Posts tagged ‘time trial’
I am really starting to like time trials. This was a fun technical course with lots of small rollers. The start was at the bottom of the steepest hill so I may have gone out a little too hard averaging 650watts from the start to the top of the hill, but dropping to 500 watts for the first 30 seconds having to coast into and around the first sharp turn over the top of the hill. I didn’t feel like I was going too hard, but I struggled keeping the power up on the downhill and sharp turn averaging 351watts and 304watts for the next two 30 second intervals. Then on the rolling part of the course, I feel like I lost some time trying to find the best gear to be in to ramp it up on the downhills and maintain speed over the uphills. To summarize, I ended up averaging 351 watts for 9’45″ for the 4.5 mile course. That’s compared to 363 watts average for 8’30″ on a 4 mile course last week at River Gorge. My time was good enough for 27th out of 55 registered starters (top half in an NRC time trial!!!)
I left my heartrate monitor strap at work from my morning commute (Kristine picked me up at Samford) – so no heartrate data this weekend On the plus side, it was really nice to race without having to fool with wearing a heartrate monitor strap and still have all the meaningful data from the power meter during the race.
River Gorge Omnium Day 1 went pretty well. I really like the new format with the time trial first on Saturday morning followed by the crit late in the evening. The primary benefit is that everybody is fresh for the time trial and yet the short effort isn’t going to really drain you for any of the other events. Plus, I was able to get my warm-up in by simply riding to the start of the TT doing the Elder Mountain climb and then half of Raccoon Mountain at a slow, steady pace.
My plan for the TT was to push as close as possible to my 5 minute critical power of 393 watts. This really helped focus my effort because previously I would be completely blown before reaching the bottom of the longest (0.3 mile) hill on the course. Within the first minute, I saw that my lap average was 500 watts so I knew I needed to back off a bit. This helped me pace so that by the top of the hill my lap average power was down to 417 watts. I knew that my wattage would come down on the steep downhill and as I started to spin out, I decided to tuck and save energy for the flat portion of the TT across the reservoir wall. I could tell that I had gone out too hard though as I really struggled to get my wattage above 350 across the dam. I took the sharp turn pretty good, but was still fading a bit towards the line to finish with an average wattage of 363 watts and an average speed of 28.5 mph. This was a new fastest time for me on this course by 20 seconds. Here is all the data.
The downtown crit was fast and full of energy. I nearly missed the start because I thought the race started at 8:30. As I went to take a lap of the course after the 3s finished, I saw what I thought was another race lined up at the start line. I figured there was still enough time to take a lap before their race started, so I maneuvered my way through the group and then started to take a lap when the announcer said “And for tonight’s main event – the Pro/1/2 race!” and I suddenly realized that this was my race that was about to start. Fortunately, I had one full bottle and a volunteer was able to get me a plastic water bottle to fill up my empty second bottle. There was still a lot of time before the start of our race (the actual start time was 8:15) but everybody was anxious to get a good starting position with the 80+ riders in the field.
I had an OK start and found myself somewhere in the back 1/3rd of the race after the first couple laps. The course was really wide open so it was easy to move around and pass people – particularly coming out of the last turn up a slight hill with the wind coming from the right. All you had to do was take the inside line and then you were sheltered from the wind across the top of the hill down through the start/finish line into the first turn. By the midway point of the 60 minute race, I was close enough to the front to start to try to cover moves and get into breaks. I made it into one good break towards the middle and tried to drive it after I realized my teammate Pat was also in the break. I made it into one other really good break with just 3 other riders with 8 laps to go when a crash took out or held up a lot of riders including Pat who had a wheel puncture after narrowly avoiding crashing. I worked hard, but it wasn’t a perfectly harmonious break. After we were caught, I counter attacked our own break to try to start another break but ended up just riding off the front solo for a quarter of the course. Then I worked hard to stay at the front and only could get 13th in the field sprint – 15th in the race with Oscar Clark (Realcyclist) taking a solo flyer for the win and Nate Brown (Trek-Livestrong) taking second in a solo chase effort. Frank Travesio (Realcyclist) won the field sprint for third so it was a great day for Realcyclist.
Finally, here are the pedal force / cadence maps from the races that I posted about a few days ago.
Well, I guess my season isn’t quite over yet! Today, I won the Pro/1/2 division of the Alabama State Time Trial. The victory should have gone to Mike Olheiser who had already caught and passed me, but he had a flat tire and had to turn around. I was 3 seconds off of the fastest time of the day, which was put in by a strong Cat 3 rider Peter Dudle (Competitive Velo). I opted to do the race Eddy Merckx style with no aero equipment because I couldn’t get my clip-ons mounted on my handlebars last night. Still, even without any aero equipment, I was able to put in the second fastest time of the day out of all categories missing Peter’s time by just 3 seconds!
The course was challenging as it rolled constantly across the terrain, with one larger hill being the namesake of the course “Firetower Hill”. Since this was an out/back course, you got to see every hill twice — including Firetower because the turnaround was a couple miles past the bottom after you descended on the funnest part of the course. Check out my topocreator maps below:
No heartrate data to post because I forgot not only my new iBike power meter but also my Garmin in the frenzy to get out the door this morning after a late night working. I got a good warm-up pre-riding most of the course. I started out fast, but I knew that the best thing I could do was try not to blow up on the early hills. That stayed my strategy pretty much throughout, and I was very happy with my time.
Alan Laytham was out on the course taking pictures, and he snagged this one of me on the descent off of Firetower Hill a couple miles before the turnaround.
After a nice relaxing afternoon at Panera, it was time to ramp it up for the time trial. I wasn’t feeling great during my warm-up, but I was able to get my heart rate and speed up and I have finally made the timecut in a professional NRC time trial race! Here’s my heart rate data:
I am out here with my family in beautiful Bend, Oregon racing the Cascade Cycling Classic. The field here is like a “who’s who” of whose not in the Tour de France. To give you an example, during one of the many “slam on your brakes” moments in Stage 2, I almost rear-ended Oscar Sevilla and Tom Zirbel. Freddie Rodriguez won the field sprint yesterday edging out Taylor Phinney, but there was a break of 18 up the road including Victor Hugo Pena, Rory Sutherland, Chris Baldwin, Darren Lil, and Ivan Dominguez. Francisco Mancebo got third in yesterday’s stage behind Ben Jacques-Maynes and Jeff Louder. Floyd Landis is here and riding well in support of his teammates (Chris Baldwin and Rory Sutherland are 3rd and 5th in the GC afer Stage 2). BMC has a strong team including Brent Bookwalter and former Postal rider Tony Cruz. Altogether, we had 184 starters for Tuesday’s road race, 177 starters for Stage 2, and 168 starters for Stage 3.
Here’s how the races have gone so far…
Stage 1 – Smith Rock Road Race … 71 miles, ETA 2:34 @ 27mph, Actual 2:23 @ 29.7mph (11 minutes ahead of schedule)
This race was mostly flat with the exception of one KOM. I’ve never ridden with 180+ riders in a field before so I was surprised by how smooth it went — no crashes that I could see or hear, but there was plenty of times we had to brake hard going into corners or if a car hadn’t pulled all the way off the road — sort of like a big river that ebs and flows as the river gets wider or narrower. Part of the reason for the smoothness though was the raw speed. We started out averaging well over 30mph. This kept the large pack strung out. Mike Olheiser attacked about an hour into the race to get away to go for the KOM points. Eventually 10 other riders made it into the break with him. Several riders bridged across at different times making a very large break of 18 riders. It was just the right composition of teams so nobody with enough firepower was left to chase meaning that the break stayed away for the rest of the race gaining 4’49″ on the rest of the field. We started up the KOM pretty fast (25+ mph) but then slowed down to maybe 15mph at the steepest part before accelerating to close to 25mph again across the top. The pace was fast but manageable. The hardest part of the race came a couple miles after the KOM when we headed up a long (5+ miles) false flat gaining about 500′. Garmin’s development team missed the break so they were up at the front at a very fast tempo – 28-32mph with crosswinds – that kept the pack strung out single file for miles. It was very hard because you weren’t getting much draft at all from the rider in front of you. Once they realized they weren’t going to catch the break, they turned off the gas and the break extended its lead. Everything else was relatively easy although it was very hot by the finish and staying hydrated was tough. I coasted across the line in 122nd.
Stage 2 – Three Creeks Road Race … 80 miles, ETA 3:09 @ 25mph, Actual 2:54 @ 27.5mph (15 minutes ahead of schedule)
Today’s race was a bit more hilly. We started out very fast again with a gradual rolling descent for the first 30 miles. I looked down at my speedometer at one barely downhill section and we were going 43 mph, full out. The fast speed lasted all the way through the second feed zone when a split happened and the front group turned into a group of about 40 and the back group had the rest of us — about 138-140 riders by that point. I was near the split so I ended up getting into the rotation to help chase it down. Eventually everything came back together. We hit the KOM at a very manageable pace and then really slowed down for a bit to about 23-25mph. The first of two crash near-misses came when a narrow bridge slowed the pack at the front suddenly. At the sound of squealing brakes, I slammed on my brakes and still nearly rear ended Oscar Sevilla and Tom Zirbel. Shortly after the bridge as we approached the bottom of the climb, the pace really started to pick up. Then a few riders got tangled up and went down right at the base of the climb right in front of me. I skidded to a stop just barely before hitting them, but the damage was done as the main field sped away at close to 30mph while a bunch of us towards the back were still getting clipped back into our pedals and around the crash. I worked with about 5 riders to catch and pass another group and we had the main field in our sights about 30 seconds ahead, but the pace eventually got to me and I got dropped from that group and started surfing different groups … sometimes able to stay with them and pass people from groups ahead and sometimes falling off again to the next group. I finished 108th 7’35″ back from Oscar Sevilla who ended up winning the stage and taking over 1st on GC.
Stage 3 – Skyliners Time Trial … 16 miles (8 miles out/back), ETA 38.5 minutes @ 25mph, Actual 40.0 minutes @ 24mph (1.5 minutes slower than expected)
It was a very disappointing TT for me today as I missed the timecut by 37 seconds. It’s small consolation but so did 13 other riders including Freddie Rodrigues from Rock Racing. The long climb on the course was a real power climb averaging 3% gradient, which also meant the descent was a power descent where aero equipment was hugely advantageous. All I had was my tt bars and I just could never get up to speed on the way up or the way down. I was surprised because my legs felt OK during my warmup run on the course, but they were just dead during the race. I got passed by 4 or 5 people starting at 30 second intervals. Not a very impressive performance, but I am hoping to rest up and have fresher legs for Elk Grove in Chicago next weekend.