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December Race Wrap Up

With my first key race of the season at the Future ChampioNZ Triathlon Festival my form was tracking nicely. The race took place from the 15th to the 17th. Each event counted towards an overall time for the weekend with three events plus a team relay for fun. Day one had a lemans style criterium with a 300 meter run either side of the bike to put a triathlon style spin a race favoured for the strong bike riders. From start to finish the race didn’t really go my way. Straight off the start line my heel was stood on ripping one of my shoes off. I hesitated whether or not I stop for my shoe before carrying on, losing enough time before jumping on my bike to miss the front four boys. I ended up in a two-up time trial in an effort to chase the four boys up the road. Just as we came off the bike we had bridged the gap to 2 of the riders but in the heat of the moment I dismounted my bike late and faced a 15 second penalty which was more than enough for the boys around me to beat me to the line. I finished up 6th in my heat but 18th overall.

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I headed into the second event with extra motivation. The race was a 400m pool swim followed by a 750 meter run two times through. On paper it was going to be the weaker event for me with no cycling and such short runs between swims. Despite this I improved on my result from the criterium and moved up some spots to 16th.

Reuben Athlete blog

The grand final triathlon was the key race of the weekend with double points up for grabs. With a breakthrough swim I came out of the water only 50 seconds down on the leaders. The bike course was very technical and hilly. I nearly bridged the gap to the front group only 8 seconds up the road. My run was good but not great, but I made up a few places to finish in the 7th. Enough for 10th in the series points for the weekend.

Reuben Athlete blog

I’ve since had some time back home in Queenstown and raced at the local Lake Hayes Triathlon.  After a really big week of training I just felt drained from start to finish to finish one spot off the podium in the U20 boys race and 5th overall. However I’m happy with where I’m at as 2017 draws to a close and look forward to 2018 and my lofty goals ahead.

Reuben Athlete blog

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November Race Wrap Up

This month I have continued progressing towards the Future ChampioNZ Tri Fest to be held in Taupo mid-December, with more speed work and specificity in my training. As well as racing at the Te Awamutu Summer Series races every Tuesday night I also raced at the New Plymouth Round the Mountain Run relay and at the Tinman Sprint Tri this month.  

My best result at the TA summer series came Week 7 on the 21st. A breakaway of 5 riders including myself got all the way to the line and I managed to (poorly) sprint to 4th in the open A grade. These races have been an important session of the week building my speed on the bike. I also went down to New Plymouth to race for Team Body Logic in the round the mountain relay. My leg was 5.2 km long. We mixed between first and second for a long time before a mishap in one of the legs put us back a few minutes and we never made up that time. After over 9 hours of running the team finished in 2nd. 

My season opener triathlon was the Sprint Race at the Tinman triathlon at Mt Maunganui. After an average swim I managed to ride myself back up to 2nd place overall with the fastest bike split. On the run I battled for 2nd place for around 4km but couldn’t quite match the pace. Still nudging the 2nd fastest run split however, I finished in 3rd overall. Since the race I have already made some big changes to my open water swimming and am working lots to improve it so I can be closer to the front of the race for the bike and the run.

Looking forward to coming back to Queenstown for a couple of weeks, in late December and racing in the Lake Hayes & Lake Dunstan Tri’s.

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October Race Blog

October has been another wicked month of progression coming into summer. I raced the Yunca Junior Tour of Southland, Calder Stewart Elite Series Hell of The South and have begun racing the Te Awamutu Summer Series on Tuesday nights.

 

The Yunca Junior Tour gave me more good time on the bike to build strength and gain experience. I featured in major breakaways on stages 2,3 and 6 to gain myself points towards Sprint Ace and KOM. Unfortunately on Stage 4 I missed a key breakaway which featured 6 really strong boys. The bunch never brought them back and these 6 boys all got up on me on the General Classification. My GC position in the end was 7th although I came away with 2nd on the longest stage and finished top 5 in Sprint Ace and top 10 in KOM. 

 

The Hell Of The South in Christchurch was EPIC. 144km with eight gravel sections. About 75km into the race I went down in a crash with several other riders. I got back on my bike and made it back to the bunch but on the second to last gravel section I was dropped from the main bunch as it split up. I finished 2nd U17, 16th U19 and 39th overall out of a 86 man field. The gravel sections were a new experience for me and they proved really hectic. There were riders crashing and puncturing all over the place. 

 

I’ve also begun racing on Tuesday nights at the Te Awamutu summer series. We have already had guys like XC MTB U23 World Champ Sam Gaze turn up to race which gives me a good opportunity to put myself in the box and get lots of quality training out of it. 

 

My swimming and running are coming along nicely. Really looking forward to my first triathlon of the season on the 19th of November with the Tinman Tri in Tauranga.

 

Yunca Time Trial

Hell of the South

Yunca Stage 3

Yunca Stage 4

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October Race Blog

October has been another wicked month of progression coming into summer. I raced the Yunca Junior Tour of Southland, Calder Stewart Elite Series Hell of The South and have begun racing the Te Awamutu Summer Series on Tuesday nights.

 

The Yunca Junior Tour gave me more good time on the bike to build strength and gain experience. I featured in major breakaways on stages 2,3 and 6 to gain myself points towards Sprint Ace and KOM. Unfortunately on Stage 4 I missed a key breakaway which featured 6 really strong boys. The bunch never brought them back and these 6 boys all got up on me on the General Classification. My GC position in the end was 7th although I came away with 2nd on the longest stage and finished top 5 in Sprint Ace and top 10 in KOM. 

 

The Hell Of The South in Christchurch was EPIC. 144km with eight gravel sections. About 75km into the race I went down in a crash with several other riders. I got back on my bike and made it back to the bunch but on the second to last gravel section I was dropped from the main bunch as it split up. I finished 2nd U17, 16th U19 and 39th overall out of a 86 man field. The gravel sections were a new experience for me and they proved really hectic. There were riders crashing and puncturing all over the place. 

 

I’ve also begun racing on Tuesday nights at the Te Awamutu summer series. We have already had guys like XC MTB U23 World Champ Sam Gaze turn up to race which gives me a good opportunity to put myself in the box and get lots of quality training out of it. 

 

My swimming and running are coming along nicely. Really looking forward to my first triathlon of the season on the 19th of November with the Tinman Tri in Tauranga.

 

Yunca Time Trial

Hell of the South

Yunca Stage 3

Yunca Stage 4

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September Wrap Up

September Wrap Up

by Reuben Thompson- Ambassador

I raced twice this month with those races both being Cycling New Zealand Schools races. The first was the Northern Schools tour which had National Titles up for grabs in the Hill Climb and the Time Trial. The race also had a criterium. I really didn’t feel myself the whole weekend and really struggled across all events. In the time trial and hill climb I only just sneaked top twenty results. The criterium went a little better as I managed to get away solo and pick up some intermediate sprint points to bring up my result on GC before being caught by the bunch and finishing 10th in the bunch kick. The points I got lifted my GC place a wee bit and I finished 15th for the weekend. 

 

My second race was the New Zealand Secondary Schools Road National Champs. There were two events I was competing in across the weekend, those being a road race and a points race. For both these races I felt considerably better than I had at the Northern Tour. In the road race I gave it a crack a few times to get in a breakaway but it seemed like to many boys had the same idea and nothing was going to stick. It then finished in a bunch kick for the line. With 100m to go I was well positioned for a top 10 finish but some Under 20 girls we were passing got in my way and instead of braking I tried to go round them on the grass verge. I then hit a reflector marker on the side of the road and nearly ate it. I then finished in 25th. The following day was a points race. I made a break of three riders and picked up some sprint points on the 4th lap. I couldn’t repeat that in anymore sprints but had a good final sprint at the end to put me in 8th. 

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