Tom Watson Represents UBC TSC Triathlon at the ITU World Final

On Labour Day weekend, Tom Watson represented Canada and UBC TSC Triathlon at the ITU World Final in Lausanne, Switzerland. He did incredibly well in his second ever draft-legal race and finished 5th in his age group despite a bike crash.

Tom Watson looking strong on the run course

“It was a brilliant experience to compete at the ITU world final last weekend. To see all the different nations represented in the city, both from age group and pro fields was amazing.” 

The swim was in the perfectly clear water of Lake Geneva and since the water was warm, the swim was wet-suit illegal. After getting a bit swamped in the first few 100 meters of the mass start, Tom eventually settled into some clear space and came out of the water in the second big group athletes. 

Tom Watson races around the corner on the bike course

The bike was the highlight with the course looping up the hilly city streets and along the café-lined waterfront. Climbing is Tom’s strong suit on the bike so he tried to be aggressive on the hills. With the event allowing drafting and several hundred athletes on the course, there was always the danger of getting caught in a crash and unfortunately Tom didn’t manage to stay out of trouble. Another athlete fell into Tom on an uphill after touching wheels – this is not where Tom expected to have problems! Thankfully, the collision was at a low speed and Tom was able to get going again fairly quickly. 

The run had some fairly steep uphill segments as well and Tom couldn’t quite find the rhythm he was hoping for with the muscles in his leg complaining about the fall on the bike. That being said, Tom says that coming down the finish chute with spectators lining the barriers is definitely not something he’ll forget! 

In the end, after leading the bike, Tom fell 2 minutes back from the winner of his age group and ended in 5th place. Overall it was an incredibly motivating event, especially after watching the pro field race the same streets later that afternoon. Racing in a Canadian kit is always a special feeling and Tom, along with a few other TSC Triathletes who qualified, are looking forward to racing in the 2020 ITU World Final being held a little bit closer to home, in Edmonton, next year!