2018 SUP 11 City Tour NON-STOP: the final victory for Olivier Darrieumerlou!
Updated: Mar 4, 2019
Twice second in the previous two editions, Olivier Darrieumerlou won the SUP 11 City Tour NON-Stop 2018 which takes place in September in the Netherlands. Very comfortable on his 425 Pro board, he set a final time of 24'27'08 after the 220km race and was ahead of Niek Van Der Linde who finished second. Undoubtedly very happy, he gives us all the details of his performance.
Congratulations on your victory on the SUP 11 City Tour NON-Stop, it is, I think, your biggest victory and performance, how do you feel? Yes, it's my biggest victory and with such a scenario it's really crazy! On Wednesday the positive adrenaline has put me a little on orbit, so the pain is very bearable. But I took a lot of lactic acid in the final sprint and I have a very painful wrist that was on the line during all my preparation, so now it's time to rest, recover and take care of the injuries.
Can you tel us what equipment you used? I used a Flatwater board that we developed with Jerry mihimana 425Pro especially for this race. It is a 14' (Manea) with exactly 21''425 in width and 240L in volume. I paddled with the Georges Cronstead signature weapon paddle M blade and Flex shaft. For this type of long and flat conditions race, I am more comfortable with a slightly long paddle that allows you to reduce vertical deflections or broken bust. I am looking for energy savings as a priority. For short races and the ocean I reduce to + 11cm over my head because the paddle stroke is different.
How do you feel about your time and performance? I am very happy with my time, I have the new record on this very special race. It wasn't my main goal but with the good conditions and my good sensations at the end of the race I understood that it was becoming possible. For the purely sporting performance it depends on when you get there (laughs), after the race you are very happy to have been able to stay so long in the intensity of the paddle you were aiming for, but at a certain moment when everything seems to be getting out of hand you really want to reduce the tempo and stay at that pace. This is where you have to accept the fatigue, identify it well, feel when it gets better and push again. It's quite simple on paper (laughs). After that, concerning this year I prepared myself physically by knowing very well what I had to do thanks to my 2 second places the 2 previous years which taught me a lot. A physical coach buddy of mine did a physical reinforcement program for me. I've never done this before, I can say I suffered for eight weeks, but it paid off! Then the key point is 1 week after the non-stop 2017 race where I wanted to come back to win this race that made me dream so much despite all the difficulties encountered and possible. I made it my number one objective and I think the sporting performance started there!
How did you manage your race?
I knew how hard I could paddle. For 70km I was set in my tempo, the food and hydration were set too, everything was fine. Then I had a worse blow with stomach pains and a sharp pain that settled on my right wrist that was already on the wire during all my preparation. I fixed the stomach pains, waited for the wrist pain to pass and reduced the speed a little bit to let this moment go. I lost a lot of time, but things came back to normal. At km110 I was able to get back into the right intensity. Then, the more the kms reduced, the more I felt my body, mind and concentration ready to support me, my goal was getting closer and I knew I was ready for this type of effort. My family was there to support me every time I needed supplies, which also helped me a lot.
You ran part of the race with Niek Van Der Linde finishing second, can you describe the battle that took place between you? What a fight!!!!! Niek was a very strong opponent. We gave everything we had to achieve this victory in a completely crazy 24h27 and 200km battle! I have great respect for him! I win after a sprint that will remain in the history of this race! Happiness and disappointment are so powerful in this type of scenario that I want to congratulate him for these 2 races he delivered this year and last year when he beat me! I started strong but in my rhythm, I accumulated 14min ahead of Niek in 70km. I had to deal with a worse blow and he took the opportunity to increase his speed and get back on top of me at km110. Seeing that he was coming back I let this moment go, I knew it would work (it's my 3rd non-stop) and it worked.... A new very mental 90km race started in which each of us tried to build our victory. Several accelerations to wear out the opponent, I remember the last cartridge of Niek after the turn towards DOKKUM 40km from the finish where my Velocitek counter was 9 to 9.5km for 4 min, I felt good I was in a strong moment... after this acceleration I stayed in a good tempo and I felt that he had taken a blow in his mental and that things were becoming a little more complicated for him. After so many km things are very simply felt. There were then 27 km left after the turn at DOKKUM I kept the nose of my board in a good tempo always a little at the front, I settled in my bubble and I promised myself to do the last km of my life! Full speed ahead! This last km arrived, the boat waves crossed by the rebound on the edges required a maximum of concentration and a big work of owner not to slow down too much and especially not to fall, we gradually increased our speed, I always kept my board nose a little in front and then the last bend arrived, the lap under the bridge and the finish line !
Tell us about your incredible sprint finish and your feeling when you cross the finish line in the lead. I'm in my concentration bubble I feel good, I have this end of race in my arms and in my head.... the boat waves require a maximum of vigilance and relaxation, we accelerate, I keep the nose of my board at the front but I keep some... people start running next to us and encourage us more and more the noise increases and increases, I hear the sound on the finish boat, I see my father telling me in January "ok I come there to win!" Last turn the bridge is 100m away I hear Solène my wife screaming, I feel the adrenaline rising again, I see the 2 red buoys in the distance behind the bridge, my family and victory extend my arms to 300m behind this finish line I lower my head to pass under the bridge I get up and the arms turn alone, I cross the line 1 with 20′ ahead after 200km of battle !!!! It's done!!!!! I relax so much after the finish line that I find myself in the water immediately it feels good! I sit on my board the organization makes me blow up a Marseillaise, I see my wife and mother crying, my children happy and my father even happier than me! Now I am satisfied and happy, I have accomplished this completely crazy sports and family project that was close to my heart!
Original article on TotalSUP