A world cup in your own country, only a 30 minute drive by car? That's got to be a joke!
No, it wasn't. For the 2nd year in a row, Antwerp was to host an ITU World Cup race. As I was in good shape and this was a home race, me and my coach decided I had to do this race. Having been away from the international scene for more than half a year, this was quite exciting. But I knew everything was going well and this would hopefully be the first international race again, with many more to come. I was ready for it!
As I didn't race internationally for quite a while, I wasn't ranked high on the leaderboards and didn't get to pick a spot on the pontoon I wanted. This meant I had to cover some extra distance on the swim as the turning buoys were at the completely other side. But I couldn't do anything about it and just had to deal with it. The swim was very rough and I got knocked back and and had to chase down the big pack. Going flat out I was able to catch the pack after several km's. By the time we had to enter transition, we were about 40 seconds down on the lead pack. In short, a lot was still possible. I had a good run (3rd run split) and managed to secure 13th place!
I'm very happy coming in 13th in a world cup race. Certainly when taken into consideration it was only my 2nd individual race of the season and the first international race in a long time.
Many thanks to my family, the home crowds, team and sponsors for their support! Hungry for more!