Ribble Cycles sponsored athlete; George Goodwin finishes 3rd at the first-ever PTO championships! Having had a few days to reflect, we caught up with George to capture his thoughts on this incredible result.
Fresh from claiming victory at the Outlaw X Long Distance Triathlon, George packed his bags (and bike of course) and headed for sun-soaked Florida. The first-ever PTO Championships took place on the 6th December at the iconic Daytona International Speedway. A world-class field of the top 40 ranked PTO athletes, plus 20 wildcard entries, including multiple ITU stars, was assembled to battle it out over a 100km course, consisting of a 2km swim, 80km bike and 18km run.
So, George how did you find the first ever PTO Championship?
It was amazing to be part of history being the first ever PTO championship. It will be an event that is remembered for changing the course of professional triathlon.
Was your plan to start steady in the swim and then build throughout the race?
Not at all! The plan is always to have the best swim possible, but I had a rough day in the water on Sunday. It still put me in a position where I was able to work my way through the field.
Did you enter the event with any expectation to podium? Or was it a pleasant surprise?
I don’t think many pundits had me down to podium, or even feature amongst the top 10. Personally, I thought a top 10 was very achievable. Thoughts of being able to push for a top 5 had entered my head in the lead up to the race. So the jump from my expectations to the reality of finishing 3rd wasn’t huge. But still a bit of a shock even to me. It’s one thing to believe it and another thing to do it.
Without betraying any insider secrets, how did you prepare for the event?
After Outlaw X, I was in great shape and had this huge carrot on a stick dangling in front of me in December. So, we decided to push on and keep my fitness high at a time of year where I would normally be in offseason. I did a lot of work on the turbo to prepare for the repetitive nature of the course. I also spent some time each day in the sauna as Florida can be quite warm at this time of year.
Being no stranger to victory. How did your recent win at Outlaw X compare to finishing on the podium at the PTO championships?
Winning a race is always a special moment. On that day and course, no one was better than me. It was also great to have a great crowd there and have support from the age-groupers doing the race as well.
What would you say is your biggest result to date?
The PTO Championships was the biggest race of the year and had the best field for a non-drafting race in the history of triathlon. My performance there was the best of my career so far.
How did you get into the sport of triathlon?
It was a combination of factors that got me interested in the sport. Watching the Brownlee brothers racing as juniors when I was about 11 years old. Plus the introduction of a specific junior section to the local triathlon club (Rugby Triathlon Club) got me really involved in the sport from a pretty young age.
Does your training differ from week to week, or is there a strict regimen that is followed no matter what?
I’m a big fan of routine and like to keep the weekly structure almost identical week to week. The last few weeks into the race I even keep the specific sessions almost exactly the same. I was fortunate enough that the last 10 to 12 weeks I didn’t suffer any niggling injuries or seasonal sniffles. So I could tick off every day as I wanted to.
In what way has a Covid ravaged season affected you?
It meant that the early part of the year, where I would normally be racing in Europe, I could dedicate to training really consistently. Having the pools shut as well meant that I could really focus on improving what I was able to do. Cycling and running. The first competitive thing that came about was cycling time trials. I jumped at the opportunity to test myself every week in a new format.
I’m just going to enjoy this performance for the next few weeks before I start planning what to aim for next year.
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