Sunday, June 1, 2008

Dunlap TT

This was my first ITT on a real TT bike, so I was anxious to see how I would fare against my usual road competition in a flat TT.  John, Eric and I arrived a good 2 hours before our noonish start times so we had plenty of time to get in a long warm-up on the trainers.

I hate riding on the trainer, and I really hate riding the TT bike on the trainer, but it had to be done, so we got in our hour plus and rolled up to the start.  

When my 1 minute man started I started my stopwatch, which is the only source of data I use when I ride.  A minute later I was rolling and waiting for that first turn at 1.4 miles.  On a course like this the only things I have to look at and motivate me are the riders ahead and the turns on the course.  I had estimated and memorized anticipated time splits for each turn based on an aggressive 28mph pace.  

After about 10 minutes I could tell I was reeling in both my 30 second and 1 minute riders and soon passed them both.  That was a real confidence boost.  When I made the 2nd turn at mile 6.9 I was hoping to be around 14:45, but looked at my watch and saw 16:00.  

Dang, how can I have lost over 1 minute yet still be catching guys!  I took a quick look over my shoulder to see if Joel (who started 30 seconds behind me) was coming, but didn't see him.  On the 3.5 mile westward leg of the course i could feel an increased headwind, so I decided to go harder.  After a while I could see another couple riders ahead, but for some reason the person wasn't pedaling.  As I approached I realized it was a woman from the 3-4 group, not one of the masters guys.  At the next turn I was about 1:25 behind my projection and was surprised that I had only lost 10 more seconds to my projection.  The next stretch of 2.5 miles felt the fastest (must have had a tailwind) and I started to gain some time.  I passed a few more women and 1 guy from my race who had started a few minutes ahead of me and then made the final turn to the finish.  I was thinking that I was going to be about 90 seconds slower than projected until finally remembered that I had started my watch 1 minute early!

Sweet, I wasn't going as slow as I thought I was and I only had about 5 minutes to go so I went as hard as I could.  The last 3K really ticked by slowly but I finally made it and crossed in 41:31 (31K - 27.8 MPH).  After I finished I waited for a minute and no one else crossed so I knew I had at least beat the 2 riders who started behind me.

I was real pleased with my race, but not sure how the time would hold up.  The results confirmed what I expected, Billy Innes won (again!!) about 38 seconds faster than I was, but I was fast enough for 2nd so I wasn't disappointed.   

Next week is the rematch at nearly a mile high, so we'll be going a little faster and breathing a little harder in the thin air.

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