By Kent Gray/Triathlon.kiwi
Kurt Peterson left a little skin on the roads of Long Beach but rode away from his maiden World Triathlon Para Cup with a lot of invaluable lessons banked in his quest to qualify for the Paris Paralympics.
The Auckland 35-year-old crashed on the bike leg and then grappled for more than five minutes trying to detangle his chain en route to finishing 6th and at the tail of the PTS4 race in 1:29:07.
It was a tough outcome after a week of upskilling in the company of coach Rob Dallimore but Peterson knows bumps on the road to Paris are inevitable.
“There’s lots to work on to improve as always but I feel the time of 1:29:07 is not really representative of where we are at,” Peterson told Triathlon.kiwi.
“Being over here has been a great experience and a huge learning curve. From where we started the week to where we finished knowledge wise, it’s been massive.
“This is all part of the game and I will take these learnings to the next race I do and hit the gas pedal and improve.”
Dallimore worked hard throughput the week in Long Beach on improving Peterson’s transition times and will have been pleased with that aspect of his man’s race.
Peterson had targeted shaving as much as three minutes of his 1:23 effort at Oceania Para Cup Busselton in late April but that went west in an eventful bike leg.
“…On to the cycle we were going along great guns in certain places pushing along at 34-35 kilometres per hours and loving it but then I made a bit of a hash of it at the end of the second lap where I followed in the rider in front of me almost down the exit towards the transition,.
“I need to be a bit more aware and get my racing brain in gear a lot more. I did a u turn and got out of there as soon as I realised but lost about a minute in the process”
More pedal drama was to follow when Peterson hit a bump while tucked into the areo posoition.
“Half way on the third and final lap I was pushing hard and went over a big bump on the road that was across the whole road on my aero bars and lost control. I hit the pavement pretty hard.
“I got up and realised the chain had come off and had also twisted on itself in the process. I struggled for about 6-7 minutes to get the chain back on, then as I cycled off I realised my gear selector to go onto the big chain ring in the front wasn’t working. The back gears were fine so did the best we could to finish off the cycle with what we had. Guttered but wasn’t about to give up.
Peterson pumped out a 22:26 5km split to finish the race dinged up physically but emotionally fired up for his next race, whereever that may be.
“A little banged up and sore but I have really enjoyed the event as a whole and also, just keeping an eye on the PTS3 category which I may be eligible for soon, I would have come second,” he said. “Thanks so much to everyone who supported us over social media and the likes. The support is what keeps me going.”