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July « 2009 « Donna Phelan's Blog


Archive for July, 2009

TDF ’09

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Last Sunday, LC, Bean, Steve and I went to Le Sepey – 3km down the mountain from Leysin – to watch the Tour pass through. The Caravan (a parade of cars and floats) came by about an hour and a half before the riders, handing our prizes and chalk to the spectators waiting on the side of the road. This provided almost as much excitement as the Tour itself. Bean kept herself busy doing artwork on the road – “Team TBB Was Here”, as well as a marriage proposal to Thor Hushovd. And we all came away with a few “prizes” – caps, key chains, canvas bags, candy. I worked pretty hard for the one key chain I managed to claim. It came flying towards me from one of the floats, but a man standing next to me tried to step on it with his foot. Luckily he missed so I reached down and grabbed it. Then the next thing I knew he was trying to take it out of my hand!! Hmph, I don’t think so. I held onto it like a piece of gold until he finally gave up and walked away. I am now the proud owner of a “RoadSign Australia” keychain…even though I almost ended up as roadkill trying to get it.;-)


Eventually, around 3pm, we saw the first sign of riders coming down one of the switchbacks from Les Mosses. It was pretty amazing to feel the excitement in the air – to hear the helicopters overhead, to see the lead vehicles approach and then finally the lead group of 5 cyclists with Fabian Cancellara in the lead. Then before we knew it, the Peloton flew by. Look! There’s Lance!! I took a few pics, but with all the excitement I really just wanted to watch the riders fly by.


The official Tour de France will be over on Sunday, which is when Team TBB’s own TDF ’09 starts…a 2 day bike to Alp D’Huez to race the Alp D’Huez Triathlon next Wednesday and then our return bike ride back to Leysin. Can’t wait!

IM Swiss

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

Last Sunday, I raced Ironman Switzerland in Zurich. I did this race in 2008 when it was raining and 12 degrees, and really wanted to improve on my 9th place finish from last year. I knew there were some stong runners in the race this year so I had one strategy in mind – go hard on the swim and bike and build up some time heading into the run.

I came out of the swim in 6th position, not exactly where I wanted to be, but knowing that a few of the girls weren’t too far ahead. Coach had told me I was ready to have a good bike ride, so I knew if I did a good job on the bike I could make up some time. About 40km through the first of the 2 loop hilly bike course, I passed Sarah Schutz. I knew she had out run Nicola and Erika already this year so I was happy to have her behind me. A short while later, I passed Lizbeth, and then finally passed Miriam Moser to move into 3rd position.

I held onto 3rd position for the rest of the bike, and headed out onto the run knowing I had my work cut out for me. But regardless of what would happen behind me, I knew there was only one thing I could do – give it everything I had and hold them off for as long as I could, hoping that the effort to catch me might cause them to fade in the end.

At around 24km, Sarah Schutz ran past, and a few km’s later came Monika Lehman with Lizbeth not too far behind. Somewhere in the last 10kms, there was a shuffling of positions as I passed Caroline Steffan, Sarah faded to 4th and Monika would finish just 30sec ahead of Lizbeth.

I was happy to finish in 5th place in 9:31, knowing I had given it my everything on that day, and finished with my fastest marathon time. I was also very happy to see Lizbeth have a great race, and really tough it out on the run to finish 3rd. We were both lucky to have coach there to support us….although I hear he’s quite sore from all his running around.;-)

Below is a picture of ‘Hearbreak Hill’…the third of 3 big climbs on the bike course…

Going Aero

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

On Sunday morning, I went down to the UCI in Aigle to do my long Sunday run. Afterwards, I spent some time practicing my new aero position on the bike….

Lac Saint Point Triathlon

Saturday, July 4th, 2009

Last Sunday, I rented a car and drove to Pontarlier, France for the Lac Saint Point Triathlon. The Olympic distance race started at 2pm, so I set off from Leysin that morning and arrived at Lac Saint Point around lunch time.

There was a mass start for the Olympic distance wave – 2 loops of Lac Saint Point – and I came out of the water in second place behind a girl from France with another female pro from Brazil just behind me. The Brazil girl quickly passed me in transition and took the lead on the bike. After the 2 loop hilly bike course, I had moved into second place ahead of the French girl. I could see the Brazilian at various points on the 2 loop hilly run, but having the same run split, the gap between us didn’t change and I came across the line in 2nd place. Wow, that was short compared to an Ironman.:)

Once the race was finished, I stayed around for the awards and then hit the road back to Leysin. A good day of training, with a little pay check and some prizes to take home.:)