South African LD Triathlete of the Year 2011/2012

Two pictures and two podiums this week! Yes, this is my last week in France :….( and I thought I would bang in two races before leaving.

As Wednesday was apublic holiday in France, I decided to do a race in the town of Nevers – which is, in fact where the LOOK bike headquarters are. Incidently, they are sponsors of the race, and apart from the swanky new pedals the podium winners all got, they also offered a brand new LOOK 576 frame as a lucky draw prize! Of course everyone hangs around for this draw ;).

Having taken things a little easier after the long distance champs in Spain, I was not sure how I would be feeling, but I was eager to do a really fun short race again :). I was most fortunate to get to travel to the race with two great guys Christophe and Binjamin from Thouars, who very kindly came to pick me up in Poitiers and entertained me for the 3h45 drive to Nevers ;D. Merci boucoup a vous ;)! I could ramble on about how I felt in the race, I’ll just say that I wasn’t exactly feeling Olympic, but after the disappointment of Spain it was nice to at least get up there in second place again :).

A special highlight for me was being racked in transition next to Laurent Jalabert :). This is my second meeting with him, and he is truly a wonderful person and still so giving to the public and his sponsors LOOK. I even got to greet him with the ‘bises’ which the french usually use for people they know, so that means he remembered me from Mauritius last year :D! Anyway, he claims to have improved his swim, but I still beat him good in the water, only to be whizzed past on the bike ;D. The challenge is on Laurent – you get swimming and I’ll work on the bike ;D!!

Next up was La Ferte Bernard, raced yesterday. I have had a few podiums at this race, and could not believe that I won this race way back in 2001 when I last took part!! Giving my age away yes, but it is quite something to be proud of that I am still competing 10 years later. Of course I wanted a victory, but this was not to be and I was beaten by 5-time winner of the race Julie Le Colletier who simply out rode me on the day. I am not disappointed, especially not in a race that has so much crowd support, but it is always hard to be satisfied if you were not the best on the day?

Some things to mention about the day yesterday!
France has been undergoing a heatwave the past few days, with Saturday being the hottest at 40deg! While I was really looking frward to the hot conditions on Sunday, the race organiser was contemplating reducing the run! Being a fan of hot race conditions, I was very glad that this did not in fact happen :). In all the cold races I have ever done, nobody has reduced the race because it was cold??. That said, the race organiser, Gerard Guesne and his team effectuated perfect organisation! Plenty of lovely cold water out on the course :). Women are also compensated the same as the men in this race (would you believe that many races in France still have unequal prize money??), and we are given a 10min head start which gives us girls some good clear road and no obstruction by male competitors :). My only embarrassment of the day (yes, there had to be one ;D), came at the end of the bike, where I really did not have time to loose. I entered the velodrome and searched amongst the sea of orange cones for the entrance into the transition – for the life of me I could not see it! I tried asking, but people responded by cheering :D. In the end, after doing half a lap of the velodrome, I had to back track rather embarrassingly in front of the crowd *blush* and find the entrance…dropping a bike shoe in the process! You are never to old or experienced to embarrass yourself :D… I was lucky to come away with another second place ;).

Chapeau Gerard, une organisation superbe :). Merci a tous mes amis triathletes que j’ait rencontre et m’entrainer avec toute la saison….Jess, Max, Laetitia, Brice, Les Marins, Natascha La Corre et Seb Viktor (pour┬ála gentilesse sur toutes les courses), le groupe velo de Savigny et les garcons du PEC au Stade Rebellieau, et bien surs mes amis Tristan et Valerie qui mon heberger encore pour une saison – vous etres Super!! A 2013 mes amis Francais…


One Response to “Never say Nevers – 2 x 2 in a week!”

  1. M'Zanne on August 21st, 2012 3:30 pm

    Dis onse Bean!!!