Holten was a good race for the Australians in the weekend. Mitch Robins came a way with the win, Ryan Bailie had a great race in Holten as well with a 6th place. One minute in the run was the only distance between Mitch and Ryan. Nick Kastelein was 14th, Jesse Featonby was 16th and Tim George finished in 46th place.
Mitch Robins turned his focus to ITU Olympic distance triathlon racing at the end of last year after winning the 2010 Port Macquarie half ironman. He had raced an Olympic distance triathlon prior to Port Macquarie with a good second placing behind Pete Jacobs at Forster in September 2010.
Mitch then went on to win the Mooloolaba ITU Oceania Cup in March this year along with Ashleigh Gentle who coincidently won in Edmonton over the weekend.
Ryan Bailie had an awesome race coming in 6th overall. His swim was right up there and after pushing it early on in the run he found himself on the back of the lead bunch. “After having a good start and getting settled into a great rhythm I managed to exit the swim in the middle of a large strung out front pack around 20 seconds down. I lost minimal time in T1 and got on to the bike course very quickly. Each lap of the bike had a decent climb and positioning was vital as the lead pack on the bike swelled with chase packs catching and the rain coming down making the already tricky cobble stone sections that bit harder. I was relieved to dismount from the Azzurri in one piece and was ready to tune out a fast 10km.”
Bailie lost a bit of time in T2 and found himself about 100mtrs down from the lead pack coming out of transition. “After putting in a fast first 1.5km I found myself tagging onto the front group with 5 other athletes. Franz Loeschke the former 2009 world U23 champ and Mitch Robins from Australia, who were setting a cracking tempo that I was starting to struggle with. After one too many surges from the pair I was unhitched from the group going out onto the start of the third lap.”
Ryan struggled for the last one and a half laps and eventually battled it out for 5th place but came of second best. Still the result was excellent and we look forward to seeing Ryan go round again in Geneva in a few weeks.
Mitch sent through a great race report so I thought you would rather hear it in Mitch’s own words from this race report he sent through last night.
Mitch Robins reports in
I’m very happy to be back in the land of the living after a very busy and sleepless weekend in Holland. It ended up being a successful weekend for myself, crossing the line first and running better than I ever have, a good sign that my injured groin is now a thing of the past.
I made my way up to Amsterdam on Thursday via a very expensive night in Zurich. Holten is a small town out about 100km east of Amsterdam, with some surrounding farmland. The race was all set up on Friday and it looked like an awesome place to be – big grandstands at the finish, beers tents and the whole community was involved.
Saturday rolled around quickly, and the gun went off for the swim start at about 1.30. The swim was in a lake out of town, making two separate transition areas. My swim was just okay. I dived in and got swamped, starting the first lap somewhere in the 2nd group. I swam hard in the 2nd lap and made it towards the front, with only a few guys escaping off the front, but not for long.
The ride was about 7km into town, then 5 laps of a circuit through the main street. The group was really edgy with all the sharp turns and wet cobbles, but somehow we managed to stay upright and make it home in one piece. I played it smart on the bike, sitting pretty in the group doing as little as possible and saving myself for a quick run. In to the second transition I moved towards the front and hit the run ready for a battle.
The pace was set early by 2009 U23 world champ Franz Loeschke from Germany, and about 5 others. I was happy running along like this for a while, but I decided to push at the 4km mark a little and string the group out. At the halfway point it was only myself and a Belgian athlete left, he was determined to lead and I was more than happy to follow. I was feeling under control and wasn’t content running in second place, so with 1500m to go I hit the gas and dropped him like a bad habit. I pushed quite hard the last km, which allowed me to soak up the finish line and enjoy the win.
I am back in France now to reassess and see where to go from here. I will update again soon when I get some concrete plans.