Tri Camp Race Team Review in Mallorca
Posted: 14th May, 2012
So defending champion Heather Jackson, myself and one of our Tri Camp guests Derek Hayden made our way to the Balearic Triathlon race the night before and check into the hotel. First problem, we don’t have our passports and they won’t let us stay without them! So after lots of calls back to Pollensa we finally get Lu (our chef) on her night off and in the pub to dash back to the staff house to find them, she finds mine but after searching through Heathers pants draw, there’s still no passport for Hev! We find it in the car 1 hour later – Heather has no idea how it got there but at least we had it and could check in. Heather and I have a nice cosy room together and although she kept pushing the beds together, I had to remind her I was married and kept moving them apart !
I survived the night and race morning goes well - breakfast and raking the bikes. Then we both realise we don’t have number belts with us – school boy. I buy one for 3€ (bargain I thought!) Heather speaks to the organiser who lends her one to race in (this turns out to be quite ironic!) so that’s sorted, sun lotion on, wetsuits on and ready to race.
The hooter sounds and me, Derek and the men’s race starts. I just missed the lead group on the swim and came out in under a minute behind which I’m very happy with considering some top pro athletes are in the field. Onto the bike and I quickly make up two positions and am trying to chase down the leading five athletes. It was going to be hard as I was on my own and they were in a group working together but I was giving it a crack. Then 5km into the bike course I hear a ticking noise, tick tick tick for about 30 seconds then bang a piece of metal shoots of the bike and my tyre goes bang. I shoot across to the other side of the road but manage to stay upright. Thinking it was a spoke I take my bike shoes off and decide I’m not quitting and will run back to transition, fix the puncture and carry on. Five kilometres carrying your bike with no shoes on is a long long way! I arrive back with lots of blisters and try to fix the puncture. Its then I realise it’s not a spoke but part of the rim that had snapped off so no fixing for this wheel. Damn it race over! Well, maybe not. I ran around looking for someone I knew or a bike shop – still nothing. Then I thought I’d wait until one of the leading 5 and a mate of mine came into transition and would ask to borrow his wheel. As soon as I saw him I rushed over and asked for his wheel, of course he looked a little confused as he was trying to get his trainers on but I grabbed his wheel and off I went. Starting dead last I hit the bike course thinking I could at least make up some places. I did and recorded a descent ride time and not a bad run considering I had nothing to run for and a good few blisters I was nursing! On the finishing straight I saw Heather and Derek shouting well done you have beaten both of us, we got disqualified!
As soon as I crossed the line I went back to find them to find out what had happened. I knew Heather was winning as I saw her on the bike course in the lead so could not understand why. Like myself, they had both put their number belts under their wetsuits before the swim. I got away with this but they both got instant disqualifications, what’s worse is that they were each held for 30 sec at the time as a time penalty and were then told to carry on! Derek came in 30th which is a great result and Heather not only won the race but also the 500€ prize money. However, when you get disqualified you can cross the line first but you don’t get the prize money!! The referees did not want to listen. Even the race organiser tried to speak to them about it but they said their decision was final.
We watch the prize giving (good to see Graham Leitch getting third – well done and thanks for the wheel!) but it was no fun watching the ladies runner up receive first prize instead of Heather. We came home, read the rules and there is no mention at all of number belts not being allowed under wetsuits and surely even if there had been a time penalty had been given and they were told to continue! So Heather was robbed fair and square. As a professional athlete this is Heather’s job and how she earns a living. I think it is like an employed person going to work and being told at the end of the day that they would not be getting paid for the day’s work as they had not put on their belt correctly when they got up. Scandalous, referee you should be ashamed.
So a bad day out for all of us – I didn’t come last and was happy to not only finish but to not get disqualified! Derek did well and recorded a good time and enjoyed the drafting element of the race and well heather what can we say – great racing and 2 minutes quicker than last year, if that’s any conciliation! At least you’re laughing about it....now! Great course though and the Spanish atmosphere was great just a shame about the referees!
Also racing in the UK at the weekend was Andy Tarry who had a better result than we did in Mallorca. Well done for winning at Grantham Triathlon see http://www.tri247.com/article_10025_Weekend+roundup%3A+April+28-29.html?region_id=&category= for info and a cracking picture in his kit.
So if you’re racing over the next few weeks at home or abroad read the rules and then read between the lines just in case!!!
Happy racing. Nick