by Reuben Thompson- Ambassador
"February was a real breakthrough"
with some pretty spectacular performances as my form is starting to show going into the final month of my Tri season. I started the month with two A Grade club race wins two weekends in a row. The worst race was up coronet peak where I won by several minutes. I then won again the following week after attacking on a sharp hill with about 3km to the finish and held my advantage all the way to the end.
I had two of my more important races of the season on the 18th and the 24th. The 18th was the Wanaka Round of the New Zealand 16-19 junior series. Having only turned 16 three days prior I was one of the youngest in the field. After a pretty trashy swim I was around 2 minutes down on the leaders. Then I had my work cut out on the bike where I rode the fastest bike split by a minute to get into 5th. My run was a really good one. Got from 5th to finish on the podium in 3rd.
On the 24th was the Southland Secondary Schools Champs. I had a relatively good swim coming out 28 seconds down. My bike and run were really quick and I biked over two minutes faster than my nearest competitor and then over one minute faster in the run to take the win.
February 26th was the first round of the Calder Stewart Elite series held in Cheviot. The course was 137km with one very steep climb to face 5 times throughout the day.
"I was the youngest rider racing and the only under 17 racing against seasoned pros like James Oram and Brad Evans."
The first 2 laps were fine as I rolled along in the group saving energy but halfway through the third lap I got a bit excited and jumped on the gas a bit on the climb and then rolled some hard turns on the flats. This took its toll on the final lap when I blew up a bit and fell off the back of the bunch to ride the final 20km solo. I am still happy to have finished as the tough course whittled the field down from 80+ starters to 43 finishers. It really was a valuable experience and a lot of learning done out there.
I was also pretty cool to be riding as a team in our rather slick looking kit from Champion System, Central Benchmakers, The O'Brien Group and Willbike Cycle Coaching. And as ever thanks to Specialized Bicycles, Outside Sports and Southern Sports Podiatry for the continual support.