From the Pacific to the peloton: Race motivates cyclist to return to elite sport

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“I'm driven to the edge trying to get every last bit out of the boat when yachts are around us like other bikes and cyclists are in the peloton. The amount of concentrated trimming and helming can be immense on board." 

PSP Logistics round the world crew member Tristan Grigalis, 22 from Leicester, UK, competed in elite road cycling events and international triathlon before starting the Clipper Race. After breaking his back in a skiing accident at university he says he wanted to come back stronger to prove to himself and others he could compete at an international level. 

Now through learning the tactics of ocean racing, elements of competition and dealing with tough emotional and physical pressure, Tristan is highly motivated to go and train harder and longer than before so he can become an elite sportsman once he completes the full circumnavigation. 

"I now realise I crave the pain that a person has to endure from aerobic sports such as cycling. That sense of lactic acid flowing through the muscles to the point that they will blow up and where your heart rate is struggling to keep up with the demands that the body is putting on it is what we live for as cyclists," he said. 

"From doing the Clipper Race, I have realised what's really important to me is cycling. I know that I want to go back and perform. I'm desperate to get back onto my time trial bike in the garage and give it my all. 

"This race is very different to anything most people can conceive. I do a lot of helming on the boat and having been watch leader for much of the race now I have become much more patient. 

"I think a lot of my watch are almost glad when we tack away from the other boats because of the amount of trimming that I ask for. My concentration face whilst helming could kill a person!" 

Tristan adds this improved concentration he has mastered over longer periods of time will help him in his cycling career. 

Tristan really struggles to keep up with a proper exercise regime while on board as he can’t fully keep an eye on the boat’s performance whilst at 20 degrees and doing crunches. 

However he has had a couple of offers from teams and hopes if he trains hard enough when he returns then that will be on the cards. 

"I’ve learnt that I’m the get up and go person entirely. Being watch leader I’m always on the bow getting the sails up and down. I'd not rather be anywhere else especially when the going gets tough. The Clipper Race is more about realising who you are and therefore how I like to race - hard and fast all the way to the finish line.”