Altafulla was next the week after Vilvoorde

I had a good feeling and a good mindset. After a great run in Vilvoorde within my hard trainingsweek I headed to Spain to do my next international race. If I could manage to win over there I would have my selection for the world championships in Cozumel 15-18 september.

But I started Vilvoorde with no expectations and I was planning to do the same over here. It was so warm! A non-wetsuit sea swim a extreeeeeemly hard and hilly bike parcour and a flat run. So I was planning to enjoy ever part of it.

I started with number 3 and if I could get the same finish number as my start number that would already been an amazing race.
And so we started, in the afternoon with full on sun in our neck. 750m swim/20k bike/5k run

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The day before the race we did the swim familiarisation and 1 or 2m after your toes touched the water, the sand went half a meter deeper. So I fell a lot trying to do the perfect start but it could go either way on the day of the race. It’s all about how the waves come and go and when the startsign goes off. So I didn’t really bother.
But ofcourse the day of the race I fell, full face into the sea and as I tried to get back up I saw everyone already an arm lenght ahead. But I pushed up the speed and had an good turn on the first buoy. After an ok swim I did a good transition and managed to jump onto my bike with one spanish and one Swiss girl.

Eyes on the leading spanish girl we slowly moved up to the front but the hills were really killers. (A bit like Genève for anyone who ever started there) and way too many laps to do. But anyway my legs and trek bike could handle it perfectly. Also I think this was one of the few times we really worked good together on the bike as girls and kept our distance on the chasing group.

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Once off the bike I had some meters on the other girls because of a good transition. So the first 200m I could do my own speed and once they catched up with me I placed myself behind the 2 spanish girls. As the Swiss girl was trying to keep up our speed she had to pass after 1 or 2k. After the first lap of the 2 laps we had to do I felt really good. Wanted to push up the pace but as lons as the girls behind us didn’t came closer I didn’t realy had to. So I took the head for 1k and then slowed a bit down so the 2 spanish girls could take over again. Preparing myself on a long sprint to the finish line I could feel the adrenaline and excitement. The moment came closer and I was determined to get this win.

Ok, last turn and then a couple of 100 meters to go to that finish line. I came out from behind and speeded up the pace !!
I was running alone, few more meters to go and I Had my fist gold medal on an international race !!!!!
I did it. And it felt amazing. I was so beyond happy

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And that’s not all. We went double gold for Belgium that weekend.
What an experience, I already had bronze and silver. But here in Altafulla, i made it to my first gold one.
And as was said on my contract, my world championship selection for Cozumel (I Thought…)

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