Yo, damn what a weekend it was. I still have the wind in my ears. The inaugural Dubai 70.3 really had it all: bad weather as usual lol, wind in abundance 35k plus, strong super deep field, tight stacked dense racing, great organisation and a super spectator atmosphere. so let us tackle it one by one:
the weather, it seems like we can’t catch a break here in the Middle East for what concerns the horrible weather for triathlon weekends. DIT, storm, Bahrain, storm, now Dubai 70.3 storm. but hey, it is the same for everyone. you have to adapt and overcome.
wind, gotta say I am used to it but on Friday it was quite strong at times. gusts up to 45 50k. you really had to hold on to the bars. the wind did not really help as much as it looked like, it was more over the shoulder on the way out and pretty much straight in your face for the whole way back. Most races in the Middle you have to be aerodynamically very good, but this one especially. turtle and parcel style.
damn, the field was good, really top world class guys there to kick off the HH Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad al Khalifa Triple Crown trophy, with the 1Mio USD up for grabs for the guy who wins the 3 races: Dubai, 70.3 world champs, and Bahrain. Frodo has great chances to do that. For the women, if nothing unforeseen happens, you can sign the cheque already lol. great to see that so many fellow pros made the way out to Dubai already at the end of January.
Well, the racing was just like in Bahrain, super dense and tight all the way. I like it like that because it gets the best out of you. Personally, I think we are so lucky to be able to compete in the most golden times. As for the race, the swim was a bit shortened with a longer beach run towards T1. I swam in the second group with Aernouts, Plese, Williams etc and started chasing right away on the bike. Strategically I knew that the bike, and not the run was the decider today, and hence invested more power than usual on the bike. This strategy proved to be correct as the run was much slower than usual because of the strong cross- and headwinds on the beach. Once off the bike the positions did not change drastically. Frodo is just a different beast operating on a different level. just amazing how easy he makes it look. it’s great to think that he can pull this off in January already.
As for my race, I felt good throughout and invested correctly. had a toilet break on the run, so lost a bit more than a minute there. other than that, all good, but a lot of room for improvement. good points for Kona and a good overall position in the KPR after 2 races for me. I simply love triathlon and look forward to my next races.
special shout out to the race organisation: Dubai as a municipality, the sports council, Ironman, the RACE ME crew, and the countless volunteers from the triathlon community really have made a special race and created a great vibe. absolutely fantastic and a big thank you to everyone.
the spectators and the atmosphere was Red Bull times 10 for me: such good love, a wave of motivation, the screaming, the support gave me wings every time I passed. The trick is to take it all in, but not to let it overwhelm you. This experience was really special and there are barely words to describe it. Thank you very much.
see you around.
peace. do triathlon, not war.