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National title worth a celebratory burger

Will Clarke | 11:30 UK time, Monday, 8 June 2009

I love this time of the year. After a hard and long winter of training, when quite often it's just you and the grey sky, it's amazing to come out ready to travel the world, performing against the best guys in the world.

The first races of the year always feel tough because you're not 100% fit yet and you still need the extra racing gear needed to win the race.

After racing Madrid last weekend I realised what a hard sport this is. In a relatively new sport like triathlon it just seems to get harder every year. You improve but so does everyone else!

I have just finished my first block of racing of the year and it went really well. I managed to defend my National Championships title, win in the highly competitive French Grand Prix series and experience a solid start to the World Championships Series in Madrid.

Action from Madrid

The races were a lot of fun and I was delighted with my win at the National Championships in Scotland for the second year in a row. I felt really good on the bike and managed to break away, putting a minute into the other guys, which was enough for me to clinch the win.

No celebrating though, just a good old Burger King on the way home. I felt like I had a hangover the next day even then! I still had two more races to compete in so it was just recovery and more preparation.

My French Grand Prix race was just the same as usual, great to catch up with the guys, get in some good meals, racing and stay in some of the worst hotels available!

This time it was a shabby hotel in the middle of Dunkirk, and I ended up on a made up airbed in the corner of the room!

The first race of the season is especially good, though, because we get all the fresh new kit for the season. It feels like a second Christmas!

The race itself was hairy to say the least, we came out of the swim together and that resulted in a 50-person bike pack snaking its way round the city centre race course at over 30mph!

It got quite dangerous at times with close encounters with kerbs, lamp posts and cars! Luckily I got round safely and felt strong enough on the run to take my second French Grand Prix win ever.

Unfortunately I couldn't keep up my winning streak in Madrid. The race didn't really play into my hands, it was hot, hilly and hard but I got a really solid work out from it and rocked in 14th, which isn't too bad result for a bad race.

I still got points and a really solid work out. It was a really hot day out there and the race didn't play into my hands but congratulations to Alistair Brownlee for his first win. He's having an amazing year so far.

After the race we all had the opportunity to chill out a bit in Casa De Campo, the park in Madrid. I had my first beer of the last few months. We were the first up in the karaoke, and we were terrible.

I'm pretty happy at the moment with my form. I seem to be in a good position to strike later in the year, when I am meant to be firing on all cylinders.

I really enjoyed the first few races but at the moment my legs definitely remember it!

I have to recover quickly and get back to my training as soon as possible as possible however as my next block of racing is just around the corner and I want to make some improvements before I head off!

Next weekend I'm racing another French Grand Prix race in Beauvais, just a few days before I depart for my trip to America where I race the Washington leg of the World Championship Series and the Des Moines World Cup.

There's some great racing in great locations out there and I can't wait to perform.

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