Second place at Embrunman! A bit more than one year ago I’d be over the moon with that result. Now, after last year’s win, second place seems a bit dissappointing. I’m sure I’ll be proud of this result in a couple of years, but currently that win is still too fresh in memory.
It was once again less then ideal start of the day. I lost 6 minutes to Cunnama during the swim. Pool times are better then ever and I’m still trying to figure out what’s happening in races. No answer yet.
First part of the bike went well. I even had 20-30 seconds faster time on Col d’Izoard compared to last year, but the effort seemed quite a bit harder then back then. Last year I was already in the lead on the big climb, so maybe percieved effort was reduced by the rush of adrenalin. By the summit of Izoard I was in third place.
I had a small crisis after the descent, but I recovered and rode quite well in the last part of the ride. By the end of the bike, Diemunsch was in the lead, Cunnama was 2 minutes behind and I was further 6 minutes behind him.
The temperature rose above 30 degrees Celsius at the start of the run. Because of that I decided to take it a bit easier in the first loop and then try to pick up the pace. I was still thinking the win was not out of reach. However, to win, I’d need a run like in Nice or better and Cunnama would have to struggle a bit at some point. It’s a long race so everything was still possible.
Just before half-way I had major crisis and my mind quickly went from thinking about picking up the pace to survival mode. Diemunsch was struggling even more so I passed him and got into second. Behind me, Gustavo Rodriguez was at a comfortable distance and I wasn’t feeling like I could challenge Cunnama, so I concentrated on keeping the second place.
All in all, I’m satisfied with second place but not so much with my race performance. I was quite a bit stronger last year. You can’t always have the race of your life. Cunnama was very strong this year and he would be hard to beat even with the race of my life. I’ll be back to fight for the win next year. Next year I’ll wear bib number 2 and I’ve never lost this race with that number. 😉