Gavin Noble wins ITU Erdek European Cup in Turkey
Well done to Gavin Noble who is the first ever Male Irish winner of an ITU International Cup race.
Gavin won the race which took place in Turkey on Sunday 11th June
Eanna McGrath was 13th and Brian Jenkins 20th - well done guys
Gavin gives us an account of his race below
On sunday afternoon i became the first ever Irish Male to win an ITU Points race. A very satisfying result in testing conditions.
I had a terrible time getting to the race - neither my bike or the organisers made it to the airport ! - so after 5 hours of planes and airports i had to get a hotel in dusty Istanbul at 3.30am and make my own way to the race venue the next day - 18 hrs later, 2 taxis, 3 buses and a boat trip - i finally made it, annoyed, tired and grumpy.
Race day arrived and although feeling a bit heavy i tried to stay focused on the job in hand and forget about the previous two days. I joined Eanna McGrath and Brian Jenkins for the obligatory bowl of pasta and they talked me through the race briefing which i had missed.
The hooter went and i had a good swim start - after a few punches at the first bouy i settled into the first pack. 12 athletes formed a lead pack on to the bike as we rode into a strong headwind and up the first of 16 climbs. Slowly but surely i found my cycling legs and began to realise that a few of the athletes were struggling on the climbs and dodgy road surfaces. Other packs were forming behind and a few times the spanish and italiens tried to break away. At around 28k i made my move and it was to prove a winning one. I attacked on a hill before a dead turn and used the tailwind after that to surge ahead. After about 5mins of effort i knew that from then on it was all or nothing. I was encouraged to see that at the final dead turn with 5ks to go i had a 40 second gap.
On the 4 lap run i was able to see my nearest challengers on the out-and-back sections and judge my pace acordingly. It was a strange sensation as i entered the final lap knowing that i was going to win my and Irelands first international triathlon. Luckily i was able to cruise and soak up the atmosphere in the last 2k. A few high fives and a big smile later i crossed the line in first place. Both Eanna and Brian also recorded best ever finishes adding to the great day for Irish Triathlon.