louise Bardsley yet again demonstrates her racing prowess at the Steyning Sprint Tri and this is what she had to say…
The Steyning Sprint was my first Triathlon of the year, my first for Team TORQ, and my first time out on the eye-catching TORQ-ed up Wilier Twinfoil.
It was a great confidence boost to win the Women’s race by almost 4 minutes, and in fact only get beaten by 6 men! The organisers, Raw Energy Pursuits, described it as the most impressive performance of the day – a nice accolade to have been given since there were 4 races on the day.
The day did not begin in such a positive manner. We woke up to see persistent-looking rain, and temperatures of around 5 or 6 degrees. Still – I reminded myself – these were pretty much the conditions most of us have been training in all spring and it would be the same for all involved.
On the start line I was fairly nervous – the swim was an unknown quantity for me as I hadn’t raced in a pool for 2 years. In fact I hadn’t done any swim racing since my last tri in September. I was interested to see if all of my winter work in the pool and gym had paid off. Indeed it had – I was very happy to knock a chunk off my PB with a split of 6:10 for 400m; giving me the fastest ladies swim of the day.
Like most people, I had a relatively slow T1 as I needed to put on a jacket and gloves. Definitely a good call though as I just about managed to stay warm on the bike. I was eager to see how the Twinfoil fared on its maiden voyage – mainly I was hoping the aerodynamics would live up to the hype. The bike was certainly attracting a lot of attention in transition, and got a compliment over the PA system as I headed out onto the course! Unfortunately it/I had to stop to allow a car to pass before taking the first right turn. I hadn’t even managed to get my feet in my shoes. Minor delay aside it was soon up to high speed.
The bike route was a perfect TT course for a test run, taking in a series of undulating main roads; with nothing more technical than two turnaround roundabouts. (A few tweaks to the setup here and there and hopefully it will get even faster!)
Once off the bike (via a minor deviation – going the wrong way into transition – and after wrestling off my wet bike jacket) it was on to my favourite part of the race – the run. Triathlon running seems so much less painful than the second run of a Duathlon! The course was a reasonably hilly and twisty route through the centre of the village of Steyning, which suited me well. This was my best element of the day with a run time almost 3 minutes clear of the second fastest lady.
It was a great feeling crossing the finish line with the announcer saying that I had broken the hour and taken the lead in the womens’ race.’
It also got a mention on the Tri247 web site – www.tri247.com
All pro snaps courtesy of Raw Energy Pursuits – www.rawenergypursuits.co.uk
Many thanks to our fantastic sponsors:
www.wilier.it – Triathlon Frames
www.ffwdwheels.com – Aero Wheels
www.ritcheylogic.com – Aerobars, Saddles and Finishing Kit
www.cycleops.com – Power Meters
www.racezone3.com – Wetsuits
www.limarhelmets.com – Helmets & Glasses
www.lakecycling.co.uk – Cycling Footwear
www.jagwireusa.com – Cables & Housing
www.scott-sports.com – Running Footwear
www.shimano.com – Groupsets
www.triathlonspecific.com/Sable/Sable.html – Swim Goggles (Sable Water Optic)
www.max-mediagroup.co.uk – Team PR
www.amphibia-sport.com – Transition Bags
www.schwalbe.com – Tyres
www.lezyne.com – Pumps, Tools and Bottle Cages
www.champ-sys.com – Custom Trisuits and Cycle Wear