So many absentees from this European triathlon were not only Olympic champion Christian Blumenfeldt, but also Martin Van Riel, who was injured at the last minute. After his good performance in recent years, Gilly Janes firmly climbed to the podium, perhaps even gold?
Janes knew he had to limit the damage in swimming, but he couldn’t. The difference with the fastest swimmers was more than a minute. Jeans ended up on set with Belgians Noah Servais and Erwin Vanderblanc, but they offered little help in the chase.
To his dismay, Janes was often alone, as a result of which the large pursuit group did not come close to the leading group. Since there was some poker at the end of the course, Geens was able to start his 10km run after 45 seconds.
Janes picked up one athlete after another, but in the end there was nothing to be done about the French. Leo Berger scored one last hole in the middle of the race. Even Pierre Le Curie and Dorian Konincks made a Cleaning Campaign for France.
The Jelle Geens chase race eventually finished in fifth place. Erwin Vanderplancke placed 38th, while Noah Servais finished first at 50th.
“I came for the gold, so that’s a disappointment,” said Gilly Gaines, though he didn’t lose his smile. “Only the scenario should go well and that hasn’t happened now.”
“She lost in the first 300m swim. She was fighting until the first buoy, often standing more than swimming. I always had a problem with this start.”
“Then, while cycling, I could only occasionally rest at the wheel. We also had a French jammer in our group. In the European Championships often missing those strong forces, who then cooperate in the chase.”
“In the end, I didn’t believe in it anymore, I thought the top 5 was the highest attainable. But at the top of the mountain I saw that I wasn’t far away anymore. But it’s mentally hard to have to constantly follow on your own.”
“I’m still satisfied with my condition, after that winter injury. I definitely think this big title will be there one day. Now I have 24 hours to rest from the mixed relay. I think a medal is definitely possible.”
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