Terenzo Bozzone gets silver in ITU World Champs
Coming back to Europe to compete for the first time in 2 years was a bit of an experience. I was targeting the ITU long Distance Triathlon World Champs (4km Swim, 112km Bike & 30km Run) and was hoping to learn a bit more about myself and what I can do in the future to help me transition from the 70.3/ half ironman distance racing to full Ironman distance races which seem to hanging out just out of reach.
Due to the polar temperatures in Europe at the moment the organizers cancelled the swim and made the race a Duathlon (10km run, 90km bike & 20km run), not quite what I was coming to Europe to do but none the less a great opportunity to race the Euros on their home turf in what was sure to be a battle, both with the competition and the course which included a 8km climb up 600 Vertical Meters (1800 feet).
Coming here for an ITU World Championship event brought back memories of my very 1st world champs in Calais, France in 2000. That time it was actually for a duathlon and I finished off 19th after a small crash on the bike. Unfortunately my French back then was probably better than it is now but hanging out with the New Zealand Age-group team here in Belfort made the trip a lot of fun. “Table for one” at races becomes old after a while…
I got to the start without having to many croissants in the lead up and was ready for the longest Duathlon of my life. The pace for the first run was not as fast as I was expecting but we still managed to separate the group and tire some of the uber biker's legs. The ride seemed to be up and down with not many flat sections but thanks to the great roads we were flying over the course. There was a group of about 10 guys that hung together until the 45km mark, the bottom of the 8km “Le Ballon” climb. Knowing how these guys can ride and with the Alps in their backyard I was a little nervous and wasn't sure how I would stack up against them but I was determined to “bring it” the whole way. Bertrand Billard and Toft, the Dane took off at the bottom of the climb, I was positioned behind the race favorite, a Frenchman, Sylvan Sudrie who is a strong cyclist and I thought he was the man to watch. After 2km I moved in front and tried to keep the pressure on to limit my deficit to the leaders. Soon I had dropped Sudrie and I was clicking off the kilometers. I have a climb back home where I do my hill work, “The Quarry” which is a 15minute climb and as I was climbing I visualized sitting on my training partners wheels, Mike Northy and James Oram who are riding for Pro teams in Europe. I think they will be proud with how I climbed out there. The ascent and descent where definitely my favorite parts of the race this weekend.
Descending through the fog and trying not to loose to much heat was a little hairy, I would have loved to have had someone who knew the roads to follow, but I was giving it a good crack.
Soon I rode past Toft and with 5kms to go Dirk Bockel caught back up to me and was riding like a man possessed. Weaving through the narrow streets we came close to overshooting a few of the corners. I pulled out one of my signature transitions and was off trying to chase down the race leader Bertrand Billard who had the race of his life and went on to become the 2013 ITU World Long Distance Triathlon* Champion while I had to settle for the silver and Drik Bockel took the bronze. Although another world title would have been awesome I am pleased with how I raced and where my form is at the beginning of my season… and 2nd to a Frenchman on French soil, not too bad!
Back to LA to thaw out for a few weeks, then next stop is the Mont Tremblant 70.3 in Quebec in 3 weeks but what I am most looking forward to is Kelly joining me in 10days.
Thanks to you all for the amazing support