Silver medal at the Glasgow European Championships 2018

It was a hard but successful weekend in Scotland!

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On Friday I raced the Olympic Distance; 1.5km - sub 17min swim, 40km up & down hill with a tremendous speed and a 10km run with tired legs in again a hilly terrain in 33min.  All great times, but I missed the lead group after the swim by only 2-3seconds, and that was crucial.

I had a decent start into the 1.5km swim, but as usually it got a bit tight around the first boy and I lost some important places. I would have had the chance to make up the lost seconds in transition, but I was stressed and did not manage to remove my wetsuit very quickly! A second chance was available, to ride with Martin van Riel from Belgium, to get back into the lead pack. I managed to hold his wheel all the way to the hill, where I was pushing hard and reaching my limit. Almost falling of the bike with pain all over I took the u-turn and tried to follow him down hill. But that day I missed my usually strong bike legs and lost van Riel’s back wheel. I saw him riding off towards the lead pack and fell back to the chase pack with all the good runners.

At first I was angry at myself for not pushing harder to reach that lead pack! But there was no time to think, the up & down really needed a lot of focus and energy, plus the big hill did hurt and I needed to stay in that chase pack.

I needed at least 4 laps to recover that first couple minutes on the bike, until I could take some turns at the front again. The guys were working well and we didn’t lose too much time. On the start of the run the leaders were 1:17 ahead of us and behind us was a big group around 1:20a away. I was still in a position to finsh my race with a good result.

While Alarza and Geens were flying off, I tried to get into running a strong 10km time. I felt the tiredness in my body, but all the training from St. Moritz with Brett was paying off. I could keep my pace high and had the needed stability. I ran into 12th place and was really happy with that result for coming off with the chase pack. It’s not a medal nor a top 10, but I did everything I could on a bad day and that’s the important.

Onto the next day for the Mixed Relay. Time to redeem myself!

We came to the race with small hopes of a podium. But we gave all we had to be up there. Lisa handed over to me in a good 6th position, giving me the chance to chase down the guys on the swim. I picked up Spain and Hungary already on the first 100m and then in the last 50m, Portugal.

Onto the bike and together we chased down France and Belgium. It was important to start the run with the front, because LeCorre, Alarza, Silva and Geens were all top runners.

I could not give away any seconds in advance during the transition. I jumped off the bike in first position and started to run like hell. Chased by some of the best runners in the world of triathlon. It was so painful! You jump in the water and swim 300m ALL OUT, onto the bike ALL OUT for 7km and then again, you guessed it, ALL OUT 2km running.

I lost only 18seconds to the leading Spaniard Alarza, tapped Nicola on her way to the pontoon and fell down gasping for air.

I knew after training with Nicola in St. Moritz how strong she is, and she had demonstrated that the day before when she single handily chased down the leaders in her individual race (and went on to win gold!). I was relieved seeing her flying through the field on her bike, dropping Spain, France, Belgium and Hungary.  Our chances for Medals were real!

Nicola gave Sylvain a great lead and he managed to bring home Silver just behind the World Champions from France.

We were all overwhelmed!! What a way to finish a great European Games for Switzerland!

Cheers!
Andrea (still celebrating)

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