Again I return to Roth. It is the 4th time at this Challenge race for me, and every year it gets better, for me, and for everyone who comes to spectate or participate. From the expo in the days before to the finishline late at night, this event entertains them all.
I love coming here to this race. The gold class treatment starts with my homestay picking me up from the aiport, and then giving their main bedroom and bathroom to me for my stay. I feel like a king.
I then headed to the race organization headquarters and am given my car for the week, an Audi Q5. Challenge has some fantastic sponsors and knows how to look after the athletes. I feel like a President.
Triathlon Team Abu Dahbi, which includes myself, went to the Adidas headquarter on Firday and we were given some time in the VIP section, where everything is free. I picked out some amazing clothes, and also some very useful stuff too, like socks (performance socks, no less), and then we went to the staff shop, and again were allowed several free items. I can’t believe how cool the Adidas range is! Australia seems to be missing out. So with arms full of bags full of freebies, we left. I am still in shock. The coolest thing i have ever done as a professional triathlete. I feel like a rockstar.
As the race week passes, as do drug tests, press conference, pasta party, photos and interviews, all the while the smiles and wish of good luck “viel gluck” (pronounced glouk) are endless, but quick. No one wants to take up much of your time, they know you need to rest for the battle.
And as it draws just a day away, I shave down my legs, stomach and chest, and feel like I am applying war paint, and will soon be leading the charge of 2000 others. I feel like a Chief.
I am well rested, I am happy, I am fit and look it too. haha. Confidence has a big part to play on race day, but I am not confident of winning. I am confident I will have another good race here. A 3rd, 2nd, & 2nd places have been my results here, I don’t know why, but I always race well in Roth. I will be happy with another podium finish. My training since my broken collarbone has not been perfect, or long, and I have not had time to race before this race, so I have no expectations on myself, and will race as though there is nothing to lose since I have not trained to win this race. And that is why I will enjoy tomorrow very much. And why I believe I will go well. How the others will go, and therefore how I will “do” (place), I have no idea. And don’t care. I am carefree. I feel like a Joker.
I have to go check my bike in now.
Wish me viel gluck