My preparation was far from optimal. After my first full distance in South-Africa I took it easy for 3 weeks, then I was able to train a bit again for a week and got sick. It took a while before I got into it a bit again after that, training still didn’t really go well and that made that I haven’t been able to train as much as I should have. Only the week before Nieuwkoop it started to get better, but I still felt insecure about the race. That is why decided to change my tactic a bit; follow as much as possible and don’t put in more energy than necesarry.
Exactly after the first loop when coming downhill and after a S-turn Martijn kept his legs still to sign me to take over. Of course the 12 meter was no longer 12 meter at those seconds and then I was given a penalty.
The swimming went well and together with Martijn Dekker I exited the water. On the bike the plan was to just follow. Already after the first few kilometers I was given a warning that my 12 meters were not enough for the officials. Then I took more distance and kept that distance for the entire race. I was able to keep up with Martijn’s pace easily, so there was no need to take any risk. Exactly after the first loop when coming downhill and after a S-turn Martijn kept his legs still to sign me to take over. Of course the 12 meter was no longer 12 meter at those seconds and then I was given a penalty of 5 minutes. In my opinion this was a harsh punishment to give in this short moment of drafting. But I finished the bike and then waited 5 minutes before I started the run.
When I finally started the run, Sven Strijk was close in front of me and behind me a large group with, amongst others, my brother Diederik. After the first few kilometers I ran in 2nd place and saw that Diederik was running strong and just behind me. Together we ran the 3rd and 4th loop in 2nd and 3rd place overall. Just before the 4th loop I had a sudden cramp in my side. I had to stop and walk for a bit. Slowly jog, but the cramp didn’t fade off. In the meanwhile Erik Simon Strijk caught me for the 3rd place which made me finish in 4th place eventually.
As cycling is my strongest discipline I am definitely a big oponent of any drafting, but it turns out it is still hard to judge what is 12 meters.
Of course I am really frustrated and it feels like I got punished for something I (in my opinion) haven’t done. As cycling is my strongest discipline I am definitely a big oponent of any drafting, but it turns out it is still hard to judge what is 12 meters. To me drafting is obviously riding closer than 12 meters to have a strong advantage. Especially in moments after a tricky down-hill turn I think you can get shortly in the drafting zone by accident, it is hard to prevent. Especially when someone after a turn keeps the legs still instead of starting to push again.
After all the frustrations Diederik made the day better by finishing 2nd!
Ready to let it all rest now and focux on my next race; Luxembourg in 4 weeks and then… an even bigger project #secret. 😉