Q and A with Defending Champion, Sara Pérez Sala

At which race did you qualify for The Championship?
I think I qualify when I won The Championship last year. If not, I qualify in Daytona.
How did it feel winning The Championship in 2022?
It’s difficult to explain. It was a dream because I did everything perfectly. I felt strong during all the race and the advantage in T2 was enough to finish in the first position.
The venue was amazing and there were a lot of people cheering and the weather was fantastic. It was my first important win in one of my favourite races, so it was the best! And I think I will remember this race for a long time.
What are your key tips for the swim, bike and run courses?
My advice is to enjoy the race, the venue and the atmosphere because it is amazing.
On the other hand, I think the swim course will be easier than last year but the bike course, even though, it is flat it can be very tough if it’s a windy day.
My advice for the bike is to save a bit power for the second part, specially if the comeback is with head wind. And my advise for the run course is when ever you can run fast, go ahead! and when you run on the grass it is better to run carefully because the surface is a bit more irregular. I think both, the nutrition and enjoying the different surfaces is important.
And the last advise is is drink and eat enough during the race, specially during the race if it’s a hot day.
What would your training advice be for someone racing The Championship for the first time?

For swimming, it’s fantastic to train some sessions before the race with the wetsuit and in open water because it’s completely different to swimming in the pool.

For cycling I think it’s important to spend a lot of time in aero position because the bike course is completely flat and fast and you will ride 90km maintaining the same position.
I think it’s me who needs the advice in running…
The run course is new with shorter laps. My advise is to train in different terrains because you will run on grass, on asphalt and on cotton (hippodrome surface).
If you could share one piece of inside strategy about the course that you think helped you to victory, what would it be?
For people who have raced in Šamorín, we know how hard the bike course is. Maybe having raced before and knowing the circuit could be great for making a difference. Moreover, if it’s a windy day as the last two years, the bike could be very tough.
What’s your typical pre-race breakfast?
I usually have breakfast four hours before the race and the meal is: white bread with avocado (if it’s available) and some cheese or salmon or turkey. I drink some water and salts.
What was your favourite thing about the race venue, x-bionic sphere?
The pool and the training venue are fantastic! I really like the path next to the Danube for walking or riding. And I love the run course inside the hippodrome, completely different from other races.
What do you usually do the day after a big race?
It depends… but usually I never do anything special. Maybe a small celebration  with “the crew” having dinner or lunch and coming back home or doing some easy bike or swim.
What gear did you use for the race:
Time Trial Bike:
Canyon Speedmax CFR
HED Vanquish (80 in front and disc rear)
I’m not sure but I have two options: Kask Bambino Pro Evo or Lazer Volante (both white)
Drink Bottles:
226 bottles and Elite Crono for aero bottles.
Bike Shoes:
Mavic Cosmic SL
Deboer Fjord 3.0
Running Shoes:
Hoka Rocket X2
Probably KCO but other option is Oakley.
GPS Sports Watch:
Garmin 520 (bike) and Wahoo Rival (run)