Texte de firstoffthebike
Top Gun- Chris McCormack
“I’ll put on the brakes and he’ll fly right by,” Maverick tells an astonished Goose during a dog-fight in the 80’s classic Top Gun. Mav seemed to be in a losing position, front running while the Russian Mig has a missile lock. Maverick then displays outstanding tactical awareness, decelerating unexpectedly. The Mig is outwitted, shot down and Mav goes home the hero. Sound familiar?
Macca pulled out a very similar arsenal of tactics in his high-speed battle for Kona supremacy in 2010. Just replace Russian Mig with German Mike, and he almost orchestrated the same series of manouvers. The Top Gun producers are going to claim part of the winnings if they ever find out! Let’s take it from the start though.(MMS – Macca Master Stroke)
- MMS #1 one: Keep your friends close, your enemies closer. Chris knew the Raelerts. He knew them personally. Knew them intimately. Befriended and lauded them publicly. He was Tom Cruise on the couch with Oprah back in June after Ironman Frankfurt, jumping up and down with love for Michael and Andreas Raelert. Andreas had just done him by 10 minutes, and Macca had recognised the threat. He assumed the role as loving mentor, taking a dominant position. This paid off in spades running on the Queen K.
- MMS #2: For the best part of two years, Macca has been publicly announcing that the best way to beat Crowie, was to do it on the bike. He shouted it from the roof tops. He told anyone who would listen. Hell, he published smack-downs on youtube. It’s an open secret in triathlon that these two two-timing Kona Champions fell out many years ago. The seeds of spite are often the best for milling a great rivalry. So when Macca took off after the Germans/Belgique connections with Raynard Tissink on Hawi, Crowie would not have been surprised. He had weathered two years of Macca lip, and won the battle both times, why would this year be any different?Bad luck, bad patches and maybe an angry Madame Pele had intervened to smote Macca’s chances over the last two years. His well-documented cable breakage had left him unable to defend in 08, then a poor swim seeded the mother of all sugar-blows on the Queen K ending his victory chances in 09. Maybe these two events had lulled Crowie into a false sense of security- for he did not make chase when the Tissink/McCormack challenge went up the road. Those 8 minutes were the difference between 1st and 4th. The defending champion was out of the running (in Macca’s mind, this would have been for certain).
- MMS #3: optimising his swim. This meant he could conserve his attack for when it really mattered, rather than having to chase down the pack with that burst of valuable glycogen. Macca got out with the leaders in 2010.
- MMS #4: Attacking the run when he felt good between miles 5 and 10, then conserving while Raelert made the effort to get to the front between 15-20. While Raelert was anteloping to Macca at top pace to close down the gap, the latter was running conservatively, managing his nutrition. He’d pulled on the brakes and Raelert aka ‘the Mig’ thought he’d fly right by. This left Macca able to think through scenarios and plan for success while all Raelert could think about was catching and passing his quarry. He was running faster than Macca, why wouldn’t he run past?
- MMS #5: “The hand shake”. When Raelert caught Macca, Macca immediately assumed the dominant role. He greeted Raelert. He ran a half pace ahead. They spoke a few words at Macca’s discretion. He even told Raelert they needed to keep the pace high because Vanhoenacker was running strong only a couple of minutes down- now they were working as a partner ship for a common goal! The hand shake was truly great- it made the German think his mentor had accepted him as an equal. Really Macca had taken full control.
- MMS #6: Attacking the aid station. With the trap set, the attack was unexpected for Raelert- he would have assumed it to come later. They were still trying to stay away from the Belgian together weren’t they? But Macca had a full belly of nutrition and was ready to hurt the Mig. The German had to respond to cover the gap while he was trying to cool down and replenish his resources. Macca was dominating his prey… again.
- MMS#7: Attacking on a down Palani. The hardest place to run strong with quad’s that are shot is a down hill. The eccentric contraction strains the muscles and hurts more than any other type of running. Macca’s bigger legs were always going to be good for a sprint, but the long lever’s of Raelert made that a risk.
As soon as Raelert lost some ground with some tentative steps, Macca had gone into full gas. Raelert didn’t have the muscle mass to respond to the hurt. Macca had made the gap and the celebration had started in his mind- he was already dumping those sponges!
When you look at the finish line footage without sound- superimpose in your mind the Maverick and Goose whoops and hoots of delight, it’s eerily familiar! Onya Macca- you beat the German (that old WW2 story line) and provided near perfect American television. The only slight imperfection for the producers is that your nationality reads AUS, not US! Chris McCormack- All Australian Hero!