East or West Weihai is best … so I was told.
June 14th, 2011 by Gavin
The translator assigned to me met me at the airport in Wiehai. She told me her ‘English’ name was Rita.
I told her my name was Gavin but recently I have liked to play a game when asked for a name to go with an order. I have collected pizzas, got into taxis and received orders using the names Rowdy Roddy Piper, Johnny Drama, Juan Pablo and my current favourite Alejandro. it amuses me cause i’m immature
For the rest of my stay in Weihai (I am not sure why) Rita called me Gabo.
Rita would look at me with both suspicion and intrigue … most of the time she and her friends would giggle at something I was wearing. At the opening meal Rita brought me some ‘thing’ and in front of a watching audience I sort of had to try it . . ’it’ being battered fish tongue . . . I spent the next 48hrs hours trying to get that bugger out of my system. That’s all I have to say about that.
The race :
30 degrees air temperature, 15 degree water. A good swim start and once again a breakaway in the swim. In all honestly it might be the easiest swim of my season – if you have a good start in a race like this it makes life much easier – stroking it out at your own pace, missing the energy sapping scrambling behind. A good swim puts you in control of your race.
Transition 1 becomes controlled. The first km’s of the bike ride are hard but once again you have control over them.
A group of 6 of us gathered 10k into the hilly (very bloody hill) 2 lap course. Because of the small group, the heat and the long hills, the ride became controlled. Once again this is a different sort of racing. The 6 guys know the top 6 should be a formality and the podium a definite possibility. The guys who are confident in their run do not need to take any chances . . the 6 guys in our pack all had confident runs relative to each other. It is a long way to travel and so when you get to 30km and the mercury is ever rising the thought of ‘risking more’ diminishes.
Maybe that is a wrong attitude ?
Everyone of us are not racing in China because it was always part of our plan – beautiful as Weihai is ! We are racing for points not bucks. Ranking points that we need so that we do not need to be here in the future . . . we and our federations want us to be somewhere else. If cash was king in the race on Saturday then I am sure the bike would have been more stochastic, more sprints, more attacks.
Anyway . . . the run. I had a bad patch about 3km into the race on a hill and lost a lot of time. My right handside was tightening up and I needed to slow for a few hundred meters and let itself sort itself out. I came back onto the podium after getting myself together around 7k.
Again . . . I am lucky 6 of us had broken away in the swim and 6 of us had increased our gap on the bike. Out of sight out of mind. You can gain a lot of time by just rolling through – especially on a two lap and not multi lap circuit when the chasers see you at some point every 2 or 3km.
Although I was chasing 2nd (and he was having his own battle with dehydration) there was still an element of control of the situation . . . a luxury you are not handed in a World Cup or WCS race.