Past Sunday I raced Ocean Lava Montenegro in Kotor. Ocean Lava is a young brand and this was the first time the race was held in Montenegro.
We swam two loops in Kotor bay, just in front of the old town. At that place two rivers flow into the sea, so the temperature is cold enough to make it a wetsuit legal swim. I had a good start of the day and swam in the lead group of four. The pace seemed a bit too easy at times, but I didn’t want to waste any energy so early in the day, so I just followed others.
Once in T1, I was a bit surprised to see Petr Vabroušek in our group. He used to beat me in races quite often before, however we didn’t meet in a race in the past couple of years. I wanted to avoid a run battle with him so I pushed hard from the start of the bike. The course was mostly flat but had few short inclines. One of those comes right after transition. After that climb only Marin Koceić stayed with me. There was another climb 10 km later and after that I was alone in the lead.
First opportunity to judge the gap came at the turnaround point after 27 km. I already had 3 minutes advantage over Koceić and almost 4 minutes to Vabroušek and Diklić. From there on I kept steady pace and the lead grew to more than 10 minutes by the end of the bike.
There was two loop run course and the finish was in front of the old town. My lead was big enough to relax and take the run a bit easier. The real battle was for 2nd place. It was getting hot and many guys cracked. At the end Vabroušek took second and Dalibor Vujević came in third.
This was a great race in a fantastic location. You could see the effort that went into organisation and the volunteers were fantastic. No one went back home unsatisfied. It’s a shame that it was announced late so the start list was rather small. I hope that will change next year.