After my travels to Cyprus and Greece, testing my performance and getting into racing cross triathlon again after the long winter break, brought me to Pontevedra/Spain. I have been to Spain only once in my life, and I liked it a lot. Also this time I was pretty stoked getting there, even if it was raining the first few days.
Together with some friends from Austria and Germany I stayed in a big apartment, training on the course together, having fun as well as cooking together the best food. The preparations and the vibes were on point.
The WCS race course:
ITU Triathlon Multisport World Championship
The swimming course was in the end of the river that joins into the sea right next to Pontevedra city center. The temperature was about 14,2 Degrees Celsius, which made it really tough in the beginning, as well as some current going down from the river.
We checked out the bike course several times, it was hard in the beginning, because it had lots of turns and hidden corners. It was full of gravel road, and some single trail sections, but mostly it was super fast. We had to climb to bigger mountains, so gain about 1200hm on the whole course. Drafting was definitely helping putting down a fast bike split.
The run was super flat and fast, mostly straight and a little bit of uphill single trail. It wasn’t much of an “offroad trail run”, more some ITU road racing course with a touch of nature.
At the raceday we decided to cycle to the venue, it was a nice 10k road cycle- perfect for warming up the legs. The start was only at the afternoon, so the typical “race tension” was a bit gone over the day. I was putting all my gear into transition area, my bike, my running shoes, helmet and glasses. This time it was a wetsuit swim, because of the low temperatures, so I put it on and went for a little swim, checking out the river one more time.
“always beat your number”
We lined up for the starting ceremony, this time I had bib. number 9 (from the 2018 ranking) and I was super stoked about it. My first goal is always beating my number, but this time it was really unlikely and I set my goal for the TOP15.
We all jumped into the water and waited between the two starting buoys for the final starting shot. It was a big mess, everyone was excited to race fast and I got some hits on me. I tried to find my rhythm, but it was really hard this time, the current and the low temperature didn’t make me feel comfortable and fast. As I am already an average swimmer I lost even more time because of the current. I exited the swim at the very end of the field.
Onto my bike and I felt comfortable again, I could push from the beginning, closed the gab to the group in front of me very fast, and found myself with some other good mountainbikers. Together we tried to catch up the time we lost on the swim, it worked pretty well, but slowly I lost all of them behind me. I felt really good on the bike and rode mostly by myself, catching one after the other. I made up more than 20 positions on the bike and entered T2 on the 24th spot.
My legs were already a bit tired because I never had the possibility to relax a bit on the bike due to riding most of the course by myself- no drafting possibility. So I jumped into my running shoes and tried to put the hammer down, behind me already some other athletes. In the beginning I couldn’t see anyone close in front of me. But then I got a nice running pace and caught two other athletes. The problem was, that there came faster runners from the back and shortly before the finish I lost 2 positions again and finished on the 24th spot in the end.
It wasn’t really close to my goal of finishing in the TOP15, but with a better and relaxer swim, it would have definitely been possible.