Nibelungen Triathlon 2017 – Drafting

The 2nd league race of the season was just one week after the first. That was a good thing for us, as we easily won the team sprint, so were hoping and expecting to win this week too.  We thought that we could have 4 in the top 10, that would be cool. I was secretly hoping and dreaming that I could win, but I didn’t want to say that too loud.

An Early Check in

The race was set to start at 11:45, but as they had stupid check in times, we set off on the 8:13 train.  I met Christoph, Robert and Michael at the station, along with Judith who was racing too.  Christoph was starting in the league team this time instead of Robert, I will say that I didn’t think it was the right decision, but I didn’t think it would make too much difference either.

Delays – again!

We arrived and signed in, then had hours to burn!  They moved the start back to 12:00, with the masters race starting at 11am.  After running about 1 lap to warm up, we headed to T2 to check in the bikes and watch the swim.  They announced that they had a 30min delay, so the races would start at 11:30 and 12:30 now. Great.

Drinking the Rhein

We couldn’t check the bikes in until all the races beforehand were finished, and that didn’t happen until 12:20, so the start was delayed until 12:45.  When we finally finally started, the swim seemed to go well for me.  I could see a TCECler next to me in the water. After last week I thought it would be Michael.  Apart from drinking too much Rhein water, I got to the end feeling good and like I had swum well, but I saw that Michael was already on land, and I was next to Christoph, also not a bad thing. I was amazed to see 13:50 on my watch, a good minute slower than expected, but what can you do? I had to make it up on the bike.

Manic Biking

The bike was manic from the start on. Christoph pushed the pace from the get go. I put my head down and tried to keep with him, finally getting to him after about 5km.  Number 221 overtook me and promptly sat on Christoph’s wheel, about 3-5m behind him.  We took turns at the front and soon on the 2nd lap caught Michael.  I ended up shouting at number 221 for his cheating, but I did that as I overtook him, but he just jumped on my wheel.

Blue Card for Drafting

A few minutes later, Christoph had passed me and we turned right into a strong headwind.  I rolled up too close behind him and didn’t brake.  I thought I would just slowly let up on the power and drop back to 10m, I guess in 20 seconds or so that would have happened, except the referee was there at that moment, so gave me a blue card for drafting. It was completely my fault.

So I rode on careful to avoid a drafting DQ, so staying at least 15m back. I overtook Christoph again, then near the end he and 221 passed me, but we all got into T2 pretty much together with Michael.

Run to Team Victory

After another slow T2, I set off and soon passed Christoph, running isn’t his strength.  Michael is a good runner though, so I was surprised to pass him after about 1.5km.  Another faster runner overtook him too and was slightly ahead of me, but I couldn’t catch him.

The rest was uneventful, knowing that I had a 2min drafting penalty, I checked to see how many places that would cost me, I thought that I would still finish just ahead of Christoph and a fast finishing Stephan, but it would be an expensive mistake. My run time was about 18mins, decent enough.

What could have been

After crossing the line, I was very annoyed with myself, but happy with my performance, if that makes sense.  Michael came in about 15 seconds after me, then Christoph about 2m15 after me and Stephan just behind him.  I will state for the record, I was dead wrong about Christoph, he should be in the starting team and was dead strong all day, even his run was better than expected.

Heiko came in 5th a few minutes later, followed by Robert.  Sebi picked the team perfectly!

Team Win

After checking out the results, I saw that a blue card for drafting is only a 1 minute penalty, so I fell from 3rd overall and 2nd in the league, to 7th overall and 6th in the league.  I actually crossed the line 15 seconds after 1st place. Number 221 won the league race, that really pisses me off. He cheated so much more than I did but got away with it and won the race, whereas I lost 2nd place for a moment of stupidity.

Team Win
left to right Me, Stephan, Michael, Heiko, Christoph, Robert and Torsten (Masters)

Anyway, with Christoph in 10th and Stephan in 11th. We had 4 in the top 11, meaning we were the best team for the 2nd week running, it is looking very good for promotion now, there are only 5 races total, so 2 wins is a big step in the right direction.

 

The Road to Roth – Week 14 – Tapering

After a good race on Sunday, the first week of kind of tapering started in week 14.  It looks like being a boiling hot week. Generally warmer than 32°C basically all week.  That won’t make it easy to do my 2h longer run, or my 4h longer ride, but I am happy that the real heat waited until this week to arrive, 2.5h runs in 35°C heat aren’t fun.

Monday

Just a nice easy swim.  That makes it 3 consecutive days of swimming! We only have the pool for 1h now, and I forgot to start my watch, so I don’t know how much we swam. It felt like quite a lot though, I gave us 2700m.

Tuesday

It had to be done, and I knew it wouldn’t be fun, but my 2h run was going to be a hot one.  I set off straight from work and felt ok for the first hour.  In the shade it was bearable, but in the sunshine it was dreadful. My heart rate started to rise, not helped by the fact that I had my rucksack on for the first 90mins.  After the 3 brückenlauf, I headed back to Hechtsheim.  I wanted to drink something, but after downing 700mls of water, I had a bad stitch. Continue reading “The Road to Roth – Week 14 – Tapering”

Mittelmosel Triathlon – Team Sprint 2017

TCEC have been looking foward to this for a while, we want to get promoted, and with only 5 races in a season, we had to start off well in the Team Sprint.

Team Sprint

The team sprint is simple, but with complications. Everyone swims pretty much as normal. Then the team mates wait for each other in T1. When everyone is there, they set off on the bike together, where they can ride in a group within their own team.  Only road bikes are allowed.  After the bike, is the run. As soon as someone is dropped by their team by 20 seconds or more, they are ‘lost’ and are out of the race.  The clock stops on the 4th man over the line from a 5 man team.

Before the race

Delays

The start was delayed by from 11:45 to 12:35 for some reason. It was then delayed for another 13 mins due to a ship coming through!  We set off and I felt like I was swimming well. There was quite a lot of contact, including someone hitting me on the head before the start of the race, but that doesn’t bother me too much. The swim was 700m in the river flow direction, but that wasn’t much of an advantage.

Neoverbot

The water temperature was 23°C, so we couldn’t wear wetsuits. Normally that is a nightmare for me, but now that my swimming is ok, I wasn’t overly worried about it.

After about 400m of the swim, I started to notice fewer people around me. I knew that some were ahead and had my old fear of being last out of the water! T1

Bike and run

Shortly before the end of the swim, I saw another TCECler next to me. I overtook them.  After getting out of the water I was amazed to see that that was Michael!  I had imagined that it was Robert or Heiko, but Michael is a faster swimmer than me normally.  I had plenty of time in T1 to put on my sock (a major swim goal for me), it was almost 2 minutes later when Robert came out of the water.

We set off on the bikes and it went really well. We were flying for a few km, then Heiko and Robert started to struggle to keep on the back after their pulls.  The pace slowed a little and only me, Jonas and Michael took turns on the front for the rest of the ride. We finished with basically a 40km/h average. Not bad.

Running to the win

After struggling with my shoes again, I was last out of T2. The pace felt quite fast to start with but settled down to a comfortable speed for me. We stayed together for 3km, then Jonas stepped out, he couldn’t keep up anymore.  We were dependent of Robert who was the 4th fastest in the team.  He fought and kept the pace high.  We saw a weird bike crash on the 2nd loop, when a guy on a flat bit of straight road swerved off and hit the side, crashing quite heavily.  Other than that the run was quite uneventful. A team ahead of us was tantalisingly close, but we just couldn’t get to them.

winners

Champions!

We finished and then had to wait ages to find out how we had done. The 1st RTV league was also racing at the same time, we are in the 2nd RTV league, so it was hard to know what place we were in our league.  After a good while, we found out that we had clearly won the 2nd RTV league race, with nearly 2 mins on 2nd place.  We were the fastest on the bike and on the run!

Team Sprint winners

So we got on stage and took our prizes, but more importantly, we started our promotion season off as we needed to.

Next week is Worms. The 2nd RTV league starts there alone and it is a normal triathlon, not a team race.  I have an inkling that I have a chance to win it. Who knows if that is realistic, but sub 1:03 would be great anyway.