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Relay Racing, French Partying, A week off, then bring o

Sprint distance race, South of France, five to start and three to finish. That means pushing the slow swimmer shielding the weaker bikers from the wind then working out who’s the 3rd strongest runner and doing what it takes to get them to the line. The team wanted us to finish top 10 and we got 9th, so job done, but it was a traditional french weekend….nuts! It’s silly season in France, contracts for next year need to be signed by the end of the month and the transfer merry go round is in full swing. Don’t go to the last race of the season and you risk being left without a horse. Managers start talking at the after race party and the more they drink the bigger the offers; but are they still on the table once the hangover has gone? After a week in bed with Flu and with a chest infection I wasn’t planning to race, but I knew that I could still help the team in the swim and on the bike even if I my chest wasn’t going to let me run. I was also a bit worried about next year if I wasn’t there. Our team has had its budget cut, so the premier division that we thought might be paved with gold isn’t. My alarm didn’t go off and i missed my 6am flight from Bristol, which wasn’t a good start. £100 later and I was on the 11am flight to Toulouse, an hour on the bus and 2 hours on the train and I was in Narbonne where I found Vickey Holland, Fred Balaubre and a free ride in the Beauvais team bus to Grissant. Two of us pushed our weak swimmer around the 750m, we all tried to work together on the bike and for about 2km we actually achieved it, out onto the run and I wasn't going anywhere fast and got dropped pretty quick. I could see our 3rd counter exploding up the road and being pushed by pete, so I kept running just incase he collapsed. Probably my worst race of the season, but I did what I needed to for the team. I trotted across the line glad it was all over and ready for a shower and a sleep before the party….”Monsieur Wiltshire dopage si’l vous plais!” I hadn’t drunk before the race as I knew I was coughing alot and would have brought it up again. It took me 3 full hours to come up with my 100ml. I wasn’t a happy boy by the time I had found the team had ditched me and I had jogged back to the hotel. I’m not much of a party boy, but the end of season only happens once a year and the french really are party boys and girls. It wouldn't be very professional for a full time athlete to divulge what goes on at an end of season party, but wow I lead a shelterd life!! The end of my first season with Planet X, I think it's gone well got some good t.v coverage and had a couple of good races, I'm laying claim to being Planet x's highest ever world cup finisher. Now to email the big man and see if he'll have me back next year and if any deal has to involve a pink bike! I'm in the background, the yellow bit of paper is the testing form that I have just been handed, can you see how happy I am about having to pee in a pot?

7 October 2008

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