Monday, July 11, 2011

Bevan Docherty reports on his Edmonton World Cup win

So here it is, the money end of the season. Time to start paying dividends with all the hard training I’ve been doing and get some results! What better time to make it come together than my last hit out before the big one in London…

The race is Edmonton World Cup in Canada, a course that has been very favorable to me over the years. Way back in 2001 as my first Elite World Championship where I finished 7th, to 2007 when I won the race. In-fact, I was sitting in race briefing watching the highlights of the 2007 race thinking ‘how things have changed so much, the style of racing, the intensity, I even had a good amount of hair back then!’

A lot might have changed, however it was the “Old School” athletes that were dubbed as the favorites and as my competition. Hunter Kemper was my main threat, hot off some convincing race wins. In the same breath, I can never count out Canadian Olympic great, Simon Whitfield, who knows how to turn it on when needed. I was ranked #1 for the race, that adds pressure but also gives you a slight advantage, as you are able to select your starting position first.

The swim is held in a “duck poo” filled pond, but that’s ok as they dump enough chlorine in it to kill off anything nasty! Trust me I’ve swum in much worse! I chose a far left starting position as it was the shortest line and gave me clear water. That paid off as I was positioned well exiting the water in the top 10. Into the bike I tried to push early, however, the nature of the course didn’t allow for a break to get away, so the rest of the bike was just about staying out of trouble and conserving the legs for the run.

The run is where it all happened. I had a great transition and hung onto Hunter who was pushing a very solid pace. After about 1km, I felt Hunter fade just a little so I tightened the screw and kept driving, instantly surging to a 15m lead. From there I continued to drive the pace. However, going into the 2nd lap of 3, I began to pay the price for the early effort.

By this stage a young French guy bridged the gap and took control of the race as I hung on to try to compose myself again. It took me until the start of the last lap when my body started to come back into form, as I turned the tables on the Frenchie by pushing the pace and making him hurt. Now was no time to start playing games, with Hunter still only 50m back and ready to pounce, we had to drive all the way to the finish line. With only 800m to go, I felt the Frenchie fade so I pushed again. It wasn’t easy but I didn’t want it to come down to a sprint and wanted to enjoy my win!

Crossing the line in first, I was pretty happy with how the day went but I’m not disillusioned. This was only a World Cup race, and not a World Championship Series race with a lot of big hitters not present. It was a great boost for my confidence, but I realize that there is still a lot of work to be done. In order to win Gold in London, I’ll need to lift my game even more! In saying that, I enjoyed the sound of the NZ National Anthem and the taste of Champagne. These victories don’t come as often as I would like, so I try to enjoy them as much as I can.

As per usual, many thanks to everyone that supports me. Next race is the big one of the season, London WCS and NZ’s first Olympic qualifying race!

Bevan Docherty

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