#PTO#Europe Open
Raced on May 6, 2023

Author: Holly Lawrence

PTO European Open

A bike to forget.



Unaffiliated report as if written by Holly Lawrence.

Flying all the way to Ibiza to race when the US Champs are on the same weekend on my doorstep was always a risk.

I know I want to race the biggest races against the best. There was a bit of a body adjustment to cater for the long travel and time zone difference.

The build up and race week went well but on race morning things seemed a bit off. I just couldn't feel like I was waking up and even ordered another coffee to try snap me out of it!

The Tools

Category Brand
Trisuit Santini
Wetsuit Roka
Bike Trek
Helmet Giro
Sunnies Oakley
Bike Shoes Bontrager
Run Shoes Nike

The Swim


Time: 00:25:48

One of my key goals for this race was to just have a really great swim. Unfortunately I can't quite say I achieved this. Not that I had a bad swim, but, I was just really slow off the mark and was visibly the last person to jump in when the gun went off.

I got confused when the refree was calling us all back and I took a step back just as the gun went off and I was immediately on the back foot...literally.

Apart from the start, the water was also super choppy which I have always struggled to swim in. That being said, I found it great to practice swimming in these conditions in a slightly more bunched up and "aggressive" swim where I needed to jostle with the other swimmers to keep my place. I don't often get to do that on the smaller on more spread out race fields.

The Bike

Just no energy

Time: 02:10:21

I came out of the water in an okay position but with some other strong athletes. A group of four of us were just over a minute down on Lucy Charles-Barclay but there were one or two other fast swimmers between Lucy and us. I do have this feeling that I perhaps should have been up the road with them with how strong my swim usually is.

When I started peddaling I could feel like it wasn't going to be a good bike. I just lacked something and I'm not quite sure what it was. I just really struggled on the bike which is not typical for me.

The best way I can describe it is that I just didn't have any energy. I could get to my power numbers but it was a big of a slog to get there and I found it difficult to maintain with the creeping lower on each lap.

I was desperate to quite and had all but made my mind up that I would when I got to T2. I had slipped down from 6th to 16th which should never happen!

Grit and Character


Photo credit: Darren Wheeler / PTO

The Run

Fighting back

Time: 01:09:14

I had looked for Sean in T2 to basically tell him I was pulling out and to some small extent get his "ok"...but I couldn't see him?! For some reason this made it impossible for me to throw the towel in.

Daniela Ryf was just in front of me and also having a bad day. I thought that if she can just jog this run out then I may as well too. My aim was to catch up to her and then run together to the end.

By the time I caught her I was running quite a bit faster so just carried on past her. I seemed to get over my flatness and found a rythm and kept pushing on.

In the end I actually had a solid run which was the 10th fastest overall. I also ran myself up from 15th in to 10th place which, thinking about it, is a very good result for having such a flat day!

Some lessons learned and i'm glad I was able to make the most of it and not quit.

Closing Thoughts

General Satisfaction

I can't say I'm satisfied as it was a very average race experience. Starting from the morning waking up carrying on until half way through the run.

What Went Well

I got some good swim experience in tough conditions against some world-class swimmers. I didn't quit haha! I think I can also be really proud of sticking through the tough periods and having a good run.

Need to do better

I need to try work out why I was so flat and when I wake up on race morning that I'm revving and ready to go. Next time I will be more present at the start line and not be caught out when the gun goes off.


Category Result
Overall Time 03:47:47
Overall Position 10
Swim Time 00:25:48
Bike Time 02:10:21
Run Time 01:09:14