So far so good, i cant say im no happy with the race, I AM, really happy actually. After a podium in Lanzarote a few weeks ago, placing again in Nice, one of the most prestigious races in Europe is quite something for this old guy ;)
This race had severall atractions for me. Racing again after last year with most of the same guys as last year, Vanessa kicking some butt's at the same time, watching a good sized portuguese group of athletes with diferent goals and racing in this lovely venue are just some.
As with last year everything rolled to race day quite nicelly, i even stayed at the same hotel close to the start, that makes everything quite simple. I had a lot of free time to take naps, something that is missing in my normal day routine.
So without anything in particular to comment the race started at 6:25 and we would have a 5 min lead over the entire field, something that didnt happen last year. And the swim was far inferior than last year. One of the reasons might be the absence of age groups to draft from but the diference is bigger than that, The swim time was around 1 min slower but the actual gap for the lead swimmer was a lot higher, so i didnt have a good swim and i felt that while swimming, period. Left the gorgeous water with 55 and change with a deficit 4 minutes bigger than last year, for the same Frederik Van Lierde. so this is probably the only thing i was upset...
Bike, hilly tough, yes but i have seen lanzarote recently... ;) i was out of the water with Delsaut and Rafael witch competes in portugal of course, and knowing him well i was happy to have swam with him (until my very scientific comparison with last year). I led them until the first climbs until Riesen passed by. I tryied to follow but he is of course very experienced athelete and pushed the tempo more and more until i lost my mojo... It was very caotic around me with guys catching me blowing up others that i didnt have interest in following etc. For me, everything was going alright with nutrition pacing etc. Last 50 km tough i felt hammered by the course and despite being mostly downhill and flat it has a good headwind and i really didnt feel good legs for that. i got to the end in roughly the same time as last year but i think this year the course was slower because of wind orientation (last year we had tail wind in the last 50km.) and that is true to most of the atheletes, same or slower splits. But what can be said about van lierde split? just umbelievable right?
So i got to the T2 feeling smoked by the bike course and left T2 with the feeling that it was going to hurt a lot... it was true till 5km, legs felt heavy altough i was running somewhere close to 4min/km after 5km i started taking 5km splits. and started building some momentum, a pretty good one. I felt fast all the way and the pacing was somewhat perfect, 19:40, 19:18, 19;30, 20:04, 19:20, 19:06, 19:45 where the splits i took after 5km and in that process i ran my way to 5th (i passed 5th with 6 kms to go) and gasping for some sight of the 4th place skater in the middle of the crownd for the last kms, it didnt happen. but 2:45 marathon is always impressive.
5th place makes me happy for sure, i was just insastisfied with my swim split but other than that another great day of racing in a great venue. Awesome. To top it off, Vanessa not only won the AG but was competetive in the AG rants, i love to see her improving every month :D
up next is an event that is not far....