Challenge Taiwan 2016

Posted by Dylan on 25 May 2016

Challenge Taiwan

This was my fourth time back to Challenge Taiwan and I have some pretty good memories of the 3 previous trips.

However, racing there this year was as much out of necessity as it was desire.
I really enjoy the course in Taitung and I like the honest racing the heat forces out of everyone.
On the other hand, the start to my year hadn’t gone to plan, and with Kona no longer on the cards and the bank balance looking a bit depleted, I had to find a race that would allow me to race with a little more ‘freedom’ later in the year. So, Taiwan was the obvious choice.

My build up was unlike any I have ever had… I was injured.
I had been battling the same issue from Wanaka and not really making any progress. My physio and masseuse were doing a great job with keeping me moving and training, but we were only just managing it. Basically my right hip doesn’t like the TT position and will lock the whole area up when I spend too much time down there (i.e. 180km). I then lose power and get tight and sore and things go down-hill pretty quickly.
Anyway, I got to Taiwan and hoped that it would hold out for just one (big) day.

It was a small field and a good chance to find my own rhythm, something I had lost over the last couple races.
No drama’s in the swim, except the cloud cover we had when we started it had completely burnt off and it was shaping up to be a scorching day.
On to the bike and I wanted to keep things as even as possible across the 180km. I was really conservative for the first 45-90km, but I still suffered and lost a lot of power as the ride went on.
It was also hot! No clouds, just the sun beating us up.

I managed to hold a narrow lead off the bike, 2 mins to Pat Evoe, and 4 mins to Fredie Croneborg.  
When my feet hit the tarmac they almost sizzled. It was intense. And when my legs tried to run I knew that it was going to be a long hot marathon… And it was.
The issues I had been trying to manage didn’t take too long to come along, but that didn’t really affect the outcome anyway. I wasn’t moving well, freely, or fast and I was lucky to only be passed by Fredie.

2nd wasn’t bad, it broke a bit of a jynx I seemed to have on getting 2nd, 5 wins and 5 3rds in major long-distance races, but never a 2nd!
I made some money and paid some mortgage… mission accomplished.

It is now time to figure out what is going on with my hip (area) and look ahead somewhere in the future for a comeback to 100%.

I will still be heading to France to keep Tony Dodds AKA Doddsy company should he make the Olympic team, and he should. I plan on racing Challenge Galway in Ireland before training begins over there and that is a race I am seriously looking forward too. Hopefully I can find a way to better manage my hip and combined with the fact that it is only a half-distance race, hopefully have a good one over there!

Thanks for all the support so far in a tough season. Ups with the downs, and downs with the ups. You don’t know either without the other!
Looking forward to getting back to 100% sometime soon.

Cheers and chat soon!

Dylan

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