Past weekend I had a comeback race at TriStar Kufstein. I visited that part of Austria before and I knew this area provides beautiful views of the glaciers. This time I could see the mountains only on the map as rain and low clouds sheltered the view. It was raining on race day as well with quite cold 14C in the air.
Once again I got stuck in the traffic at the swim start and had to go outside to pass the “sprinters”. Remainder of the swim went well. I felt very good but once again I ended up leading the group. It would be better if I had some feet to follow. Next time I’ll start on the outside as I have to go there anyhow after my slow starts.
I took some time to get extra clothes in T1 and a group got a small gap. It didn’t concern me as I thought I’ll catch them easily. Soon I realized it wouldn’t be as I imagined. I got very close on the first hill but couldn’t bridge up. After a short downhill and first flat portion the gap started to grow. Another group caught me and two guys from that group managed to escape on the flat part. It’s been a while since someone dropped me on the flat road. Midway through the first lap Schlagbauer caught me and I stayed with him until the end. By the end we also caught one of those guys who got away earlier.
Starting the run I knew the leaders were out of reach. I tried to motivate myself to at least beat the guys I rode with. Once again I had a gap to bridge after transition. My feet were full of sand and I didn’t wont to run sockless and risk some serious blisters which could hinder my training in following weeks. Getting socks on wet feet is a bit harder than I thought so that explains another slow transition. I quickly caught up and managed to run away from the two. Then I thought that battle is over and I started looking for another motives. But those two guys were tougher than I thought and by the end of first lap they were once again on my shoulder. We run together for a few minutes and then I managed to get away again. Few hundred meters before the finish I caught one more guy but then he started sprinting and I couldn’t respond to that.
I finished in 9th spot. Not a spectacular comeback but you have to start from somewhere. Just a week before the race I started feeling normal on the swim and bike and until this race I haven’t had a run session where I felt good. At the end run was my strongest discipline with 3rd fastest split, only 20s slower than the fastest. I hope full recovery will come soon enough to do a good race this season.