Britain’s Asa Shaw shares his surprise at winning silver at the Xterra World Championship in Hawaii recently…
220: Congrats Asa, you must be so pleased to reach the podium! How was the race for you?
Asa: I was absolutely delighted to reach the podium – I never expected it, it was just as much a surprise for me as for everyone else.
I felt quite comfortable in the swim, and when I came out of the water I knew I wasn’t far from front pack, and had a fast transition. When I jumped on my bike I felt good straight away.
I started slowly overtaking people and putting in a good pace at the start of the first hard climb. Three-quarters of the way through the course I got overtaken by [Ruben] Ruzafa and Stoll [Conrad Stoltz], but kept up with Stoll as Ruzafa pulled away from us.
All through the bike course I made sure I took on plenty of water, and was pouring water over myself to keep my body temp down. I had a very fast T2 and when I went off I gradually started catching up and overtaking people on the hard climb.
After overtaking Ben [Allen] at the top I wasn’t sure if I was in second position, so for the downhill I just gritted my teeth to keep my position to the end.
When I arrived on the sand I realised I was in second, and I knew the job was done and a dream had come true.
How did it compare to other Worlds races in previous years?
This is my fourth year in Maui, and every year I’ve slowly progressed. It’s a race that suits me: in my first year I came 35th, in my second I came 14th, and in my third year I came seventh.
How has the 2013 season as a whole gone for you?
2013 started not too badly, but with working [Asa is a full-time carpenter in France] and doing so many courses, as well as having a few problems with the bike on certain courses, it didn’t go as well as I hoped.
When I went to race in Germany and pulled out – that was when I realised I was burnt out, and needed to go home to recover and concentrate on preparing for Maui.
When I decided to do all the European races plus ITU Worlds plus a few local French races, I knew I was taking a risk keeping up physically.
How do you plan to relax and recharge during the off season?
Every year I take two or three weeks off training and take time to go on the dirt bike.
And then gradually I will start back into training, so for the beginning of January I can start back training and preparing for the season.