Photos: World Triathlon

By Kent Gray/ in Sunderland

Triathlon at the top level is a constant tightrope walk where giant leaps forward in performance can just as quickly become frustrating steps backwards, often through no fault of your own. Just ask Dylan McCullough.

“Hamburg wasn’t so great for me the other weekend but I just quickly put that one behind me and moved forward and looked towards this race. And yeah, really happy with 12th and see what we can do in Paris in three weeks time.”

The Paris Olympic test event from August 17-20 includes individual and relay races, the former a chance to reinforce his personal claims for an Olympic nomination and perhaps also press for that relay start that keeps eluding him.

A first Kiwi on the podium finish in Paris would guarantee a nomination to the NZOC for next summer’s games. Otherwise, two top 8s at WTCS are needed and McCullough feels he is closing in on the first of the latter.

“Obviously you don’t want to put too much pressure on yourself, you just want to keep performing and putting your best out there and yeah, see how it goes,” he said.

“But yeah, it’s definitely within touching distance. I just need to play my cards right I think and keep on training good and racing smart and we’ll see. You never know what might happen.”

Saturday’s race in Sunderland again proved McCullough has the goods across the disciplines to consistently compete at the pointy end of WTCS races.

“My swim was alright, I was there or thereabouts at the front, it was freezing cold but got through it.

“Got onto the bike and the front group wasn’t working so well. Léo [eventual silver medalist Léo Bergere] was pushing the pace a lot and I didn’t really know what to do because obviously we all commit, or if some weren’t committing, there is no point you committing and just wasting energy.

“So, I kind of did a little bit, my share for the first few laps and then sat in and then the others attacked.”

McCullough was pleased with his 15:14 split for the 5km run and enjoyed the longer distance compared to the super sprint format in Hamburg. He overtook Reid (15:37) who had been part of the breakout bike group including Bergere and eventual winner Pierre Le Corre.  

“My legs were alright for the first 1km and then they just got better and better, got into my stride and started bouncing a lot more,” McCullough said.

“So yeah, I think the 5k and the 10k is a lot more suited to my ability for the running.”

Comments are closed.