With only a week left in Europe I headed from Spain-Vitoria with the Aussie tri team for Nice France .
The final of the French GP was held this past sunday with 16teams of 5 athletes and one of the most amazing locations I have raced in . Nice France , has officially become one of my favorite places to race at due to its beaches , calmness and crystal clear warm waters.
Our team : Mulhouse Olympique had a full loaded team , with Clark Ellice , Daniel Hoffer , Matt Sharp , myself and our beast on the bike Toumey degam.
I will need to admit, that this season Is starting to get a bit out of hand now … Started training for this season at the end of december with Anton Ruanova , been sick 5 times , moved home like a gypsy but have traveled and seen so much.
Early season fresh legs have worn of ages ago and now the strong and determined will be rewarded for their hard base miles and correct training and racing plans .
Nice was just another race for most , and most didnt even taper “recover the week of the event” but I find as it is nearing the end of my season , recovery time has gone from 3days to more like a week, and I need to take it easy sooner and sooner as the season rolls on.
With some of the biggest hitters in triathlon , Brownlee bro’s , Hauss , Silva , Justus and Luis to name a few things were rather fast and furious from the rocky start on the beach of Nice .
The beach , made of large rocks , made for a rather painful start and I think we all had the roughest swim of the season with thanks to a bit of a chop on the water . Before 350meters was done I had been dunked about 3 times and punched a few guys due to fighting in the start .
At the start my body felt a bit tired after a big few weeks of training and I realized things would be hard going right out of the gates . I had a good position after the swim , exiting with the top 20 which set me up for a very good day of racing .
With a long transition from the water , over the rocks , I managed to smash my left foot on one . I managed to pull in a few guys before I climbed on my KTM .
The bike , a 20km VERY boaring out and back bumpy route , was not my cup of tea as its mindelss and could have been changed for a nice technical undulating route near by .
The legs felt good on the bike, and on lap 2 our bunch managed to pull in the leaders of the Brownlee bro’s and the quick swimmers that managed to get away .
Some enjoyable swearing from Ali on the bike made things a bit more entertaining and having a front handle bar that kept on flipping down a bit kept me awake along with our 45km.h average bike leg !
The podium would come down to a runners race , and everyone become a bit nervous and anctious before we hit the transition zone for T2 . Mulhouse had a great leadout from Toumy and this helped our team to have a quicker T2 possibly moving us from 5th place overall to 4th..
My T2 was not anything special apart from it being rather difficult finding our racking spot on the way in . I exited In a good position for the run, and was hoping that my tired legs would miraculously feel fresh and respond ….. This didnt really happen.
I was moving my way through the field till I reached J.Brownlee and then I slowed my pace a bit . We traded position once just before the 1.25km turn around point, and then Johnny picked up the pace and I was not able to respond!
My legs were really in the hurt locker and was starting to think that the guys behind me might pull their way past me on the 2nd lap of 2.5km .
At the end of the 1st 2.5km loop I was in 2nd place, and starting to fade … The breathing starting to come closer and closer to me and things did not start to look good . Gregory Roulat was soon right next to me, and this set something off in my mind to pick up the pace as a 2nd place was a lot more valuable to me than a 5th-10th.
With the breathing starting to disapear behind me my body started to feel efficient , and only at about 3.5km did I feel like my legs were awake .
All I needed to do was keep up the pace and I would have my 1st French leauge podium which is probably equivelant to a World series podium!
On the last 1km I felt even better and knew that it would be possible to get 2nd and I kept the pace and came across the line in 2nd for my team Mulhouse 🙂
Its good to know that even when I have very little In the tank I can still dig deep and bring out a good performance on the day .
Currently Im descending into Santiago de Compostela where Ill be for a week with good friend Anton Ruanova and I look forward to a few easy days before heading up a few hard days before heading off to my 2nd last World series race in Yokohamma Japan at the end of September .
The legs have been used a lot this season, and I cant wait till the 23rd October , just over a month where Ill be able to hang up the trainers for a few weeks .
Mulhouse triathon team is one of the craziest french teams, and it has really been an honor to be a man in Black this season 😉
Will have a small report on my time/recovery in Santiago just before I head off on the 25th September for Japan.
Over and out