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How does gravel racing help a former triathlon World Champion prepare for the Paris Olympic Games?

Gwen Jorgensen shares her thoughts after a gravel race win in Colorado.

Staff Reporter
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With less than six months to go until the Paris Olympic Games kicks off, world class triathletes from all over the world are preparing for their final chance to secure qualification.

For 2016 Olympic Gold medalist Gwen Jorgensen, securing a spot on Team USA would cap a remarkable journey that only saw her return to triathlon last year following a long hiatus.

Having documented her journey on YouTube throughout the last 12 months, Jorgensen most recently shared how gravel bike racing helps hone her decision making for short course triathlon.

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“You can’t control what happens in a race”

Three weeks out from her first race of the season, Jorgensen competed in the Old Man Winter Bike Rally, a 50km gravel race held in Colorado.

Gwen Jorgensen reflective World Triathlon Cup Vina del Mer 2023
[Photo credit: World Triathlon / Wagner Araujo]

Finishing first in the women’s field and in the top 10 overall, the American shared after the race how some of the mental skills from gravel racing transfer to triathlon.

“There are all these scenarios that pop up, that you can’t control because you can’t control what happens in a race and you never know what’s going to happen.

“To be in a race situation and have to make a split second decision is really important. In racing you need to be able to back yourself and be able to make decisions for yourself which is something my coach Jamie has always really instilled in me.

“I know when I line up at a race I can feel confident and this was definitely something that can give me those tools going forward in triathlon races.” 

“You have no idea how everyone else is”

Looking ahead to her next race of the season, which will be an Americas Triathlon Cup in Cuba, the Wisconsin native shared that she’s a little apprehensive to kick the season off.

“Three weeks away from my first race, I’m a little nervous for my first race, you just never know. You can be training amazing, but you come off a break, you have no idea how everyone else is. 

“It’s just an unknown which can bring about some nerves, but I’m just going to focus on the process and what I can control so I’m excited. I’ll be racing in Cuba on February 25th.” 

Tomos Land
Written by
Tomos Land
Tomos Land is a triathlon & running journalist whose expertise lies in the professional world of short course & long distance triathlon, though he also boasts an extensive knowledge of ultra-running.
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