Julie Dibens Writes:
It's sure is nice to stand on top of the podium again. It feels like forever and a decade ago that I last won a race. In reality it was only actually 4 races ago, but after a winter of miles and little niggles it seems a lot longer. I have to say, it is fantastic to have won another 70.3 They are never easy to win, and it was a hard day having to chase down the Swiss mountain goat Nicola Spirig. I always new Nicola was a great cyclist, and was going to be hard to beat on the day, but I was a little disheartened when she came by me on the "Swiss Beast" climb. After my not so stellar bike at St Anthony's I was thinking, shit it's happening again! But I let her disappear off up the mountain and stuck to my original race plan and just focused on what I needed to do.
The bike course was truly spectacular. There is nothing quite like riding in the Swiss "hill-side", with the cowbells ringing and all the locals lining the streets cheering. They were so loud at times you couldn't even hear yourself breathing ...which was a blessing :)
I managed to limit my losses on the bike, and came into transition about 1min30 down on 1st, and a comfortable lead up on 3rd. To be honest at this point I was focusing more on holding onto 2nd than shooting for the win. I knew what a great runner Nicola is especially over 10km, but at the back of my mind I did also wonder whether her strong bike would take it's toll. So I settled into a comfortable pace, and was pleasantly surprised with how I was feeling as I bounded up the dreaded "stairway to heaven". To my surprise I then had first place in my sights and ran up next to Nicola at about 4km. It was then a case of just trying to maintain the pace I was setting, and not repeating what happened in Clearwater. My pace slowed a little, but I finished strongly and held on for the win, no doubt disappointing the Swiss crowd, with the home favourite Nicola finishing a couple of minutes back in 2nd.
It was great to have Mike out there at the finish to celebrate with. He decided at the last minute to jump on a flight and come and watch the race which was fab.
Next up for me is a couple of UK races. The UK 70.3 is in 2 weeks, and the UK Xterra just 6 days later on the 21st June. Bring it on!
– but the sailors praise the new boats
Photo Credit: Dario Belingheri/Bettini Photo
photo David Cannon/Getty images