The April Sunshine Only Tour continued last weekend in Barbados! I went to Barbados last year and was pretty excited to be back on the island again. Having both Matthew Wright and Jason Wilson as teammates on Guelph Triathlon Project from Barbados, it's always good to check-in on GTP's secondary HQ - Bridgetown/Guelph South. Matthew Wright's parents, Lynn and Paul were incredible hosts as always and they both made some delicious local Bajan recipes for all of us to try. Flying fish, fried plantains, and fish pie (Shepard's pie with fish, not the dessert pie you were thinking of...although you will want seconds and maybe thirds) are all worth testing out if you ever get a chance to visit the island.
After arriving in Barbados, I was invited to my first pre-race press conference along with all my teammates on GTP! That night and the next morning, we were across all the national news and newspapers. Barbados is an incredibly tight knit community and as the word spread, you could really feel the energy building leading into the race, and you couldn't help but feel some extra motivation.
We started the race at 10:30am on Brandon's Beach with a lot of spectators from the age group race earlier in the day and people from all over the island. Looking at the photo from our race start reminds me of when my Grade 1 teacher would tell our class that it was time for recess. In spite of the chaos, I did have a good start and was able to get clean water and share the lead all the way back to shore.
I lead into T1 and was off on the bike. Edson Gomez (Mexico), Matthew Wright (Barbados), Brennen Smith (Canada), and I (Canada) made up the lead group, but after the first lap of the bike, Edson and I separated ourselves.
Edson and I worked really well together on the bike and in spite of a large chase pack behind us, we were putting time into the field every lap. At 12km though at the turn around, Edson crashed. I narrowly missed him, and then rode the remaining 8km by myself off the front. Thankfully Edson did get back up and finish the race. I worked hard on the bike to try and stay cool and keep the advantage Edson and I had worked so hard for. Having put in the miles before the race, I felt confident on the bike. I was actually able to maintain the time lead Edson and I had worked so hard to get over the field.
Out of T2, I started well on the run, but the heat got the best of me. With 2km to go I was past by the eventual race winner and with 1.25km to go, I was in a battle for 3rd. I battled for 3rd right up to the finish line, but I eventually crossed the line in 4th. It was really hard to miss the podium again, but I am truly happy with the way I approached the race. I went fast from the start and put myself in a position to compete for the top spot on the podium. Putting yourself in that mindset and putting the best version of yourself on the start line is all that you can ask of yourself.
After the race I also got some exciting news that I moved into the Top 100 on the ITU Points List! Being ranked amongst the Top 100 is a big honour and hopefully with some bigger ITU races over the next few months, I'll be able to move even higher!
Thanks again to all my amazing sponsors for giving me the opportunity to compete with the best in the world and do what I love.
Cervélo/Caledon Hills Cycle
I have one race left in the April Sunshine Only Tour at the St. Anthony's Triathlon! I've had some great prep this week leading into the race and I'll try my best to crack the podium again!