Doherty wins 2018 Larache ATU Sprint Triathlon African Cup

Antwerp ITU World Cup

Doherty comes out on top

Con Doherty cemented his successful 2018 season this weekend with a win at the 2018 Larache ATU Sprint Triathlon African Cup. Second seeded Doherty was racing in Morocco. Finishing in a time of 56.09 to top the podium for Ireland, Con had the following to say of his race:

"The objective at this race was to get as many ITU points as I could without interrupting my training regime too much. It was a quick in and out job, but as a result I wasn't feeling particularly fresh as I stood on the start line. Nonetheless, I was confident in my abililities even if I wasn't 100%. I had even dreamt I'd won the race the night before."

"Larache is a beautiful coastal Moroccan town up near the Gibraltar Strait, and the swim began one side of a canal that we had to swim across in a lightning bolt shape formed by two turn bouys. I knew that I'd be starting next to the Canadian Charles Paquet, who was ranked number one. He is a strong swimmer and I planned to stick close to him for as long as I could during the swim. It seems to have been a smart tactic because I exited the water in 14th of 50 guys, less than 20 seconds behind the first out. This was a good swim for me, and it put me in a good position getting on the bike."

"The bike was composed of six laps, which included a 600m climb at 7% on every lap. On the first lap, I found myself in front with a pack of 10-12 guys. When we hit the hill first time round, I put down hard but constant power till the top. When I looked around, it was just myself and two Canadians, Paquet and Lepage, that were still on my wheel. We organised ourselves as quickly as possible to get working and with each lap, the gap grew out."

"When we hit T2, we had an 80 second gap but I could feel my legs were paying for the effort of the bike. I thought to myself; "if I'm feeling tired the Canadians might be cooked", so I legged it through T2 and put the feelings of fatigue aside. For the first kilometre, I could hear Lepage was just on my heels and thought it was gonna be a hard fought run. I settled into my own pace, focused on myself and soon enough a gap grew out. I began to fatigue a bit on the last two of four laps but I'd already opened a large enough gap to take the win."

"Running through the narrow Moroccan streets lined with the local people was an amazing experience, enough on it's own merit to make me return. I also had a lot of fun during the race, which is an important aspect of competition for me."

"Now it's time to return home for the National Champs next weekend. After that, I'll take a mid-season break for a week before getting back to International racing. Nothing will change with my racing plans, other than Edmonton WTS at the end of this month, if I can get a position on the start line. I'm very happy with my results and progress so far this season and I'm really looking forward to the later races. Thanks to all my training partners and the team that I'm surrounded by for the part they play, you're awesome!"

You can follow Con's journey through his social media channels on Twitter and Instagram.