Top Ten for White & Hayes in Karlovy Vary

Just one week after racing at the Tokyo Test Event, three Team Ireland High Performance triathletes were back in action at the Karlovy Vary World Cup in the Czech Republic on Sunday.

Russell White, Carolyn Hayes and Ian Manthey took on one of the toughest courses on the World Cup circuit and came away with some strong results in the form of two top ten finishes.

a tough test

Karlovy Vary is renowned for its technical swim, and tough bike and run courses. A long incline and tight turns on the seven lap bike course mean riders need to work to stay in packs while saving energy for the challenging run course. 

Russell Whit

Having finished second at this race last year, it's a course that suits Russell White; he had looked forward to returning and was thrilled with an eighth placed finish. 

"It was always a risk coming here a week after Tokyo, doing an Olympic distance last Friday on a different continent was always going to be tricky but to come back to somewhere where I podiumed last year, it was always going to be worth it and I’m just over the moon to come eighth."

Despite a slight blip on the second half of the swim, White looked in control for the duration of the race and put in his best run of the season on the undulating and winding course. Speaking after the race, Russell broke down how he handled the conditions;

"Really tough, technical course - there’s ten different changes of direction over the two lap 750 which is really obscure for a World Series or World Cup, usually we’re just basic rectangles."

"On the 2nd lap I thought I was quite safe near the front and coming under the bridge there was a sand bank of pebbles and I got completely grounded. I thought that was the split to the front pack. After being so comfortable it fairly changed the swim around and had to put the hammer down to close the gap which I wasn’t expecting. It sort of spiked the heart rate going onto the bike which was a bit tricky but I’m glad I safely bridged it across and was safely on to the bike and onto one of the toughest bike courses on the circuit."

Russell White_Karlovy Vary 2019 Bike

"With having such a good race here last year I felt I could just back myself and have a bit of confidence. With Tokyo last weekend and Lausanne next weekend, I didn’t want to go too deep. So it was all about sitting in the right positions, being technically well and just being smart on the bike for once which is my weakness. It was all about sitting in, conserving energy and being safe at all times."

Putting in a strong run performance will give White confidence heading into this week's ITU Grand Final in Lausanne.

"For it all to come together and have so many runners, I was a bit nervous but to come away with eighth I’d say I’m slightly surprised. I was nervous with that run field and was I hoping for a small group out of the swim. I just had to play with the cards I was dealt and to come away with eighth place with so many runners I’m absolutely over the moon."

Also in the elite men's race, Ian Manthey followed up last week's Mixed Team Relay in Tokyo with 28th in Karlovy Vary in a tightly fought race.

carolyn chases for ninth

Carolyn Hayes_Karlovy Vary 2019 Swim

Carolyn Hayes didn't have the start that she had been looking for in the water, leaving her with work to do for the rest of the race. 

"I made hard work today for myself. Had a rough start, wasn’t where I wanted to be in the water and then had to get myself together and start working hard on the bike, I managed to pull through and then start picking people off as the laps went by."

Karlovy Vary signalled Hayes' second standard distance race in one week, having finished a brilliant 29th at the Tokyo Test Event, 21 places above her starting ranking.

Despite not having the start she hoped for, Carolyn Hayes got into a small group on the bike and worked hard once out onto the run. Hayes has been running well in recent months, this isn't the first time she has moved up more than a few places once on the run course;

"I felt really good on the bike and then as soon as I got onto the run I knew that would be a strength and I just chased, I chased as hard as I could."

Carolyn Hayes_Karlovy Vary 2019 Bike

With one of the fastest runs of the field, Carolyn Hayes moved into ninth position. Speaking after her race, she had mixed feelings about her performance;

"I mean, ninth place, if you had told me that before I started I would have been really happy but obviously I wanted to combine all three disciplines so we’ll keep working."

"I was really happy, it’s a really honest course."

ITU Grand Final Lausanne

Next Saturday, 31 August, Russell White and Con Doherty race the final World Triathlon Series race of 2019 at the Grand Final, Lausanne.