10 Jul 2014

Belgian Duathlon Championship 2014

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Small copy and paste my report of the championships of Belgium duathlon in Wevelgem last year:

"It is the height, I collapse on arrival and I can not believe until the second arrives and congratulates me.
Wow, it's done, I'll get in a few minutes on the highest step of the podium and acquire the title:

Keep this in mind before you


This year it was held in Kortrijk on Saturday 5 July format +-9km run (in 3 laps) 40.5km bike (in 3laps) and finish with 6km run (in 2laps)

The run lap is a long straight headwind, then a right turn that leads onto a long descent, a few turns and then tucked into a residential neighborhood before returning to the bike park for the next laps, a last hard uphill that hurts the legs.

The 13.5 km bike ride consists of a series of ascents and descents, with few straight lines wind side, front and back sometimes, nice tight turns and narrow roads quite campaigns. Enough to benefit  to the big riders that can go all in in the ascents, push hard downhill and take risks in the turns. Fortunately (for me) it did not rain during the race and the roads were dry!

Here is the practical part of this race.
Personally, after a strong start to the season , also very long (almost started mid-February by 70.3 Panama, chained in March with the beginning duathlons, France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Spain and Belgium), the last month was a bit tricky, a little motivation down, pleasure not easily found during workouts, hesitation between objectives,  little down moment!

But I was keen to come and defend my title of Belgian Champion Duathlon 2013 acquired to everyone's surprise (at that time I had played the game of the unknown that can hide).

So I prepared this race for 100%, two weeks ago, I was in Fourmies (in France) for a Grand Prix Duathlon with my French team Meaux. I do a race (5km-30km-5km) mitigated with a first hard run a bike in pain from beginning to end and a second best run! I finished 12th, a beautiful place even if I fall in the last  miles and let go 4 places. Grand Prix next goal: top8!

It is therefore with some confidence in me that I reraised to the training for the championships in Belgium!

A few days before the race, I just watched the start list and I see a big "1" before my name ... BAM ... the big pressure, I got the number 1 for the race!
I will have therefore to fight hard to re-edit this Titel

Saturday I'm going to identify the course before the race and then I install everything in the park; soon we were at the start!

3:37 p.m., the start is given, among the competitors, Glen Laurens, Tim van Hemel, Seppe Odeyn, Yves d'Harveng, Axel van Liefferinge, Timothy van Houtem, I feel that the bike will be hard, some are very very strong bike .
I decided to keep pace early in the race and why not tighten the race to create gaps for the bike (so you do not end up with a group of 10-15 on the bike course).
In the second round, I accelerate the descent and we are left with a small group of 4, perfect for me! Except that I can not resist a little before the bike park and I have let slip Glen and Tim early in the bike (they are left very fast bike and taking 20m of delay in the exit of the park, I do not managed to return to the wheels).

I did 1 lap alone and I decided to wait for the group behind (damn tactic failed!). So we end up beeing 6 behind the headgroup.
As soon as the group passes me, I feel that the pace is very high, the strong cyclists took things in hand and I suffered in 6th position, I gave it all, I gave it all, nothing else to do, I often lose 5-10meters after tight turns that I dont take risks and I tried hard to get back in the group.
Anyway, I struggle not to leave the group, but it is painful, I have a small decline in morale during the second round because I'm really having hard and I don't want to lose this group and if I lose, I'm good go home and watch the football!
But no, it's still hard on the last lap and I know if I can stay with them, I can do something good in the 2nd run!
In the last lap, we took back Tim who was alone in the lead (with Glen dropped), so we find ourselves having to have 6km ride untill the end of the bike. I fear attacks because I would have been the first to let go. But the pace remains the same and therefore I can resist!

Then we arrived on the bike park together and I did a very fast transition, I exit the park in the second position and I take almost immediately the first.
So I do my race (6km in 2laps to run), I accelerate in the descent and creates a small gap with my pursuers, my father tells me a few gaps and Glen gives me nationalities of my pursuers, the guy behind me being Dutch, I began to tell me that if I run the last lap as my first, it is possible!

And indeed, I will increase the gap and I finished the race as first! Crossing the line proudly, arms in the air! I did it! I keep the black-yellow-red jersey for another year!

Francois Humblet

Francois Humblet

Pro Triathlete & Duathlete on Sprint, Olympic and Half Distances

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