Last Sunday I took part in inaugural Porec triathlon which was Croatian championship at half-ironman distance (well, slightly shorter). After Vichy everything except a win would be considered as a failure, but my own expectations were the same as always. To give my best and see which position that brings me at the end. I can’t be unsatisfied if I give my best. Final placement depends on the competition and I can’t influence their execution of the race. Well, I could, but that’s not allowed :-). Of course, I was hoping that “my best” would be enough for another win. It’s always nice to win and it would be good to have a confirmation that I recovered well after Vichy and that I’m on the right track for another good race in Barcelona in 2 weeks.
I got out of the water in second group, 1:20 min behind leading trio. Combination of slow start, short distance to the first buoy and my swim shape that’s not as good as in the first part of the season.
We had 5 loop (out&back) bike course so there was plenty of opportunities to see the gaps. I started the bike with Flo Kriegl and I didn’t rush to close the gap to the leaders. I was hoping they will exert some energy trying to stay in front and it will be easier to break away once we catch them. The gap was slowly melting and mid way through 3rd lap we caught them.
After a short rest at the back of the group it was action time. Kienle recently wrote that there should be no holding back while attacking, otherwise if you don’t manage to break away, you’ll end up dragging the group until T2. After 7-8 minutes of hard riding we got to another turnaround and I saw that the group was intact. Kienle was correct and I spent the next lap in the lead. I reduced the pace to save some energy for one more attack in the last lap. That attempt had the same effect as the first and the race had to be decided on the run.
Soon after exiting T2 I took the lead, but the race was far from decided. On the first turnaround I saw that Patrcevic, who had slower transition, got closer and others looked like they were holding a good pace. By the end of the first (of four) lap Patrcevic caught me. We run together for a couple of hundred meters when he started to drift back and I was again alone in the lead.
Koceic soon moved into second place. There was no time to relax as he was running very well and the gap stayed small. It wasn’t until the last lap when the gap grow a bit and I could finally relax and enjoy another victory.
Overall the race went very well and everyone seemed to be happy with organisation. I hope organisers will be able to get more support from local community in the upcoming years so that they can close larger part of the road which is necessary for the growth of the race.
Unfortunately, on our way back from the race we had a traffic accident. Luckily no one was seriously injured. I have bruised ribs now and I’m not sure if I’ll recover in time for Challenge Barcelona. Luckily, this caused only one race to come into question, it could have put many more things under the question mark…