Final result: 4th place European Championships, 1st place Spanish Championships
Reinosa hosted the Winter Triathlon European Championships this Saturday. Heavy snow storm and strong winds blew overnight and all day long. The road up to the ski station in Alto Campoo was blocked, so the original winter triathlon had to be rescheduled into a duathlon. It was a hard blow, I had the felling that all preparations and training for the race had been for nothing. I had trained hard in the ThoraxTrainer and was super strong for the ski, but I guess it was a similar situation for all of us in the race and all that could be done was to get ready for the new format. I was still thrilled with the opportunity to race the world best winter specialists.
The new race distances were 5km run, 20km bike, 2.5km run, in a snow storm. It was not a triathlon but still the best man won, the ever smiling Pavel Andreev. He would have won a run race, a bike race, or a ski race.
The first 5km were run quite fast and I reached T1 closing the first group of 6 men. The bike course was out and back, first 10km slight uphill and last 10km downhill. We were a group of 6 approaching the turning point: 3 russia, 1 italy, 1 norway and myself. At that point it started snowing heavily, the wind was blowind hard, the road was getting covered with snow and the race was decided at that point. I rode hard together with the 3 Russians (Andreev, Kirillov and Bregeda) and we got a gap.
Foto: Iñaki Arenal
Llegando a boxes: Andreev, Kirillov, Bregeda y yo
The 4 of us arrived together to T2 and podium positions would be decided on the last run. But my hands were frozen and I had problems removing my helmet and putting my shoes on, I lost 40″ and all my podium hopes were gone. I finished in 4th place, but it was quite strange as I did not feel like I lost a podium position (which I might had lost on the run anyway), I felt like I had won a totally new and cool experience, that moment riding together with the 3 Russians in a snow storm I will never forget.
I would have loved to race all those great competitors with a much harder bike and a ski leg, that was what I had trained for. But still we had a chance to race each other and it was a great pleasure to share the competition with them all.
To end with this post, I dedicate some lines to a role model that I had the pleasure to meet during these days, Pavel Andreev. Russian that comes from Siberia, he had a very positive attitude facing all situations, the day before, come race day, when the race was rescheduled to the new format… he never lost his smile. Humble, he acknowledged and admired the strength of his competitors. I will remember his attitude as a model I want to follow. He dominated the competition and won with authority. A sportsman and a champions, in its deepest meaning.