We woke up to this every morning!!
It was very easy to relax at our place of residence going into Vineman. It was a strong field with the likes of Chris Lieto, the Kiwi contingent of Graham O’Grady, Kieran Doe, and Jamie Whyte. Also there was Tim Marr and John Dahlz.
Race morning came much quicker then I would have liked. I was enjoying the wine county far too much! Anyways, with Doe, GOG, and Dahlz in the race we all knew it would be a crazy fast swim. I was going to try and stay with the top dogs for as long as I could and then just hang on to T1. Swim did not go as planned. Doe was feeling a little off on the swim and it was Dahlz and GOG up front. I swam in the pack that contained Doe, Lieto, and Marr. We were swimming well and the gap to guys up front stayed around 1:15 so it was not as bad as I though it was going to be.
Once out on the bike we had a good pace going and I think everyone was just waiting to see when Lieto would go. Eventually he went and Doe followed. I tell ya, once Lieto really starts putting some power down onto the pedals, he gets a gap straight away. It is incredible watching Lieto ride. I was at the pack and gunned it to try and get with the brake. Unfortunately, while trying to get up I accidentally crossed the center line and a marshal was there to see it. Yellow card and the penalty tent was still 20 miles up the road. I only had one option here and it was to go as hard as I could. I wanted to gap Marr and Dahlz so I wouldn’t have to bridge back up to them. I was unable to break them and I hit the tent and watched them ride away. Once served it was chase time. I caught them about 10 minutes later and we pretty much rode in together. Dahlz slightly fell off the pace but still had a visual on us. 8 minutes down on Lieto and 6:30 to Doe was our deficit. DARN IT!
I went out conservative for the first mile and then just gunned it as fast as I could. At mile six O’Grady was getting close, too close, and I really had to dig in like no other. I was hurting and I still had six miles and change to go! I managed to lose O’Grady and was now within 2 minutes of Doe with four miles to go. I ran hard but in the end it was not fast enough. Managed to round up the podium with 3rd. It was a great feeling to be on the podium again but not the greatest feeling to have lost by 8 minutes!!!
With my wife feeling exhausted
After the race it was time to cut loose and go try some of the local wineries around Sonoma. Normally I'm not really a drinker but when you go to vineyards and learn the process of making the wines, it's kinda hard not to drink. Here are pics of events after the races.
Post race home-made kettle chips!
Vineyards (Bella inside the cave)
Dinner with sponsors
We had a great trip and I will definitely be back to race Vineman 70.3 again. Beautiful course and beautiful weather. I have been so happy with the way my season has been coming along. Hopefully I can keep this progression going and jump onto a few more podiums before the season comes to an end.
Just want to thank my coach Matt Dixon of Purple Patch Fitness. It has been a long rode but we are finally moving forward! K-Swiss for great racing flats and an awesome race kit. Phase One Builders for all the support you give and for the house you rented! First Endurance for awesome nutrition, Xterra wetsuits for te fastest swim skin the Velocity++. Ron Vaughn at athletic tune-up professionals, and Jarod Carter for fixing up my neck the day before I left to CA. I couldn't even rotate my neck 90 degrees. Thanks Jarod.
Breakfast: oats, bottle of orange EFS (90calories), pack of honey stinger chews (160 calories)
Bike: 1st bottle -first endurance liquid shot (300 calories), 1 scoop orange EFS (90 cal), 1 scoop salt.
2nd bottle- 2 scoops EFS orange (190 cal), 1 scoop pre-race, 1 scoop salt