Monday, September 5, 2011

Gerardmer Wrap

Near perfect conditions greeted us on Saturday morning for one of the toughest races in Europe and a good day of racing for TBB athletes.
Mass starting about 1200 athletes usually wouldn't work, but the French managed it here without anyone drowning and we got away to a clean start.
Some quick swimming saw the field drawn out from the start with eventual winner Sylvain Sudrie leading out the swim with Dave, Steve and Faris close.
I was a further minute behind and struggled to make up any time on the leaders over the first lap. Two guys rode up to me and we caught up to Steve to form what was to be our group of four, for almost the entire bike leg but we failed to put any inroads to the leaders who had really put the pace down and started to split apart. Coming off the bike I was in seventh place with about 30sec to Steve and a minute to Faris. Sudrie had ridden well and opened up about a four minute gap with Poulat. Dave was tucked somewhere in between with Mathias Hecht and I was just hoping like hell I could do something on the run.
The first of three seven km loops I just caught Steve and we ran side by side for about the next 5km making some time up on the guys in front but soon Steve dropped off showing a bit of fatigue after completing two ironmans in two weekends and I continued to chase.
Starting the third lap Faris had about a 1 minute gap back to me and was in fifth place, I made that my goal and to my surprise caught Poulat first who was really struggling then caught Faris with about 1.5km to go on the run, moving me up to fourth place.
So what I thought was going to be a terrible race result turned into a respectable one. I was happy to hang in there and get some racing into my legs again before heading into Ironman Wales next week.
Dave had a great race and finished 2nd, strong all day and a well deserved result.
Caroline won the womens race easily and almost scraped into the top 10 men, so she is looking strong leading into Hawaii next month.
Tonight we have the presentation before we start our ride back to Leysin tomorrow morning.
Hopefully this will kick start me into the next few weeks of longer races and I can get some decent results.
See how we go!


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