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Interview: Andrew Yorke

Men's ITU WTS Huatulco Mexico 2015 Credit: Rich Cruse | ITU Media
Men’s ITU WTS Huatulco Mexico 2015
Credit: Rich Cruse | ITU Media

Taylor Reid: How did you mange your recovery after your crash in Yokohama? It looks like you recovered quickly.

Andrew Yorke: I worked with Triathlon Canada’s integrated support team “IST” immediately after the crash to prevent any long term complications. Our physio in Yokohama got in touch with my sports Doctor and Physio back in Guelph so that when I saw them they were already briefed on my crash. I made sure I took care of my body in those first few days and modified my swims and runs accordingly. It didn’t hurt on the bike so we were able to get right back on that.

TR: Huatulco is very hilly and hot race. How did you prepare for those conditions?

AY: We hit the sauna in the week leading up to the race and then did some prep in Coach Craig Taylor’s high tech heat chamber bathroom. Turn on the shower and ride with a space heater. I had to stop just shy of an hour because the tire couldn’t keep traction with the rollers any longer. Too much sweat! We also did hill reps on the Rattlesnake climb in Milton and the bell school line hill here as well. Those climbs are steeper and longer than e one in Huatulco so I felt very prepared.

TR: Why did you choose to race this race? Do you consider yourself a hill climber?

AY: I like the course and having grown up in the Caledon hills and trained on the escarpment in Ontario I feel like I do well on these kinds of courses. There certainly challenging and make for fun racing. For me this was an ideal lead into the Pan Am games and the Rio Test event.

TR: You have done very well at this race placing 6th in 2012. In the past years Huatulco has been an Olympic distance race. It switched over to a sprint race this year. How did that change the race?

AY: It is a totally different mentality on the bike. In the past, guys were much more conservative on the hill knowing they had to repeat it eight times. With only four laps and the weather being much cooler, people were very aggressive which made for some hurting legs when we hit the run.

TR: Tell us a little about the scramble from the swim to the bike and how important the first few kilometers are to make it into the right pack.

AY: You’ve got to be flat out from the time you exit the water and try to pass as many athletes as you can on the way to your bike. In transition every second you can make up is a second less of effort on the bike. I try to be smooth and efficient to have a great T1 and then I focus on a high cadence and getting as aero as possible when chasing. I ride just below my maximum until I catch a group and don’t look for any help. This is probably the most crucial part of the race and can break your day.

TR: Aurelien Lescure broke away on lap three of the four-loop bike course. Did that worry you at all and did you think of braking away any time in the race?

AY: I tried with a few other on the 2nd lap of the bike, more than anything I just got on the back of what appeared to be a very strong group that was stretching the field at that point. We got clear but then were chased down not long after. I thought about joining Lescure but we were pulling back too much time on the climbs and the pace was too slow on the flats to make it possible to hang on for the win on the run.

TR: It looked like a very hard run off the bike in supper hot and humid conditions. What happened out there? Did you keep an even pace or save some up for the last kilometer?

AY: I went out with the group through the first 1200 m but I was running on empty. Waking up that morning I just didn’t have the legs even though the training had indicated I was ready to roll. It was disappointing but I just gradually got dropped. Normally I have a great kick and I though for sure I could run myself inside the top 10 but it just wasn’t there. Four weeks to Pan Ams though! That’s the big one I’ve been focusing on.

Men's ITU WTS Huatulco Mexico 2015 Credit: Rich Cruse | ITU Media
Men’s ITU WTS Huatulco Mexico 2015
Credit: Rich Cruse | ITU Media