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Friday, May 21, 2010

Gladbeck Disputations

So my first Bundesliga experience went down last Sunday (for those unaware, the English translation for Bundesliga means maniacal speeds and intensity of gigantic proportions). The format was over two races, the first being an individual of 250/5/2.5, and the second being a team sprint distance race. The first race consisted of 5 heats, with a member from each team lining up for one of every heat. I was in the fourth heat. The only guy I knew in my heat was Ivan Vasiliev, almost the prettiest guy in town. I had no idea what was about to happen. I blame part of this on well, the fact everyone around me was speaking German, and the other part to my ignorance of the Bundesliga and my unawareness of the speed I was being forced to go.

I swam pretty hard, and exited the water with my mate Vasiliev. By the time we got on the bike, no one else was in sight, and I began what I thought was a solid turn, until Vasiliev came past at almost double my speed. The whole 5km of the bike I spent sucking his wheel, with occasional glances to my SRM coming in at 450watts. He would give me a few nice little pushes (like friends do) when I would try to roll past him. The run was one lap through a nice forest trail, and I think I spent more time enjoying the scenery than doing what I should have been doing. A few guys ran me down and I came 5th in my heat, which I was ok with. Later the results came back from the individual race, and I had place 29th overall, which I was not so happy with. All the other 4 guys in my team were in the top 10. As I said, I really didn't know what was about the happen, and I kind of wished I could have raced it over again once I had seen my result. Anyway, there were bigger problems manifesting.

It turns out Thomas Springer in my team had been DQ'd for an almost nonexistent rule, and our team had received a 5 minute time penalty, which meant we were out of contention for the major placings. When he was getting on the bike, someone knocked him and his bike shoe came off, which he never went back to get. Thus riding without a bike shoe = 5 minute penalty. Don't try this when your in Germany! Our team staff and the athletes were going crazy . Our team manager actually had a minor heart attack this week before heading to the lawyer to prepare a case against the DTU. It looks like we would have been 1st or 2nd if it didn't happen, so our team is hoping they can overturn the penalty! To be honest, I'm just glad it wasn't me this happened to. You can read about the indecent in broken English here http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http://www.asics-team-witten.com&langpair=de|en&hl=de&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&prev=/language_tools

So in the team sprint race, we started in 13th place with our time penalty. In the team race, you are aloud to drop one member to finish with 4 team members. We swam well and rode even better. We were picking up teams all over the course. As the slowest team member of the morning, I had the duties of pulling large scale turns on the bike. This was cool though, as I need to earn my stripes. The run was by far the most intense and fast thing I have ever done in my life, and the forest didn't look half as nice this time around. I ran second in the pace line for 4km, until I faded and ultimately fell to the stigma of the dropped team man. With 500m to go I was cactus, and started to slip away. I was sitting 5m off the back of the team when we came into the finishing chute and they wouldn't let me finish the race. I was a bit disappointed with this, and would have given anything to finish with my mates! I didn't even know I could go that quick though, and it turns out our team was the quickest of the afternoon by over a minute, and even ran 40 seconds quicker than the team of Kahlefeldt, Vasiliev, Mola, Belaubre and Jaskolka. It was a great experience and I think the Bundesliga is something that will be good for me.

The next Bundesliga is tomorrow in our home town of Witten...bring it on!

1 comment:

  1. enjoyed the race report! good luck in Witten race and looking forward to hearing how it goes.