Beau Smith – the first victory of 2019

We recently introduced Beau as one of our sponsored athletes for 2019. A talented triathlete he has already displayed his talents in only his 2nd race of 2019. Against a competitive field he took victory in the Stockton Duathlon. And this being even more remarkable for the fact that he does not employ a coach so all the training and race preparation is all his own work!

Beau has very kindly provided us with a full race report of how he achieved his maiden victory of 2019. We are sure it is the first of many to come.

British Elite Duathlon Championships 1st Round – Stockton

1st and 2nd placed athletes Photo credit: Bright Minds Big Futures

“With qualification slots up for grabs for the GB Age Group team at both sprint and standard distance, a novice race on offer, and the local Council supporting the event with a good prize purse for the standard distance race, the Stockton Duathlon Festival is always a well attended and popular event. Having finished 7th in 2017, and 2nd in 2018, I was looking to build on my previous performances. I was also hopeful that this could result in a race win but as usual the event had attracted a strong field.

I travelled up to Stockton with a close friend on the Saturday afternoon which gave me a chance to familiarise myself with the bike course and check out the slightly altered run route. By chance we also saw several of the domestic pro cycling teams who would be competing in Sunday’s East Cleveland Klondike. In which Ribble Pro Cycling performed particularly well! In the previous weeks I’d been working on my time-trialling power on the Watt Bike as well as my general running performance so felt I was in good shape. I’d had a massage on Thursday to prep the legs and now I was ready to race. However, what I was most looking forward to was getting out on the bike course on the Ribble Ultra Tri . It had been feeling great in training and I wanted to see how fast I could go!

Heading out for the bike leg on the Ribble Ultra Tri. Photo credit: Mark Christie (Northerntrier)

My game plan was all about pacing, the non-draft format meant there were no packs to chase so no benefit to going hard early doors and getting on the wheels. I set off on the first 10km run at a pace I knew I could maintain. Quickly four guys moved ahead and I settled into 5th position running at a good intensity but on my own in a strong breeze. Already encouraged by my pacing I moved up into 4th position close to the end of the 10km run and after a quick transition was back out on the bike course. There was a strong, cold wind which was quite gusty when passing buildings and other windbreaks alongside the course. Which also happened to have plenty of twists and turns, but the Ultra Tri felt really fast and smooth and before long I was up into 2nd position.

Beau is competing in selected events upon the Ultra Tri.

The six lap, 40km course gave a couple of opportunities on each lap to monitor the gaps to other athletes and as I pursued the leader we would both eye-ball each other on the way past. The gap was gradually coming down over the first three laps, then although I still felt I was riding strongly we’d reached a bit of a stalemate and seemed to be lapping at pretty much the same speed for the next couple of laps. I’d had a gel and drank my drink so I was prepared for the final 5km run but was still conscious of getting every second that I could out of the bike. So, by the time I hit T2 I’d chipped it down to around 20s.

To view the Ultra Tri click here

In T2 it was trainers on, quick and out onto the run course, another 10 seconds pulled back in transition and I had him in my sights. I was certainly in the preferable position of the cat in this ‘cat and mouse’ scenario. Aware that it could be easy to underestimate both the length of the second run (“ah its only 5km”) and the effect on my legs of a 10km run and 40km ride, I again concentrated on my pacing and didn’t start pushing to chase too soon. Running quickly but sustainably, I started to feel my rhythm and was moving well, after a couple of km the gap started to come down.

Beau will also compete upon the Aero 883 in custom Colour.

To view the Aero 883 click here

Now was the time to suffer and I gradually upped my intensity as much as I could until the gap started to close. A couple of times I saw him glance back over his shoulder – he was in trouble and I was starting to fly. It was certainly not easy but I clawed my way back up to him and caught him with not much more than a km to go. I was confident and feeling good but he wasn’t done yet and tried a couple of digs to try and shake me off. I had to bide my time and then inside the last few hundred metres I put my own kick in just before a couple of tight corners close to the finish line, before I knew it I was sprinting to the line to take the win by just five seconds.

I was really pleased to put together such a good performance with the big bonus being, a race win against some quality athletes. It was also special to do it with my previous coach in attendance too, as I felt I’d put into practice so many of the things we’d worked on during the two years we were a team. I’m also grateful for my friends and family who were there to support me on the day and of course Ribble Cycles, Arena UK and Mark Egan (Egan Associates) for the ongoing support for the 2019 season. I’m now looking forward to preparing for my first tri of the year which will be on the 11th of May in Llanelli, South Wales. Hopefully we’ll get a bit more sun and some warmer weather between now and then!”

Triumphantly crossing the finish line. Photo credit: Bright Minds Big Futures

Interested in Track riding? Read our sponsored athlete Alison Salthouse’s Pre-season Update.e


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