Just back from the race which took place about 8km from my hotel in the village of Kozle. The 8km was a good distance to ride out and warmup on the way over. Wetsuit on and a good warmup to get the shoulders ready.
On the pontoon i started near the right side. Usually i am able to get a good start in continental cup racing but with these euro cups the field is stronger and deeper and I noticed this right off the start. There were some really good swimmers (little vasilev and a slovak named richard varga, both last year juniours!) and they took off in a big way. I managed to maintain a spot in the big pack that swam quick but not insane. There were some surges that i was able to take and without getting beaten up to bad i exited in a good spot right behind Kazak Olympian Sapunov.
Onto the bike it was pretty good pacelining for the first 3 laps trying to reel in the lead group of 3 which had about 30s out of the water. By lap 4 the group had got them and it settled in a bit with the odd attack here and there. Little Vasilev though takes right after his big brother, in that he wouldn't let us catch em easily. There was one crash on the cobblestone corner, but the main danger were the dogs. I have noticed the dogs are pretty territorial here and anyways, on lap 5 or 6 3 dogs, yes 3 dogs side by side were on the course up ahead and were coming towards us barking! This was very scary, i thought i was going down big time at 40k/hr. Somehow they were avoided, but i will always remember the moment when i saw the terror in the dogs eyes as i brushed by him and likewise he with me.
Coming into T2 i was at the back of the pack but avoided most contact and got out onto the run. The run went well for me with one minor glitch were i couldn't hang on to a group of 4 on the first lap and spent the rest of the run trying to reel them back. With the run being 10.5k my split was about a 34:10 10k which is where i've been at most of this year.
One interesting thing was racing two twins from Israel, the Alterman Brothers. On the run i went by one, but then a few minutes later i saw the same name up ahead. What! i just past this guy, did he shortcut somewhere? I couldn't get him in the end and considered protesting, but after the finish i learned that they were twins. Now i know what it feels like to play against the Sedin Brothers or race the Coates Girls, its like the old double mint gum commercials!
Finishing up in 12th spot was a decent result, just out of the money though which could have helped.
Tomorrow I will do doing some light training here, and having a look around before heading by train to Vienna on Tuesday to race another euro cup on the 13th.