The start of this year reminds me of 2013. Back then in early season races I noticed an improvement but that didn’t materialize into race results until later into the year.
Past weekend I raced ETU European championships at Challenge Rimini. I had a good company during the swim and exited the water with Viennot and Aernouts among others. On not so bright side, our gap was 3:30 min to the leaders. Probably as they could follow a boat and we had troubles navigating in the rough sea.
I started the bike at the tail end of the group and passed a lot of people until I could see Aernouts and Viennot couple of hundred meters in front of me. It took me almost 30 minutes to close the gap to Viennot, but at that time Aernouts started to slowly pull away. We rode well and passed few guys that were dropped from the front group. On the other hand Thomas Steger passed us on mayor uphill and set the pace neither of us even tried to follow. At the top of the hill we were only about 1 minute behind large group. I assume Aernouts and Steger pulled the group away once they caught them so we didn’t see them until the run.
Run was quite uneventful. I was running with Viennot for the first 2 (of 3) loops and felt good. Wheels started to fall off in the final lap. Viennot pulled away and Nicholls pushed me out of top10 in the last kilometer.
I can’t be happy with 11th place but there were plenty of things to be satisfied with. I swam better than last year although the time doesn’t show it as the conditions were worse. My judgement is based on the people I swam with. This year bike course had one extra part that’s about 600m long. Despite that and some rain that forced us to take the downhills with caution, I had 6 minutes faster bike time then last year. Although I was not satisfied with my run, it was still 1:30 min faster than last year. Things are moving in the right direction and I’m sure it will show sooner or later in races.