Jodie Stimpson admitted Commonwealth Games success had taken its toll after her summer ended in disappointing fashion in the World Series Grand Final.
The Oldbury triathlete, 25, left Strathclyde Park with a gold medal and still an outside chance of landing the world title. Yet the 2013 runner-up behind Non Stanford also left the Glasgow Games emotionally drained and eventually slipped to fourth in the overall standings after finishing 13th in 2:01:49 in Edmonton.
It followed a struggling 16th place in Stockholm last weekend and was also the second time in succession Stimpson has been cut adrift in the swim in World Series races.
“I’m pretty p***ed off to be honest,” she conceded. “I just haven’t felt good in the water since Stockholm and both me and [coach] Darren [Smith] knew it. Stockholm really knocked my confidence and if you are not feeling 110% in this field you will get spat out of the back.
“I was hoping to make the front pack and I’d have a shot, but I couldn’t and then the time gap was going up and up. I was red-lining all the way and thought: ‘How am I going to run off this?’ I blew up on the last lap [of the run] but was just giving it all I had got.”
Asked whether she felt flat since the Commonwealth Games, Stimpson replied: “Definitely, without a doubt, but that was my choice. As soon as I qualified in London last year, Darren said: ‘Do you want to focus on the Commies or the World Series? ’To me there wasn’t a choice. It was my first championships and coming off such a high, I have struggled, not with motivation but energy levels in training.
“It’s such a drain when you have a win like that. I put so much energy into the lead-up and it’s not just the two-hour race, there is so much more. I missed racing in Chicago to put myself in a bubble with an uninterrupted training block in Morzine to get ready for the Commonwealths.
“It’s pretty intense putting everything on the line for one race. I haven’t really had a chance to catch my breath, but now I’m looking forward to going home for a bit of recovery and I’ll take two weeks totally off.”
Stimpson will not be powering down completely though, as she has signed up to compete in the inaugural Challenge Bahrain, a half-iron distance race of 1.9km swim, 90km bike,and 21.1km run in December notable for the $500,000 on offer.
“Everyone is talking about this Bahrain race,” she continued. “It’s my first 70.3, I had no idea about the prize purse, but I had a look at the start-list and all of bloody ‘Kona’ is on it. It’ll be good, though. I’ll still be in winter training, it’s something different and a little challenge for the winter.”
Beyond that, 2015 will bring a different focus, the challenge of qualifying for a first Olympics, the fast-looming Rio 2016. “Next year they’ll be more on the World Series, but it’s still going to play second fiddle to qualifying for the Olympics,” she added. “Great Britain has such depth now. Non, Helen [Jenkins] and Vicky [Holland] are going to be back next year all guns blazing, so it’ll be tough to get on that team.”
Stimpson also paid tribute to the crowd support in Canada, which was laden with British age-group triathletes who either competed in yesterday’s Sprint or will take part in Monday’s standard distance racing.
“It was brilliant,” Stimpson said. “The Canadians were all cheering me on and we’ve got such a lot of Great Britain age-groupers out here. They were all backing me on that run because my legs were hurting like hell.
“They have been great and they’ve got their own championships to prepare for as well. Good luck to them, they’ve all done a good job to qualify and I hope they race well over the weekend.”
Image: David Pearce/British Triathlon