The race wasn’t perfect by any means. It rarely is when I haven’t raced for a while. Details gets rusty, and that bullet-proofness that arrives half way through the season is yet to be found. The swim was ok and the bike without remarks. I did quite a bit of work on the first two laps. Tried to encourage a nice work ethic in the group and get things going. In both Sydney and the Madrid race the second and third pack caught up with the leaders. I think that is very unnecessary and see no point in wasting a good swim like that. With great runners in the packs behind the run is going to be much harder – and the fight for the top positions more difficult.
The course in Kitzbühel is not easy. There is the hill, the cobbles, the tight turns and the fast tunnel. Even sitting on requires a fair bit of power. Just the way a good ITU course should be like. By the time we reached T2 we had built up a nice 2min lead on the chase group.
Coming off the bike I messed up my transition. A good part of 10 seconds was spent standing still trying to get my hands to undo my helmet. They were not working the way they should, and will probably get homework from coach.
Clipping and unclipping my helmet in front of the tv -every night until the Olympics…
I ran out in the back of the group and had to put the hammer down for the first 500meters. I knew that effort could potentially be costly for the later parts of the run, but there was also no point in running 20m behind the pack for the rest of the race. Once tucked in at the back – prepared to start to dig and hang on for dare life – I was surprised on how slow the pace was. Having seen lots of the race coverages, I was prepared for another super quick run.
The way we ran, I thought we almost would get caught from the runners in the second pack.
It turned out to an epic tactical battle. 6 went to 5 went to 4 on the last lap. Around the last U-turn ms Spirig put in a surge and the group got strung out. I found myself on her shoulder, still not struggling too much with the pace. I tried to counter attack her surge, but didn’t quite have the horsepower to drop her. Instead I set her up on my shoulder running into the finishing chute. That was where she brought in her lethal kick and insanely high cadence. And I found myself left behind unable to respond. But, if you have a look at the last bit of the coverage – you’ll find a very happy Lisa crossing the line in second.
Going back to the roller coaster and ups and downs over the past couple of years. A moment like that, when the body exceeds all expectations and everything (well..almost everything) falls into place. That moment makes all the downs worthwhile and quickly forgotten.