Bevan Docherty Checks In
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Two-time Olympic medallist Bevan Docherty checks in with ITU after his last race of the season in the USA. Read about the race and Bevan’s future plans below…
I have to be honest with you all the last month has been a real struggle motivation wise to keep training for my final race of the season. Most of the other ITU athletes had called it a day, and seemed to be on “facebook” holidaying or partying, also the weather here stated to get ugly, making things very difficult.
With the Worlds Championship series finishing in September I knew it was too early to call it quits for the year, for a number of reasons. The timing was out for the next off‐season build up, and timing was off for our move to California. On the plus side, Avanti gave me a 2010 Avanti Chrono time trial bike to ride on as my last race was a non‐drafting race, so this gave me a little motivation to get out on the bike and train.
Its times like this where you start playing mind games, one side of you is telling you to stop, and the other side is telling you to keep going…. You just have to think of the light at the end of the tunnel, and think of the bigger picture. Thankfully I made it though those final 3 weeks and headed off to Dallas for final round of
the Toyota U.S. open Triathlon. This is a great series around the US, unfortunately due to my WCS commitments I am unable to compete in them all.
These races bring you back to “Old school” triathlon, a 7:30am start time, meaning a 4am wake up time. This course was also a point to point, so we swam in a lake about 40km on the outskirts of Dallas, jumped on the bikes and rode to the center of the city and ran around there. Normally in October Dallas is still warm and humid, however not today, as a cold front brought through some good old “NZ weather”… I knew those tough years in NZ would pay off.
Into the swim and I just settled down to a good rhythm sitting with the main group, as I knew the race was going to be decided on the bike or run. I exited the water with the usual suspects, put my aero helmet on, jumped on my Avanti Chrono and hammered. Non‐drafting racing is a totally different style of race to the likes of ITU WCS racing, far less tactics and more pure strength/endurance. I can hold my own on the bike, however when it comes to the big long flat straights where you have to grind, I struggle. Give me a 40km mountain climb any day… Because a lot of the guys are closely matched on the bike, there was still a group, but everyone did their best to stay out of the drafting zone of 10mx3m.
There were a few very sketchy moments out there on the bike, as the Dallas roads aren’t in the best condition, combine that with the rain and the TT bike, which is made for speed not cornering and it made for a fun bike ride. At about 25km on the bike Matt Reed powered off the front, this would be the decisive move, however with my lack of specific TT training all I could do was watch. Matt had focused on the series this year, and a win here would give him the overall US open series title.
When we got into T2 we were about 50 seconds behind, but that wasn’t my biggest concern, actually feeling my feet was priority! For the first 3km it felt like I was running on stumps, but slowly as the feeling in my feet came back my form too came back. I found myself running with 4 other athletes, Greg Bennett AUS, Stewart Hayes GBR, and Bruno Pais POR. I have to admit, I wasn’t feeling that quick on the run, I was certainly feeling good affects from the altitude, and that is what was keeping me in touch with these guys. Just before the turn around we crossed paths with Matt, who looked in control and comfortable. The rest of us would run together the whole way until 900m to go when Greg Bennett shot off, I went after him, however he had more on the line, as once again he had focused on the series and a 2nd here guaranteed him 2nd in the series. Since the win was out of reach, I was just happy to finish on the podium in my last race of the season.
So now I’m back in Colorado, doing what I always seem to do at least once or twice a year, packing… Or I like to call it cross training and strength conditioning… Not the most enjoyable way to spend my rest period, however the excitement of getting to California is keeping me going. It’s been great here in Colorado, there are going to be many things I miss about this place, the deer and Raccoons walking though your back yard, beautiful Summer and Autumn days, riding up in the Rockies at 10,000 feet and downtown Boulder watching all the Buskers. But in the pursuit of making myself a better athlete I think a change to California is for the best.
As per usual, thanks for all your support, once I’m set in California I’ll be heading back to NZ and kick starting the training up with a lazy ride around lake Taupo with 10,000 other cyclists. Maybe see you our there.