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Pre 1997

barelNice (4-107-30) SP

Well, finally back in some kind of shape. Can't say I felt strong before the race, but under the guidance of Paul Van den Bosch, I did manage to get back in reasonable condition. Quite remarkable when you consider that I was in very very bad shape (worse than I normally have at the start of training in winter) and all that in only two months.

As you can see from the introduction, it was quite good. The sea was reasonably rough. Last year, is was more like a lake, but not this time. I thought I had a reasonable swim, but the gap with the leaders was on the big side (eleven minutes). Still I exited the water close to some guys I know, and one of them (Marc Herremans) has stayed close to me for most of the bike portion. I did lose him for a while on the first descent (the road was wet and I didn't quite have the gets to fly down as fast as some others), but I saw him again a bit later. I did manage to ride away from him on the second descent though (strangely enough, but I liked the turns more, and this one was dry). After that descent there is a very nice flat part along the Var (a river) where you can ride real fast, which is always fun. After that there was as usual the running. In Nice this is out and back along the coast. In some places you can see where you are heading, a couple of kilometers further... But this went pretty good, so I lost only three places on the run, to finish 23rd. I am a happy man, glad to be back among the athletes :-)

As for the overall race, veteran Rob Barel did it again... unbelievable (see picture). Hope I can also continue to improve until I am over 40.

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