Some people say that there’s a race before a race and it’s about getting healthy at the start line. This time I lost that race. Few days before the start I got sore throat with dry cough. I didn’t think it would affect me much. Day before the race it got worse as I got a bit of a fever as well. After taking an aspirin I felt better, addressed the fever to pre-race nerves and went to bed optimistic about the next day.
Swim started well, but not long after I started overheating. From there on it was all about expanding as little energy as possible to stay with the group. The pace picked up in the last 500m and with it the body temperature went up again. I got out at the tail end of the big chase group but felt cooked. It was a wetsuit swim in warm water, but still, I think large part of that overheating goes to fever. I swam in warm water before but never felt so hot.
I took some time in T1 and early parts of the bike to cool down a bit. The group got away but I was optimistic that I’ll see them soon if everything goes well. After some easy kilometers I got into my planned rhythm. Watts were good, speed was good and I felt there’s a lot more in reserve for later stages. After 20-30 km I caught Vabrousek who couldn’t follow the group in front and was optimistic that the group will appear on the horizon soon.
Soon after the first turnaround at 45km, my powermeter stopped working properly and started showing low values. At least that looked to be the case, but when I checked average speed, 20km later, I realised it’s not the powermeter that’s not working well. Power continued to go down until the end of the ride. Still, I passed few more guys and got to T2 in 7th place.
Gaps were too big so I knew the win was out of reach, but I knew I could still get into top 5 with a really good run. The problem was that I felt terrible. It wouldn’t be the first time I don’t feel good at the start, but start feeling much better after few kilometers, so I was still optimistic. Unfortunately for me, this time that was not the case. I was feeling worse after every step, the pace got ridiculously slow and eventually I decided to pull the plug.
It’s always a terrible feeling after DNF, but sometimes you have to save the body for another day. I got a confirmation that I did the right thing when I saw my urine colored like Taiwanese flag after the race. Looks like this illness was more serious than I thought and I’m still not healthy, 3 days after the race.
If you take the race out of picture I had great time at Taiwan. It was my first trip outside of Europe, I met some cool people and there were no dull moments. Race was very well organised and I hope to get back one day to give it another crack.