Last weekend marked the start of Croatian multisport season. It started with national sprint duathlon championships in Pula. Last year I won the event, but this year the race was promoted to national championship and that increased the quality (and the quantity) of the field.
We started with 5 km, 2 loop, run. There’s significant uphill section at the beginning of the lap, followed by slightly less steep downhill and the rest of it was mostly flat. It’s also a bit longer than 5 km. Estimates range from 5,2 to 5,6 km. I was hanging on in the lead group for the first 2 km and then the wheels started to fall off. There were three competitors in the lead group. Their lead was slightly increasing and reached 25 seconds at the end of the run.
The bike course had „out and back“ profile with a lot of rolling hills and one longer uphill just before the turnaround. It was trio at the front with me and one more guy 25 s back and a large group about 1:30 minutes further back. At the turnaround point our gap increased to almost 1:30 minutes, and the big group was getting closer. At the time I didn’t pay much attention to our chasers and I almost payed the price for that as the group went into second transition just 5 seconds behind us. With that in mind I started the second run hard and managed to hold my position. The trio had their own race two minutes ahead and although I had a good second run there were no chance in caching anyone.
Although I’m not quite happy with 4th place finish, I’m not disappointed either. I cut off almost 2:30 minutes from my last year’s time on the same course and that’s a good sign, my „A“ races are still far ahead.