Introduced several years ago, today saw the 12km time trail which makes up the first stage of the day. The concept is to permit paddlers to set times without drafting to add their overall time score. It was tough today, as it was a head wind along a wide length of canal, though with sunny and warm conditions. In the Elite Womens, Lena finished 1 minute ahead of Petronella and during the second leg of the day, beginning together, Petronella finished just ahead.
Unfortunately in the time trial Petronella fell after a near miss with a boat, which lost her time and her composure. In the Elite Mens time trail, Dutch paddler Joep finished ahead of Martino by nearly 1 minute, with Bruno taking out the fastest time. When it came to the second stage, Bruno finished ahead, followed by Joep with Martino in a close second, Ricardo finished in a credible 6th when James van Drunen retired injured. The men’s racing has been a tight and tense battle for 2nd and 3rd and does not look like being settled until the final day. In the women,
Lena’s 1 minute time trial lead, gives her the edge and if nothing separates them more than this over the next few days, Lena looks on course for the win; but there’s still a long way to go. The Mistral Japanese Team continue to do well and maintained their first place position and are loving the experience and the atmosphere of the event!