Posts tagged ‘time trial’
Road Race Summary
I’ve got a 4th place streak going on here with two races in a row missing the podium by one spot. The race went well until the final sprint where I came in a disappointing 4th from a 5-man break after losing the wheel of the winner Grant Potter (Z-Motion). Phil Gaimon (Kenda) for sure deserves most aggressive rider since he realized that Grant would win the sprint from our breakaway group and repeatedly tried to dislodge him with attack after attack in the last 10 miles. But it was altogether for the finish with Grant taking the win, Jonathan Atwell (The Hub) 2nd, Serghei Tvetkov (Aerocat) 3rd, me 4th, and Phil 5th. Our break had a sizeable margin of 3-4 minutes over the field by the end.
Time Trial Summary
The time trial was amazingly fun and also went pretty well. I surpassed my predicted 6 minute power threshold by a few watts (see annotated CP curve towards bottom of this post). My goal at the beginning of the time trial was to focus on maintaining a lap average of 375 watts. After the first couple minutes, I was still well into the 400s, so I began to be really motivated that maybe I could maintain 400 watts for the entire TT. But then my legs started to fade and my power started to drop. I still had a lot of upper body strength left, though, so I stood up and cranked it back up to 400 watts a couple times. Normally, this would be a big time trial aero “no-no”, but with a massive tailwind, I’m pretty sure that it was OK since I was able to get my speed back up both times. In the end, my average speed was just over 29mph, and my average power was 395 watts. Checking the results today, it looks like I was somewhere in the top 15 maybe around 13th, but I was last place of the five of us in the break from the road race, which put me in 5th place on the GC going into Sunday’s criterium (next post). Time trial data posted at the bottom of this post. Also – kudos to John Hart for absolutely smoking the time trial with a time of 5’35″ for an average speed of 33mph!!!
Road Race Details and Data
Here is how the road race played out:
1st lap – there were lots of attacks/chasing in the first few miles with one group of 3 eventually getting away and another group of 3 chasing. When we made it to the longest hill on the course, Phil Gaimon (Kenda) attacked hard. A few of us were able to hold his wheel as we caught the break by the top of the hill. They latched onto our group essentially turning the race into a field split. There wasn’t enough cooperation in the large front group, so after a few miles the rest of the field caught back up to us. I believe there were a few more attacks to finish off the lap, but it was basically all together by the start of the second lap.
2nd lap – Towards the beginning of the second lap, a small group of maybe 3 or 4 riders including Jake Brewer (Herring Gas) rolled up the road. I attacked repeatedly to try to bridge across, but every time field would string out and chase. John Hart (Friends of the Great Smokies) was able to escape, though, and set out in pursuit. A few more riders were able to get away solo and chase. Eventually, there were at least 8 guys up the road including Serghei Tvetcov (Aerocat). This group all came together into one lead group. I tried a couple more times to get away or form a second chase group before the long gradual downhill section, but I was reeled back in each time. So on the downhill, I decided to rest in anticipation of the downhill. I was near the front when I saw a rider getting ready to attack at the base of the hill. I grabbed his wheel and followed him knowing that the real attack would come a little bit later. Sure enough, Phil came flying around a few seconds later. I drilled it hard and was able to close the gap back up to him by the top with only one rider in tow – Jonathan. My teammate Pat Allison was caught in the middle behind us. I could hear him yelling across the top that he was coming so I stopped working so that he could finish the bridge to our chase group. Unfortunately, Phil and Jonathan were drilling it super hard through a heavy crosswind section so Pat was unable to make the bridge. I was struggling just to hang onto their wheel, so I can’t imagine crossing the gap alone. By the end of the crosswind section, Pat was swallowed by the field and we were getting close to finishing the bridge to the lead group. This was about 3/4 of the way through the second lap. As a large group, we rotated well for the rest of the lap and kept a pretty good speed.
3rd lap – A couple miles into the start of the third lap, we could see that the field was not too far behind us. At this point, the commitment level in the group really dropped. People were still pulling, but not very hard. At one point, after John Hart and Phil pulled I noticed a gap behind Phil. So I attacked hoping that the two of them would come with me to form another group. They didn’t, though, and so I ended up riding off the front solo for a couple minutes. When the group came back together, we continued rotating but the impetus was definitely gone from the group. This was right when we reached the rolling section on the front side of the course. I noticed another gap opening up behind Serghei as he was getting ready to pull so I attacked again and this time there were three of us together. Phil and Grant bridged up to us a couple minutes later to form the final break of five. At this point in the race, we worked together really well with everybody pulling hard because the rest of the break behind us was chasing hard. Eventually, though, we started to pull away and get a sizeable gap. Our group was an interesting one with one strong sprinter and four all-rounders (i.e., not sprinters). For the last 10 miles, starting with the long hill on the course, it was attack after attack. Phil attacked the most with Serghei counter attacking several times with me on his wheel. Jonathan attacked a few times, and I attacked once or twice. Grant was able to chase back each move and still take the sprint at the end!
Going into the final sprint, I was sitting on Grant’s wheel after Phil had attacked and strung out the group. Serghei countered to start the sprint in the final few hundred meters. As Grant surged for the sprint with 200 meters to go, I lost his wheel for a second but was closing it back up to him when Jonathan realized that Grant was the better wheel than Serghei. So Jonathan pulled over to grab the wheel in the space that I had opened up. It was my fault for letting the gap open up in the first place, but Grant’s surge was probably several hundred watts more powerful than mine and it took time for me to get his draft and move back up. In the end, the two of them were able to squeeze by Serghei for the finish and I only made it halfway around him – so the final finish order was Grant, Jonathan, Serghei, me, and Phil.
All-in-all, it was a good race with a somewhat disappointing finish. There were lots of tactical sections as well as flat-out sections as well as strategic battles. Fun, hard racing. Lots of data below …
Road race data
Time Trial data
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: