Kitzbuhel European Championships – the pros

I arrived in Kitzbuhel at 1am last night so it was straight to sleep! Woke up to a misty morning and after breakfast mum, Jilli and I headed into town for a wander around before lunch. The clouds cleared around lunch time and it turned into a gorgeous day – Kitzbuhel is postcard-perfect, nestled amongst luscious green hills with quaint, brightly coloured buildings. The streets of the town rang with the noises of cow bells, horses’ hooves, and race bike wheels. Never have I seen a town so filled with so many tri bikes.

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After lunch was the age-groupers briefing and team photos – so proud to see my momma as part of team GBR!

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And then we were off to watch the pros! So busy so we didn’t get a good spot to watch the start, left the swim to it and managed to stand right by the exit of T1 to watch them all jump on their bikes. This was SO exciting as they came flying out of transition in big groups, bike swerving all over the place as they tried to get their feet in the shoes. I was actually really surprised at how bad lots of them were at doing this! I have never tried and instead just put my shoes on the normal way in transition. Many of the pros had to take several goes to get their second foot in, swerving all over the place. I had my hand over my mouth & audible intakes of breath at some points!

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We then made our way up to watch the cycle. We picked a bend in the road, stood by the barriers, and just as the first cyclists were about to come round the bend, mum put her stuff on the ground & her water bottle rolled under the barriers onto the road. Cue immediate panic, mum on the ground trying to stretch her arm out as far as she could and barely being able to brush the water bottle with her finger tips (in fairness, she does have tiny arms). Thank god a marshall noticed and SPRINTED towards us, grabbing the water bottle and then getting back to her position about 10 seconds before the first cyclists came round the corner.

Phew!

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We walked a bit further down to watch the rest of the cycle laps – first going round in two main packs with a bit of a gap between them, then on one lap one guy was way out in front, then by the next lap he was back in the pack and the two had merged into one massive group of over 50 riders. We cheered very loudly for the stragglers and felt very sorry for them – much harder work to be by yourself at the back on a drafting-legal race!

Then it was back to the turn of the run course – the runners would do 5 laps (I think). Alastair Brownlee came past first, well ahead of the rest, followed by a large pack with lots of GBR runners. We were in a fantastic spot to watch, so close as they came round the turn!

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With each lap it looked like Alastair was extending his lead, and looking much more comfortable on the run than some of the others. I couldn’t believe how long and high his stride was in this photo!

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Juneathon Day 21 – lots and LOTS of walking and lots of extremely enthusiastic clapping (I had to clap everyone round on the run which meant clapping until even my shoulders ached). I then managed a 40 min, 7.2k run around most of the run course. It’s hilly but beautiful, starting alongside the lake before it curves up into the hills, and then comes back down along a straight to transition.

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wishing absolutely the best of luck to all competitors tomorrow and I’m SO excited!!!!!!

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