Wow, I just won Noumea after a battle with Patrick Vernay basically all the way to the line.
This year was a bit different to years in the past, the pro field was alot smaller but still good quality. Some of the usual guys were chasing points in World Cup events to try and qualify for the olympics so they couldn't come, some of the guys including Vernay raced Ironman last week in Port Macquarie and I am still very much coming back from my broken leg.
The race started out with a two lap swim where I got totally hammered but managed to come out with Vernay right on my heels so a good position, from there it was just a matter of hanging onto him as he tore through the rest of the field averaging just over 43km/h. By the start of the second lap on the bike we had caught the early leaders and now had a group of four guys all trying to hold onto Patrick. I tried to go around him once and do a turn but I had no chance, I drew level with his back wheel and couldn't get past him so from there I made the decision that if I did'nt want to get dropped I was going to sit behind and just try to hang onto the machine.
We entered T2 as a group still and started the run very slowly. Right away I was off the back with about a 10m gap back from everyone in my own little world. Slowly I bridged back to the guys and got my legs back to start pushing the pace and the group of four slowly started to dwindle until finally it was just Vernay and myself left to fight it out on the last lap. With about 2km to go I got dropped with about a 10m gap again from him but again managed to fight my way back. Although I'm a terrible sprinter I thought surely if it came to a sprint I would have the fresher legs after Vernays Ironman effort last week.
With about 800m to go I surged and managed to get a little gap and from there just had to hold on with everything I had, hoping not to get caught.
I really didnt think I had any chance of winning as I have hardly run since my injury almost six months ago and my last attempt on Thursday saw me fall flat on my face when my knee gave way during a grass track session.
Everything seemed to hold up well today though and has started my comeback on a good note. Hopefully it only gets better and better from here!
Sunday, May 8, 2011
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