The race in Nyon was definitely the hardest of the season so far. I thought that I was not performing very well but apparently the race was hard for everybody: I managed to finish 7th in my age group and after 6 races of the tricircuit I’m in 4th position in the ranking in my age group.
Nyon is relatively far from Lucerne. The race start was at 13:40 and I had to leave from Lucerne at 9:00am. I arrived in Nyon at 12:23 and the transition zone was only about 10 minutes away. I met my friend and rival Jurgen there 😀 he came with an earlier train from Rapperswil. It was a beautiful, sunny day and extremely hot. No wonder that the wetsuit was not allowed in the swim. I left my bike for a few minutes with Jurgen and I went for the registration. Then we went together for the check in and when we were ready it was already time to go to the lake for a quick warm up.
The start of the swim was from the water. I picked the right side as I don’t like to start from the middle. I said “good luck and see you later” to Jurgen and I went to the right. The water was great. It was warm and the lake was calm. The swim was good, I had good feelings but my pace was not that good. I averaged 1:43 min/100m, about 3 seconds slower than in the first non wetsuit olympic race of the season in Zug. The transition was extremely long, about 900m uphill to reach the stadium where the transition zone was located. I finished the swim (exactly 1500m) in 26:17 and T1 was 3:02.
The bike was on a 4 loops, hilly and super hard course. Definitely completely different from what I have been training for the race in Benton Harbour. I managed to keep a decent pace for the first 2 rounds but then I disconnected mentally and phisically. On the climbs it was extremely hot and the descents where technical with a lot of corners. No time to relax. I finished the bike segment (42km) in 1:10:36 with an average power of 248w: less than what I normally do in a bike workout… During T2 I was a bit surprised to see almost nobody in the transition zone… I thought: where is everybody? For a few seconds I didn’t even know where I had to go but I figured it our quite quickly.
The run was great. The first 2k of the 5k loop were a bit hilly and the last 3k were flat or with a light descent. My final average on the 10km was 4:13 min/km. It’s not super fast but I had the feeling that I could keep that pace for another 10k. I’m confident that I can keep a similar average in the 70.3 this week. I finished the 10k run in 41:10. For the first time I ran faster than Jurgen but for the first time he was faster than me on the bike and he managed to finish ahead in 6th place.
Despite I was suffering more than in any other race of this season so far, I am very pleased for the top 10 and I am confident for the 70.3 IronMan Steelhead. I expect the bike course to be not nearly as hard as in Nyon and I hope to have my best bike performance of the season. If I can keep a decent pace in the swim and a good pace on the run, then it’s going to be the race of my life 🙂
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