I was excited to get over to one of the original challenge series races Challenge Walchsee, based in Austria. It is in an alpine region and had a very demanding course. We were greeted with rain and very cold conditions, which was a nice change after suffering in the Spanish sun.
Race day brought a 8 degrees high and rain. The race directors decided to shorten the swim to 1500m, and also shorten the cycle route to avoid the very technical downhills. This resulted in a 68km bike ride. I cut some sleeves off a polyprop and wore it under my race suit to try and combat the cold.
The swim was quick from the start and I managed to get around the big group and swim in 4th and 5th spot, exiting within a minute of the lead.
The bike was very challenging with a lot of short climbs. I managed to take the lead at the 15km mark, but was joined shortly after by Giulio Molinari and Justin Erhardt. I was struggling to descend with these guys in the technical sections, but was able to catch up on the climbs. I was at 370W average for the first lap of two. Throughout the second lap I started to get very cold, with 4 degrees showing on the bike computer, losing function of my hands, this made changing gears very difficult. Giulio got away and I was caught and passed by one of the Austrians. Heading into transition in 4th place.
Ride: 68km, 351W Avg, 1:43min
I decided to put socks on for the run to avoid blisters in the wet weather, this proved a costly decision. As my hands were still not functioning I lost another 1.5mins trying to get socks on my feet. This got me wound up and I set off quick on the run. I managed to get back to 3rd and was catching the leading two, but I ran out of ground. Finishing in third place 2mins behind first and 1min behind second, with a 1:16 half marathon, my best yet.