Me again (Told you June Would be a busy month).
Last Saturday I had an other race. Only one week after my international ‘comeback’ in Antwerp, the etu race in Wuustwezel was on the schedule.
Beside a little bit of stress, caused by the traffic jam stuck the day before the race, and a bit of fatigue after the 3h car ride to get to the briefing, my stress level was pretty low and under controle for this race. I felt happy and confident and excited to race here. The startlist was also much more bearable to be getting back out there step by step.
So on Saturday we had a whole day of doing not too much, the race would only start at 6pm. Belgian soccer.. you know.🙄 (but good job boys!)
After the soccer game it was our time to compete and represent our beautiful little country.
With start number 19 I had a bit more options to choose my start position.
I followed the other athletes coming up from right to left. I had Jolien at my right side which is good as I tend to breath more often right instead of left. And Hanne 4places to my left.
Ok, I was ready to GO! The startshot went of and I had a super good start.
After 50m I looked right, half a meter in front. I looked left, half a meter in front. Wauw This was going great! Compared to my previous races this gave me cofidence. Just keep pushing that phase, Charly! Passing the first bouys in open position is always better than being in a big pack.
-passing those first bouys- with little pulling and Van Der Kaay next to me.
What number one? Ok, follow her. Place yourself as close as possible aside her armpit and swim smoothly. With 4/5 girls in front of us we moved forward and passed one other athlete. Thats when I lost her armpit and drafting flow a few meters before ending the swim. With a bigger pack to exit the narrow swim exit it was a bit pushing and pulling but managed to get away quickly.
T1 didn’t go as planned when my swimcaps bounced out of my box. A few important seconds were lost. I jumped on my Bike with only 2-3M after Van Der Kaay but I couldn’t catch her wheel and drive to the first 3 girls. So the bigger pack behind me passed by and I settled myself into the first few positions. A lot of turns here in Wuustwezel, so being in the front of a pack is always better. But if you don’t want the speed to slow down you also have to ride that Bike! Me, Hanne and a few other girls worked on that Bike to catch those first 4. Only after entering the last lap (of 4) we catched up with the leading four. So you could say the biking was with mixed feelings. Some of those girls were really planning on saving all that energy for the run.
After an ok T2 the 5k run started pretty hard. Some girl passed by and so did Jolien (the first Belgian). The phase was a little too hard to start and as I ran the first lap with Hanne by my side I felt more and more comfortable as I entered the second lap. With my eye on the group of 6 athletes in front of me the gap became a bit smaller but not small enough so the last lap was just making sure I could finish strong with the 2 other girls around me. 1 of them finished stronger in 11th position and with my last energy I Made it before the cze girl in 12th position.
Top 10 Would have been so awesome but the fact I felt good and strong about my race is the most important thing!
All pictures credits for Mario Vanacker
Thanks Reading people!
Next stop: Grand prix Paris on Sunday 8:30 for my French team Autun 🤙🏼