This day was one I had been looking forward to for a long time. While last year had a lot of ups and downs, injuries, etc. I now was doing really well. I had had a great winter and with already 2 teamraces under the belt in which I've felt very strong. Unsurprisingly I was very motivated for this first big goal of 2019!
National championships are always special, certainly a sprint race in which anything can happen. I was nervous but also very eager to race! As it was one of the first really hot days of the year, this wasn't going to make things easier.
I had a good swim and secured myself in the first chasing pack behind 4 leaders. The bike leg was quite technical and included a genuine flemish cobble-stone sector. We didn't manage to catch the leaders on the bike. Nothing to worry about, the gap was not very large. Off for a fast run. Immediatey I found myself a 'partner' on the run, Olympian Simon Decuyper. Being the fastest runners, we soon caught up with the leading guys and left them in our trails. We had a tough battle with a lot of accelerations trying to drop each other, but we couldn't get rid of each other. In the last 400m I was capable of increasing the pace one last time and surged away. I opened quite a gap and was certain of the win!
Having dropped Simon I could enjoy crossing the finish line and realised I had won another national title! But none of them had felt so good! Super happy that things are finally working out as they should. Also super happy for my teammate and friend, Tim Van Hemel, who secured 3rd place! Great succes!