Russell White 15th at Rotterdam Grand Final

Russell White Rotterdam 2017 Run 1

Russell White has claimed his best result of 2017 by finishing 15th at the WTS Grand Final in Rotterdam.

White saved his best performance for the most important race of the season, competing against the world's best athletes on triathlon's biggest stage.

He completed the 1,500m swim alongside compatriot Ben Shaw in 18mins 55secs - in touch with the leaders heading out on to the bike.

Shaw was forced to retire during the bike however, leaving White as the sole representative during the 40km bike.

As the leaders were caught by the chase group, White found himself in a large pack of athletes and positioned himself towards the front of the group, staying safe and entering T2 in the top 10. 

Ben Shaw Rotterdam 2017 Bike 1

He held his position well on the run to cover the 10km in 32mins 35secs and hold on to 15th place in a race won by French sensation Vincent Luis.

The top 15 result means White has reached the qualification criteria to be sent to the Commonwealth Games in Australia next season, something he said was a major ambition.

White featured at the front of the bike pack for much of the day and said afterwards that this was as much about conditions as form.

"I got away in Stockholm (WTS) where it wasn’t intended but it gave me confidence. Today the aim was to be quiet but the conditions were bad and on the first couple of laps we had 25secs on the initial chase pack so it’s in my interest to get that group away because my running hasn’t been that strong."

"Once they got close on us, I didn’t drive the pace at all but I did stayed in the front for safety because the better wheels what you could trust were up there," said White.

Russell White Rotterdam 2017 Run 1

He continued: "At one stage I drifted back to the middle of the pack and it was a million times harder because you’re braking late and you can’t trust the guys in front "

Strong on the Run

"I felt strong on the run, once I got in to a rhythm I just tried to keep the pace going."

White races his final event of the season next weekend in Spain. He had particular words of praise for the support from the Irish Age Groupers in Rotterdam (who race tomorrow morning).  

"The support on the course was fantastic, it's great to hear people call your name and not just your surname when they read it off your trisuit, it really helps you."

Results from the Men's WTS Grand Final