Today’s ITU World Cup race was held over the Sprint Distance in temperatures above 30C with humidity ensuring it would be a tough day for all. While the 9am start gave the females some respite, the men had to battle it out under the blistering sun from 11am .
In the women’s race the Sutto squad was represented by Nicola Spirig and Celine Scharer from Switzerland.
This race represented Nicola’s comeback to Sprint ITU racing after competing in the marathon at the European Athletics Championships in her home town of Zurich. With little time to prepare, coach decided a taper would be more a negative on her performance than a positive. So on top of the anxiety of being a defending champ, the hard workout the day before was another worry she would have to overcome.
But overcome she did because she is a champion.
Celine Scharer was also making a mini comeback as she has been battling a knee ligament strain that has hindered her training for a 3-month period.
I must apologise to both girls as the coach advised their position on the pontoon, and my decision effectively killed Celine’s race. We went to the left and it proved to be at least a 20-second handicap. A bad start doesn’t change the fact Celine’s form is going very well and she’ll bounce back at the ITU Colombia next week.
Today was a runner’s race and after moving through the field to shut down the lead pack on the bike, Nicola made her move at the 3km mark on the run and proved to be too strong. She finally broke away with 1km to go and went on to take a well-earned victory.
This result follows on the back of Tri Cozumel athletes Ruth Nivon and Alain Carillo taking out the domestic Cozumel Tri the day before. Well done guys.
Finally, I want to make mention of perhaps the gutsiest performance of the weekend. Following a bike crash, Matty Trautman showed a level of maturity and clear-headedness necessary to be a long-term champion by not racing at Ironman Barcelona. Matty has been in white-hot form over the last month, but you got to know when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em. I congratulate him on making the right call.