Yes I had my first World Cup win! :)
Tiszaujavaros in Hungary is one of the most iconic World Cups on the scene. Its been running for donkeys years, and that's because its just so good! Athletes love it, the town loves it, and they do a great job transforming this tiny little blip on a map into something special. The atmosphere is electric, everything is a stone throws away and they make it into a fun filled festival for all. Hard to believe but this was my 5th time coming back to Tizzy! I had my first ever World cup podium in Tizzy, and this year Tizzy was even more generous to me taking out my first World Cup win!
Tizzy changed its format a few years ago into a different style of racing, individual to any other World Cups. It runs a semi final sprint distance race on the Saturday, and those qualifying race another sprint distance Finals race on the Sunday. For girls there were 2 heats with 14 in each going through to the final, and the 2 best times. I wont go into detail of the semi's, but I obviously qualified and felt pretty good out there day 1. Recovery was going to be key between the two days of racing, to see who could back it up again the following day. So I was straight into a cool down, hydrating, massage, ice baths, and a good feed at "Mamma Rosas", to give myself the best chance the following day.
Finals day! Waking up a little bit tired from the day before, but thats ok. Everyone is going to have a little fatigue under their legs..I hoped! haha. The day was hot. I think it was 37 deg, But I like the heat, I am more than used to the hot sun beating me down in training, so it was nothing new, and I knew I could handle the heat better than others.
Swim course is a dog fight, 3 laps of 250m with only 100m to the first buoy! 30 people merging around a buoy at the same time you can only imagine it's pretty scrappy, and if you managed to 'swim' properly count your lucky stars!
I am not the fastest off the mark in the water and I had come to peace with the fact I was just going to be belted through the swim...I just had to try and keep that gap as small as possible, and at least the lake isn't that deep if I were to sink. :)
Exiting the water just off the second pack I knew every second counted, and I would have to work hard if there was a chance to bridge that gap back up, and I must commend the dedication of a number of girls in my pack who all rode hard and were committed to the chase. Although it doesn't look hard, Tizzy has a number of corners, and dead turns throughout the course that really put some sting in your legs, when constantly accelerating out of every turn. Between us we managed to close down the gap to the leaders around lap 6 of 8 I think through hard work, which would see everyone coming into transition together!
Out of transition quick, and much smoother than the day before, when I collided with 5 bikes! ( that's easily a new record for me! ) and onto a 4 lap run course, now it would come down to the fun part! I tried to push the pace straight away...before the French girls pushed it up again, and that burnt most people off, unfortunately maybe even themselves! By the last lap it would be a fight between 3 for line honours, and I was just so ecstatic and overwhelmed to be graced with that privilege!
You only but hope and dream of those moments in your athletic career, and when they happen you do cherish them. Especially when you have worked for them. So much emotion and sensation can be rolled into the final ten seconds of a race, especially a close finish. Legs and lungs are screaming, focus and concentration can't slip, drive , determination, desperation, fear, excitement, and the thrill of racing all roll into one, in those vital moments until the end when you can see the possibility but aren't quite there yet!...and sometimes maybe there is just a little bit of luck on your side ;)
This race meant a great deal to me, and for that I was just so, so, excited and maybe even more relieved! A lot went into it, from myself and my coach,.. so it was very satisfying to get a lot out of it! :) and to cap it off to share the experience with a friend, Audrey Merle from France, who finished second, and Sara Dossena from Italy came in 3rd.
Wow I still can't believe it! and at Tizzy one of my all time favourites! ....
Sponosrs, coach, family, one for the team! thanks for the leg up :)