Early Season wins at Ludgershall and Portsmouth have seen Tristan Grigalis rise from 4th category to 2nd in no time at all. The 21 year old Southampton University RC rider is completely new to road racing but has learnt quickly.
“The first couple of races for me were therefore finding my legs and positioning in the group and what would work best to get me over the finish line. Needless to say i wasn’t in great positions in my first couple of races coming 6th and 5th. My third race I was really proud of getting two of my team 1st and 2nd after leading them out on the last lap. I got into 3rd Cat with a race win and then went on to win 3 more 3rd cat races along with 1 fourth place. I’ve had a couple of races since but these saw a puncture and a 3rd cat race i wouldn’t have got any points in so I thought it best to see what i was like on the climbs. After winning the King of the Hills at the Bristol South race it seems the answer was not too bad”
Originally a swimmer and a county level track runner, Grigalis briefly toyed with quadrathlon, picking up an U18 silver medal at the world championships. He dropped the kayaking and switched to triathlon.
“I managed to take 1st place qualifying for the age group worlds and went out to NZ to compete at the world triathlon Championships.”
A serious back injury interrupted his progress but he had already had enough of triathlon,
“I knew what I loved and that was cycling. So here i am racing my nuts off every week all over the south trying to get noticed”
What does he prefer, against the clock or on the road?
“A Bit of both. Time trialling is great to learn to be in the Pain cave. Road racing you get to see more than just the end of your aero bars and the tarmac below. And best of all you get to race with others“
Grigalis spent the winter commuting between Southampton and Fareham on his bike before a change of job saw him move to Bournemouth,
“So I got on the turbo and cracked out some hard painful sessions which brought my threshold up pretty drastically. Getting to start and end work earlier meant some extra hours in the evening and now its just about getting some decent miles in with two or three TTs a week in and a road race at the weekend. I’m trying to get around 160 miles a week in of hard training and then a road race every week end. In terms of work out i want to go sub 20:30 this season on a fast course. My Time trial bike is getting a bit old but I think I can crack sub 21 and then maybe sub 20:30 on it. I remember James Atherton doing exactly the same last season and doing a great job of getting up to 2nd cat and loving his riding after leaving GBR triathlon. Hoping this makes him proud...”
Full of enthusiasm,he is enjoying the ride home after a 22:20 ride at a club 10. Never mind half full, the glass is positively overflowing. However aspiration requires application and perspiration if it is to come to fruition, but enough of the smart arse rhyming, getting noticed is what matters right now.
James Atherton was tragically killed in January this year, while out training in the New Forest