© James Mitchell
Lucy Buckingham took home 2nd place at Challenge Walchsee. The BMC athlete led the race during the swim and bike. She eventually crossed the finish line in a time of 4:15:04. Imogen Simmonds (SUI; 4:13:42) won the race as Lucy Byram (GBR; 4:18:52) rounded out the podium.
First off the bike
After starting her season with 2 wins out of 2, Lucy Buckingham toed the line full of confidence. That confidence was shown from the gun. Lucy took the holeshot in the swim, pushed the pace and entered T1 in the lead. With an advantage of 2 minutes, Buckingham took on the challenging bike course. Almost 1200 meters of climbing mixed with wet roads, because of the rain, made sure athletes had to perform on top of their game to tackle the two looped bike leg. Just like the roads, also the lead of Lucy went up and down during the bike as she played it safe on the tricky course. Halfway through the bike, Lucy held onto a one minute advantage. After 70k, that difference was cut down to 25 seconds, but a strong push towards T2 ensured Buckingham started the run 40 seconds in front of Simmonds. The run course consisted of 4 up and down laps around Walchsee. Lucy started the second lap as leader, but saw her lead come down to 20 seconds at that point. A few kilometers later, the BMC athlete had to settle for 2nd position. Buckingham kept her pace as high as possible and with it, secured her 2nd place towards the line, posting a 4:15:04 finishing time.
Afterwards, Lucy Buckingham explained she didn’t take any risks on the bike: “For sure the bike course was very sketchy. I was being overly cautious to make sure I made it on to the run. I was super happy with the swim as it was better than in Warsaw, I think. During the run, I was consistent and stayed calm, but I definitely need to work on that part. I think my bike legs are not quite there yet, so for now I’m paying the price a little on the run but I’m getting there.”