"If that’s bad, things aren’t going too badly" - WTS Bermuda

Russell White WTS Bermuda 2018 Bike 1

White 23rd at WTS Bermuda

Ireland's top ranked athlete Russell White bettered his starting position by 16 despite a tough day out at WTS Bermuda. White finished 23rd with what he described as a sub par performance.

But the 26-year-old was able to take the positives from a day that saw him battle hard to catch the lead group during the 40km bike and hold on bravely during the 10km run to record yet another top 25 WTS result - the kind of consistency that will go a long way towards booking a place at Tokyo 2020 when the Olympic qualification period opens next month.

Historic Day

Bermuda's debut as a WTS venue saw history as Norway swept the podium. In only his third WTS elite race of his career, Casper Stornes (NOR) dominated his way to claim gold, while compatriots Kristian Blummenfelt and Gustav Iden finished off the silver and bronze to complete the sweep.

The race began with a dive off a high wall in to rough seas and following the first 800m lap of the 1,500m swim Russell White was well placed, triggering the timer just a few seconds off the lead as he emerged from the water, ran the pontoon and dived back in for lap two.

From here however, things began to turn for White: "I got a real good start, even round the buoys I wasn’t that far from the front but diving back in my arms just wouldn’t work. I was lacking  a but of endurance in the water, my arms weren’t playing ball. It was so messy, everyone was so spread out, you were trying to swim in to gaps and swim up the side."

WTS Bermuda 2018 1
Image: Wagner Araujo/ITU Media

The Mentality Baffles Me

White entered T1 in the unfamiliar position of 46th, more than 30secs behind the main contenders and was forced to ride with a group of athletes that appeared to lack the ambition to make it to the front during the hilly eight lap bike course.

"The first two laps we were loosing time and even when the front packs merged they sat up there were very few working in our pack, it was frustrating," said White. "I’ve never been in that position so far back.  The mentality of people (who didn't want to work to catch the leaders) just baffles me. You are angry with people for not working and then having to work yourself but I had to go hard even if it was going to take it out of my legs."

WTS Bermuda 2018 2
IMAGE: WAGNER ARAUJO/ITU MEDIA

White Bridges Across

White recorded the 7th fastest bike split of the field and eventually this hard work paid off. "On lap six we made the junction and after that I was just trying to get the heart rate down and almost relax before the run."

In contrast to the earlier stages of the race, White pulled off a remarkable T2, shooting out of transition in 10th place overall to start the 10km run.

White said: "I felt ok going on to the run, at 7.5km I felt quite strong and comfortable but with all the work I had put in on the bike I was paying for it".

White covered the 10km in 34mins 06secs to finish 23rd, further back than he had aimed for but still inside the top 25 draft legal triathletes in the world.

"When I finished I was happy with 23rd, for a race that I felt I was not going smoothly. I was aiming to be inside the top 20, so if that’s your bad things aren’t going too badly."

Results & Race Reports

Full results from WTS Bermuda

Read about the men's race

Read about the women's race where Flora Duffy dominated to become the hometown hero