The light pace makes it easy to take in the scenery, and Girona does not disappoint. We have the roads all to ourselves as we cut a path between green fields fading brown in the warm Catalonian sunshine. There are mountains in the distance, but we won't be attacking them today. Instead, we keep to the foothills, dipping occasionally into wispy forest, before pausing by the emerald waters of Lago de Bañolas for a refueling break.
There's a light tailwind on the way back and it feels like we're gliding, until a few riders who just can't contain themselves launch an attack. It's all in good fun, and everyone breaks a sweat. A rider or two fall behind, so we ease the pace on the decent. This pack is destined to finish together today.
And we finish in style at a lovely little spot with three Michelin starts to its name. Twenty pairs of weary legs are happy to find a seat in the sunshine. Jan is still fresh, still smiling, still looking pro even as he lounges in the sunshine. "In a triathlon, we spend four-plus hours on the bike, and it's so hard. I just try to stay focused and remember that there are also days like this. Beautiful."