25 August 2009

WOC Long Distance top 10!

The culmination of the World Champs this year was the long distance. 17.5km with 750 metres of climbing, and some big route choices. This was the race I was really aiming for this year, and after my great qualification race I was relatively confident that at least my fitness was good enough for a top result. It also meant that I was starting 3rd from last, with only Thierry and Baptiste after me. Realistically, I was always expecting to see one or both of them, and I managed to stay in front for more than 50 minutes. To be honest, when Thierry catches you and you have the same butterflies, it would be more than a little stupid to ignore him - my speed definitely increased after then. I had no problem to run at the same speed as him though, and passing through the spectator control with 2.5km to go, I understood that I had a chance for top 10. I could not stay with Thierry after that though, and he was out of sight on the steep rocky slope to number 30. I really gave everything I had, and I don't really know how I found the last couple of controls! The tough climbs were a killer, but it seems like others had even more problems than I did, and I actually took some places on the last loop, despite feeling like I was going backwards.... As I sprinted into the finish, I heard that I was running to 9th place!
Before the championships, my goal had been top 20. After the qualification, I had small dreams for a top 10, but it was still unbelievable to actually do it. I had a good race technically, losing some time to the 5th (lost focus while taking a gel), and then a couple of little wobbles towards the end (24, 26 and 31).

This was a really nice end to WOC week, after a mediocre sprint race, and a decent run in the relay. I am really happy for Thierry that he took his first medal in the long - he really deserved it after both the problems in the relay last year, and also his selfless act in the relay this year. I will be cheering for France in the relay in Trondheim (after GB of course!).

Results here
My route is shown here - although it is not exactly right in some places!
Will scan some maps in soon with my routes

Photo Richard Baxter


Anonymous said...

Class result GG. Hats off. Maybe you are not a soft c*** after all?!

gg said...

there is your challenge right there for next year! I dare ya

Anonymous said...

ok, big boy, game on....!

emiGrants said...

Congratulations! Superb result achieved entirely by your own efforts. Superb and well done!

Tomek Pabich said...

I've been there watching and I must admit that your result was quite astonishing in the end. GJ! :)