Evening friends. This edition is brought to you, once again, by the much appreciated free wifi at Hong Kong airport, thus neatly bookending my European sojourn in the same fashion in which it was initiated. Stockholm was the last stop on the European calendar, and given the Scandinavian’s ability to produce a litany of avant-garde musicians, I was keen to check the place out, and half expected to see a Viking brandishing a guitar on each corner. Whilst this didn’t come to fruition, nor did I see the lads from Amon Amarth (Stockholm’s finest - listen to soundtrack of visuals below), Stockholm remained a sublime host - easily the most pick-n-mix friendly town in the world (not the foremost of the towns charms, but appreciated none-the-less).
Having escaped without much attention in my last few swims, the laws of probability kicked in, and I battled though the swim, coming out a little off the pace. The bike course showed a somewhat more neoteric slant than most ITU circuits, and comprised of roughly 60% cobblestones, 39% corners over white lines, and 1% really easy, smooth, flat roads. I relished the idiosyncratic terrain, and worked well with ITU hard men Gemmell, Gomez, Riederer, Chabrot and Justus to ride away from the second pack, and come within a bad-transitions-length of the lead bunch. Out on two feet, and I moved the best I have in some time, getting closer to ‘running’ and further away from ‘fighting in running shoes’ to move through to 10th, with star-of-the-future Aaron Royle racing well in 11th.
From here, I’m heading for an Asian Tour of Duty. I have a training base in South Korea, and races in China, followed by Tongyeong and Yokohama, before finally arriving home in October. Asia could be a test of both my palate and patience, so feel free to send me an email, as I could be craving some English conversation...
Check out the video of the Stockholm course below, taken during the Team Sprint race. Sadly, there’s not too much action going on behind me, but it may give you an idea of the course. Just imagine Gemmell pulling faces at the camera for a rough representation of Saturday’s race.
Take care friends,