Regular Trizone contributor Alex Price is in Vitoria, Spain with the NSWIS and VIS teams as their physiotherapist. At the end of his contract in Spain Alex moves to Aix Les Bains to take up a role as the Australian Team’s physiotherapist, in their lead up to the world champs in Beijing. In addition to being a qualified physiotherapist Alex is also a very handy open grade triathlete when he isn’t injured as he had been for the first few months of this year.
The day before Alex flew out to Spain one of his best mates, Mark Scott was seriously injured while out riding. He is still very unwell and I know Alex has been struggling with this. It has been a difficult few of weeks for everyone who knows Mark, especially his family. He is made of strong stuff and will continue to fight.
Alex has been fortunate enough to secure the position of physiotherapist to the New South Wales and Victorian Institute of Sport Triathlon teams (NSWIS and VIS) based in Vitoria, Spain. “This is a fantastic opportunity for me, not only from a professional perspective, but also an amazing place to do some serious training.” Alex had a few training sessions with Eneko Llanos last week.
In addition to this position in Spain, Alex has also been given the job as the Australian Physiotherapist for the AIS (Australian Institute of Sport) triathlon team. The AIS Triathlon team are based in Aix Les Bains, in t
he south of France. “I will travel to France to join the team following completion of my work here in Spain. Another great opportunity!”
Alex is typically treating the athletes each evening, from about 5-10 or
11pm. “They are all going quite well, with
plenty of travel to and from races, London, Canada, Paris etc etc. It is
a very supportive environment, but one which is obviously quite driven
and focused. I love it.”
“So far it has been an amazing experience. The hotel where we are staying is awesome. Literally 20m from the door is a restaurant/cafe, where the coffee is $1… Not helping the caffeine intake. Quite the novelty to have my room cleaned everyday and a triangle folded in the toilet paper as well!”
“The training here is like nowhere I have been. There are 4 swimming pools within a short ride or walk and is great to be swimming with the squads, as they are giving me plenty to chase, in what has always been my achilles heel of the disciplines!”
The riding is spectacular in this region with mountains, hills, flats, gorgeous scenery. And the cars embrace cycling, which is a welcome change.
“My running is coming along well, doing most of it on trails/hills/grass, which is a welcome change from the cycle path and the body is liking it. This is one area which I am really focused on, as I know in Las Vegas (Half Ironman World Champs “Sept), I will need to run really quick to have a shot at being competitive.”
The culture is something which I have missed, having not worked in Europe for a few years. Siestas, ‘living’, larger lunches, etc. Trying to embrace it, but also trying to stay away from the lunch time vino, which most people embrace! The weather has been great since I arrived, with some cooler days, but many over 30 degrees.
Alex is also managing to fit in some racing and had his first race on the weekend, next to Pamplona, home of running of the bulls. “It was a sprint race, which was a bit of a shock to the system, but great to get out there. I had an okay day and finished 7th after a few ‘tech’ problems with the bike. I only have my TT bike here, which they weren’t thrilled with, as it was a draft legal race. It is the only race where I have ever been given a bottle of wine in the race pack! (hint hint Emo!)”
The next race is this weekend, which is a Half Ironman in Vitoria. Last year the race was the European Champs and next year it is the ITU World Long Course Champs, so no doubt there will be a strong field. “It will be great to give it a go and see where the fitness is and perhaps check it out to race on next year!”