Wednesday, 25 September 2013

French Grand Prix 4

After Cognac I returned back to Issy Les-Moulineaux to spend my last week in Europe and I was also lucky enough to see some of the sights in Paris including the Effiel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, The Louvre and Notre Dame. Spent five days training in Issy before we headed Noeux Les Mines for the last FGP race, was very glad this place was only a two hour drive away but will still stayed the night before the race. As we came into Noeux Les Mines, we saw an artificial ski slope which was pretty cool and the swim was in a wake board park, pretty awesome place. The weather was a little cold when we arrived in the afternoon but still got in an hour ride before heading to the hotel. The team picked a sweet Italian restaurant for dinner and had a round of ten pin bowling afterwards. Race start was at 1400 so we could have a little sleep in before heading to transition check in at 1100.

Race day was perfect, a lot warmer and no wind, although I found out that French professional triathlete Laurent Vidal was here to race and a lot of other tough competition. After check-in we chilled in the shade for a while to watch the racing and then it wasn't long before I started warming up. Another solid run warm up and this time a solid swim as well. The teams were called up by their ranking and placed into the gates, Issy was 7th, we managed to get about 4 across from the side so it wasn't too bad. With over eighty athletes lined up for a beach start race, it was going to be pretty hectic. We were underway, short run, one dolphin dive and I was in clear water already. The beach we started on was slightly curved so the two outside teams had a little advantage as I saw on the left and right side the guys got an early lead but I was able to swim over to the left lead pack and get on feet as it was a left turn first. The first two turn buoys I swam wide as the fight close to them was crazy and I wanted none of it. Came out of the water in about 10th position and with the best transition I have ever had, I was onto the bike in 4th. Was now in the lead pack of about ten or so and the first couple of km was insane but held a good position in the pack. There was a small chase group just behind and it wasn't long until they were in amongst us. The pack rode strong but there was a lot of people who didn't want to do any work at the front, I did my fair share of turns, even if they were short. On the 3rd of 4 laps, two guys broke away and no one reacted hoping that they would reeled in by the end of the bike, this was not the case, they kept putting more and more time into the group. Last km of the bike I moved my way up to the front and got off the bike in the top five. Super quick transition and I was onto the run with a small group. This run course did not suit me at all with 75% of it being cross country, it was extremely hard. A few guys had got a bit of a gap but throughout the run I got quicker and quicker and started pulling them back. Around half way I was running with two guys and it was not long till I dropped them both, I was now on the heels of 7th place in the last 500m. The finish consisted of a few corners before the final straight, I picked the last one to try and pass him but someone in the crowd called out and he saw me coming, it was very close but he had another gear and just pipped me at the line.

Overall very happy with 8th in FGP4, good end to the French Grand Prix series and also my European trip. With the results from other Issy members, we finished 5th and also 5th overall for the season which was really good. Hopefully next year we will finish in the top three and be promoted to 1st division. Huge thanks to Issy triathlon for the past three months, they have been great for travelling me to each race, feeding me and being awesome to be with. Cant wait to come back next year.
I Arrived back in Australia on the 11th of September and have 1 more race before I will break. In October I will compete in the Neapean Triathlon in Penrith, NSW. Really looking forward to that race as it is non-drafting and a very strong field is expected to turn up.


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