I am back from Wildflower without the desired victory, but I consider the third place as a good result, although one always wants a bit more…
I started swimming a bit slow, I did a good warm up but I lacked some spark in the first strokes, adding to this that someone jumped on me when I approached the first buoy and things got a bit complicated since I was cut and from there I had to push all the way jumping from one group to another until the end of the swim when I caught the first group. Hence at the end of the 1900 meters of swimming I tried to catch my breath for the first transition. The change I made was good, gained some places but still left somewhat delayed compared to the first triathletes.
In «Beach Hill» I was slowly gaining positions on the bike so that out of the Lake San Antonio park I was riding with the first triathletes. The eventually winner Michael Raelert had already put the turbo and going solo. The rythm was fast and Wildflower is a demanding course, the race was beginning to stretch and everybody put in place. The final thrust was that known as the «Nasty Grade» a climb of about 5 kilometers with quite steep sections, my legs were a bit tired and I lost time with the guys in front of me.
I left the bike in fifth place, knowing that at least two of the guys I had ahead could be caught. I had good sensations in the early running and in the first steep climbs of the circuit I overtook Conrad Stolz who had made a very powerful bike, I kept my steady pace, I was in fourth, the win was clear for Raelert and Joe Gambles in second was looking very solid, so I focused on hunting down Phil Graves, what I did with 4 kilometers to go. From there until the finishline I tried to secure my third place and not crush my legs too much in the last downhill.
Overall it was a tough race physically and psychologically, fighting hard to maintain the concentration and not give up, giving all from the beginning till the end. Maybe I miss some freshness or a more specific preparation for this Wildflower, but having the Lanzarote Ironman in three weeks I had to come to this race on the fly, so I believe that in these circumstances the result is very positive.
And best of all is the experience of these days on the shores of Lake San Antonio with all the people of AVIA and all triathletes and friends that were there. Undoubtedly the Wildlfower triathlon has a special magic, an atmosphere that can´t be found anywhere else, and that rewards everybody that experiences it. See you soon Wildflower!!