Shaw On The Podium At XTERRA Italy

Olly_05

The following is an email from an athlete in New Zealand, Olly Shaw. Olly is racing XTERRA over in Europe using a pair of TOKEN C18CRs that were provided for him by Bikes International in New Zealand. Included are some photos where you will see his C18CRs on his Merida Big Nine. Olly is just 21 years of age and he has finished fourth in an elite level XTERRA race! What an achievement! No doubt there’s more of this to come from the young star!

Olly_01Extract from NZTRI.com

“One of the most promising off-road athletes in NZ has enjoyed a career breakthrough, making the podium at one of the Worlds premier XTERRA triathlons.

Oliver (Olly) Shaw has put together the race of his young career to grab 4th place at the latest stop on the XTERRA global tour in Abruzzo, Italy. A career best performance that showcased the bright future the talented athlete has in front of him.

Shaw, the reigning XTERRA age-group (amateur) World Champion has this year taken the difficult step up to join the Professional ranks at just 21yrs of age. Abruzzo was an event he was really looking forward after a gut-wrenching 4th place amongst the Elite U23 field at the ITU Cross-Triathlon World Championships just one week earlier in the Netherlands.”

Olly Writes

Hey guys,

I just had my best race of my European campaign, placing 4th overall at Xterra Italy!

To be honest, going into Xterra Abruzzo I wasn’t too sure how I would go. After racing for the last three weekends in a row I was hoping that I had got the recovery and training balance right. I was definitely looking to improve on my last races and move into the top 10 elite after a couple of close efforts!

Olly_03The swim was in the beautiful Lago Di Scanno lake which was warm and flat. Perfect racing conditions! I had a good swim and managed to come out just behind the first main pack of swimmers, keeping myself in the race early on.

Onto the bike and the climbing begins straight away! I had been really looking forward to this course with the amount of climbing and also it’s technical nature. It had been raining for the last couple of days leading into the race which had made parts of the course extremely slippery and muddy, which I really enjoy racing in. Early on in the bike I was riding with Nico Lubren and Francois Carloni, two top French Xterra athletes, which was great as it gave me someone to chase and focus on keeping my pace steady. About 30 minutes into the bike we came to a long open switchback section where I was able to see position two through to position 10, where I was. This gave me a huge amount of confidence as I knew that they couldn’t be any more than two minutes up on me and I could pull them back. I gave it my all through to the top of the main climb (another 15 minutes) and by that stage had moved into 5th, catching and passing Asa Shaw (Great Britian) and Jim Thijs (Belgium). I made sure I was leading into the technical downhill back to transition and managed to put around one and a half minutes into these guys which I was really happy with.

Olly_02

Heading out onto the run and I could hardly believe I was in 5th! I knew that both Asa and Jim were really strong runners so I went out hard hoping that if they hadn’t pulled me back within five kilometres, I could hold on until the end as all the climbing came in the first half. My plan worked perfectly and when I reached the top of the run course I couldn’t see anyone within 200m of me. I wasn’t getting complacent though and was pushing above my limit hoping to stay in the top five. At the top of the last climb I still couldn’t see anyone behind me and started believing that I might be able to hold onto fifth. Then suddenly with around one and a half kilometres to go I caught a glimpse of Carloni who was about 200 metres ahead of me in 4th. I gave it everything to bridge up to him and when I was there I didn’t want to hang around. I went past him as hard as I could hoping to get a gap and within 200 metres I had a gap of around 15 metres. I kept the pace high for the last kilometre not knowing if I had cracked him and was relieved to see the finish line and turn around and have over 100 metres on him.

Olly_04I could hardly believe that I was crossing the line in 4th, only behind Xterra icons Conrad Stoltz, Nico Lebrun and Nico Pfitzenmaier. Before the race I would have been happy with sneaking into the top ten, and anything else would be a bonus! It showed to me that I have the potential to be up the front with the big guns and it has given me a lot of confidence in my own ability heading into the rest of the European Xterra Series.

Now I have three weeks to continue building my form before my next two races, Xterra Czech Reupblic, and Xterra Germany which are on the 10th and 17th of August. Let’s keep this momentum going!

Also you can check out the links below for a press release:

http://nztri.co.nz/shaw-on-the-podium-at-xterra-italy/

http://infonews.co.nz/news.cfm?id=104549

http://www.sportzhub.com/news/shaw-podium-xterra-italy/

http://www.triathlon.org.nz/blog/idweekendreview

Cheers,

Olly

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