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Pre 1997

Oupeye, 1.5-40-10

This was not a nice day. Most triathletes in Belgium have done many races in rain and bad weather this year, but for me, it was a first since a long time. After checking in, we jumped back in our car to have a look at the bike lap. Not to bad, but there was a very steep (though not long) hill, and the downhill bits were somewhat dangerous for falling. Then I saw the first transition area which was way too tight. You could not pass with your bike if someone if front of you would be getting out of their wetsuit. Great, my motivation was sinking. I did plan on trying to make this a good race, but I definitely did not want to fall and jeopardize my race in Hawaii. So the plan changed to having a good swim, careful bike ride and ending with a strong run.

As it turns out, there was not a lot of juice in the body anyway. I know that my eagerness for training was gone, which is often caused by over training, but still, I only had one more hard week to go. In the water, after the usual "get behind the line" calling from the referees (which is difficult when there is a strong current), the gun fired of off we were. Though I thought I was in a good position, when I looked right, there was a large group in front of me. I caught them though, even if it took most of the swim to do that. In the transition area, I fortunately had nobody in front of me so I didn't loose any time there. Once on the bike, it wasn't long before I was passed by Thierry Claes. Damned, I am a faster cyclist that he is - or so I thought. For the rest of the bike I did no stupid things. I was passed by a few guys each time on that hard climb. That is not my habit, though I am a heavy athlete, I am a strong climber - maybe not better than those lightweight models, but no worse either - this was clearly not my day. On the downhill I was too careful  to make any difference, but the flat bits were pretty good.

When I got back in the second transition area, the group in front of me just came running out of it. So I was in sixth place and was going to try to catch some people. My running was quite good, but by far not as strong as in Chièvres. I caught one athlete who was in front of me, but another guy, who was really flying caught me at the beginning of the second lap, and completely at the end I was also passed by my friend Cedric Bouchet. No problem, so I finished eight, I will just have to try and have a better race in Hawaii.

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