This is the perfect warm-up competition for the Paris Triathlon, 1 week before, so everyone was watching to get an indication of other team member form. Genius award went straight to Nick, who after having organised everyone else suddenly realised that he didn’t have his license – fortunately the chief ref had heard of the team, and they let him in without it.
Then Francesca realised that she had gotten confused between ‘wetsuit’ and ‘tri-suit’ and hence didn’t have one, but again the organisers came to our aid and found a spare wetsuit, and after some last minute repairs the whole team were <just about> ready for the off !
And a strange ‘off’ it was, sliding down the grassy bank into the waist deep water. We had worked out just prior to the start that we would be swimming left first off all (so against the current) however there didn’t appear to be any line, so we all just swam over to the middle of the river.
Couldn’t be sure if they actually said start or not, but suddenly everyone started swimming, so we went too. The swim was pretty nice, 200m or so upstream, then the remaining 550m downstream, nice and easy. Thibaut was the first out of the water, however only a few seconds ahead of Nick and Thibaut was overtaken in the Transition zone while he dusted off his feet and applied the talcum powder.
The bike course twisted and turned through the town immediately after the transition, which was a disadvantage to anyone who decided to put their shoes on while riding the bike (like Dave B) although if truth be told he was just annoyed that Thibaut wouldn’t let him borrow the talc.
Two laps round a nice course with a good hill in the middle, the warm afternoon sunshine meant you dried out pretty quickly, although not quickly enough for Rabi, who had new bike ‘teething problems’ and had to retire after the first lap due to technical difficulties.
Nick maintained his lead off the bike and onto the run, an out and back along the river bank – so nice a flat – something worth attacking, he was about 1km in when he saw the winner on his way to the finish line, so only about 3km behind, which might not seem much – but when you are competing at max intensity it feels like a long way !
There were a number of supporters awaiting the team at the finishing line which was hidden the other side of a pretty little garden which you are very tempted to run through (instead of around) to get to the end, Nick comfortably finished ahead of Dave who was paying from having perhaps a little too much ‘Pride’ the night before, then came Valentin making the run look easy, and Thibaut who had manged to only lose a couple of places after his excellent swim.