Home comforts spurring on triathlete Tom Bishop

·4-min read
Tom Bishop was forced to cut short his 2021 season due to injury but is back competing at his home race in Leeds this weekend
Tom Bishop was forced to cut short his 2021 season due to injury but is back competing at his home race in Leeds this weekend

Leeds-based triathlete Tom Bishop is confident he is getting back to his best just in time for a huge race on home soil, writes Sportsbeat's Paul Eddison.

The 30-year-old had to cut short his 2021 season because of an injury. As a result, he took every precaution at the start of this season, easing himself in with a good result at this weekend’s AJ Bell 2022 World Triathlon Championship Series Leeds – his flagship home race – one of the main objectives.

And after some promising recent performances in Portugal and Italy, Bishop is confident that his form is coming together at just the right time for the event in Roundhay.

The best triathletes in the world are set to flood to the start line this weekend and speaking ahead of the showpiece, Bishop said: “I got an invite (to the Roundhay race) because I’ve been fairly successful there in the past.

“It’s a race where I feel like I get the best out of myself, regardless of what condition I’m in so I’m really thankful to have the opportunity to get the best out of myself.

“My riding legs are coming back a bit, I’m feeling stronger on the bike. My running speed is getting back to what I need to hit as well. That is where the training is focused now going into the next racing block.

“It’s one of the final races before the Commonwealth Games team is announced so that’s at the back of my mind. It was never a target for me this year but it’s become a realistic chance if I race well in Leeds.

“But I don’t want to put pressure on myself because I do better when I’m just focused on racing. If the reward is that I make the Commonwealth Games for England, then great, but if not, then it’s not on the radar anyway.”

Bishop speaks from experience when it comes trying not to pile on the pressure, a year removed from a gruelling schedule that saw him race back-to-back for a month in a bid to make the world’s top 30 and secure a quota place for Team GB at the Tokyo Olympics.

Unsurprisingly, that took it out of Bishop, but having fully recovered from injury and that demanding quest, he is enjoying triathlon once again.

He added: “I have got over all that now though, I’m happy and focused on what I’m trying to do this year which is get back racing with confidence and stress-free. I felt like that third spot had been hanging over my head for half the Olympic cycle, plus the pandemic. It was something I was happy to let go.”

With that behind him, Bishop can focus on the AJ Bell 2022 World Triathlon Championship Series Leeds in his home town on the course in Roundhay, with the main aim simply to enjoy racing once again.

Bishop has raced every year in Leeds and is based at the performance centre in the city – so is no stranger to the importance of a home race to his elite journey, the sport as a whole in Britain and what it’s like racing at Roundhay Park.

AJ Bell 2022 World Triathlon Championship Series Leeds takes place in Roundhay Park on 11-12 June and will see elite athletes competing on both days, with men’s and women’s individual sprint racing on Saturday and mixed relay on Sunday. Find out more about spectating at the event here https://leeds.triathlon.org/event_information/spectators/.

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