I'd describe myself as a strong-ish swimmer relative to the age group field as a whole, but was a little presumptuous in Santa Cruz and slotted myself with the very first group. The group's estimated pace was 27:00, but I ended up getting out of the water in 28:57. Felt like I had a subpar swim for me based off what I've done in the pool and open water for training. Even though the slower time could be attributed to ocean conditions, I was still passed by maybe 15-20 people (possibly more) from the waves behind me. With the rolling start, I believe 4 people went off from the corral at a time.
Once I got on the bike I was able to really get moving. There wasn't really anyone who stayed with me until after I passed the majority of the Pro Women. Two Every Man Jack guys ride with me once I caught them with about 10 miles to go. I ended up coming into T1 first with a 2:17:55.
For Indian Wells, I expect that I'll be at the front for the age group race on the bike as my in-aero FTP on the trainer has gone up a bit since Santa Cruz. I've also been putting a lot of work into my swim with a couple of 2-a-days thrown in and have made really good progress in the pool. I believe that if I have a good day, and since it's in calm Lake Cahuilla, I could be close to that 27:00 mark.
How should I position myself for this rolling swim start to set up the best possible race? Should I go with the first group at 27:00 minutes? Or line myself up a group behind and potentially have a bit more draft to swim in?
I'm thinking that since the bike is flat and fast there could be an advantage to riding with a few other guys at legal spacing.
Side note: I know the run course is rollers on the golf course, but is there anything else I should know about it? Looks like a decent amount of turns. All on pavement?
Dominic Pollizzi / WeTri Racing