Posts tagged ‘time trial’
It’s been over a week since this race finished. I wanted to write up my report sooner, but life outside of cycling was quite hectic immediately after returning from the race — starting with some very nasty stomach/intestinal bug on Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday of last week. Here’s an edited copy of the report I sent out to the team:
Just a quick update from here in Albany, GA. Good strong field in our Pro/1/2 race and in Mike and Sammy’s Cat 3 race. Fast time trial with lots of corners. All the times were separated by just a few seconds. I was sitting in 11th with several riders tied with my same time and several more riders tied ahead of me by 1 second. Darryl was just a few seconds back in 17th with maybe close to 50 riders competing. The course was very technical negotiating all the corners and orange traffic cones — plus a 180 degree u-turn around a roundabout. This really favored my handling skills as opposed to the raw power of bigger riders.
For Darryl and I, the crit went well as we took turns bridging or being in breaks that constantly went off the front. We positioned ourselves with 3 to go, and 2 to go, but then lost some position on the last lap still leading to a top 20 finish for both of us. Good hard racing! I haven’t looked at the impact of time bonuses, etc.. on our GC but I would imagine I lost a few spots. Hopefully, I am still in the top 15 and will be able to move up with a good race tomorrow.
Road Race and Overall
Wow – it’s not often that I get to watch the finish of a road race since the P/1/2 race is usually the last race to finish. Today, we started before the Cat 3 race and so I had already finished when Sammy absolutely crushed the field sprint to win the race!!! Way to go Sammy! This was all setup by Mike drilling it at the front to bring back a break that had been away for much of the race and then the last two riders from that break right with 1k to go. With Sammy’s win and corresponding time bonus, he moved up to 2nd overall for the weekend in the Cat 3 race. Way to go Mike and Sammy! To do that well against other teams that were stacked with riders is pretty darn good.
For the Pro/1/2 race, I had a good starting position so I went with the early race breakaway. It was a good move because we stayed away for the KOM time bonus sprint. Unfortunately, I sprinted for the 1k to go sign instead of the actual KOM. The rest of the pack caught us shortly after the KOM and a counter attack went with six riders that quickly got a good gap on the field. Several of the pro riders missed the move so they went to the front and rode a very fast tempo that brought back the break just before the next KOM. It was a melee after that with attack after attack. Eventually a Myogenesis rider launched a perfectly timed attack with everyone else sitting up. He got enough of a lead to hold off the pack for a solo win. For everyone else, the field sprint was a long one with a strong wind blowing so it was a strategic positioning type sprint for us. I fought hard for position and was on the leeward side of the sprint so I was able to get 7th in the sprint (9th in the race – 1 other guy had attacked with a couple miles to go and managed to stick it to the end for 2nd with all the sprinter’s teams not wanting to work into the headwind). With my result today, it was enough to keep my 10th place in the GC! So I’m definitely happy to have made the top 10 with such a strong field.
My power meter is in the shop for repairs, so I only have my heart rate/speed/elevation data to post:
This is probably the most scenic time trial that we do all year. The entire 4 mile time trial is on top of Raccoon Mountain around the TVA pump storage reservoir. Breathtaking scenery and steep drop-offs right on the course! My time was about 10-15 seconds faster than last year. I went out way too hard averaging 558 watts for the first 30 seconds. I spent the rest of the course trying to figure out how to recover and still go hard – never works well. Still, I am happier to have gone a little bit faster than last year. Here’s the graph!
- Going out way too hard (558 watt average)
- Trying to recover
- Not too bad on the climb
- The table-top flat reservoir road
- Ramping it up again for the finish
I’ve got to hand it to the COGS group – excellent race, accurate times, quickly posted results AND photos. Way to go Cyclists of Greater Sylacauga! Here’s one of the photos (licensed under creative commons license). Thanks for posting these!
Original photo by: Diddlee
Creative Commons license
You can view all the photos from the race on flickr.
Quick summary: 3rd place! behind two Masters World Time Trial Champions: Mike Olheiser (2006) and David Grice (2003). I was happy with just about every aspect of my ride except for having a little bit too much left towards the end. Mike’s time of 48’27″ shattered the old course record set by GW by over 5 minutes. David started 1 minute behind me, and I expected him to catch me before the halfway point. I was having a good ride though, and by the top of the climb to Bull’s Gap I estimated that I was either pulling ahead slightly or still 1 minute in front of him. By the end, though, David had pulled back some time and ended up riding 54’13″ which was 38 seconds faster than me, but which also means I have now completed two time trials in which I didn’t get passed by anyone! I believe Mike Lanham (Marx and Bensdorf) was fourth followed by Travis Sherman (Marx and Bensdorf) in fifth. The full results are posted on the COGS website.
22 miles in 54’51″ for an average speed of 24.06mph
Normalized average power: 326 watts
Average/Max heart rate: 178/187 bpm
Cadence Min/Avg/Max: 40/89/117 rpm
On the way out (includes the 1.25 mile climb to Bull’s Gap):
Time: 30’15″ for an average speed of 21.8mph
Normalized average power: 335 watts
Average/Max heart rate: 178/186 bpm
Cadence Min/Avg/Max: 40/88/112 rpm
On the way back in (includes the 1.25 mile descent from Bull’s Gap):
Time: 24’35″ for an average speed of 26.85mph
Normalized average power: 313 watts
Average/Max heart rate: 179/187 bpm
Cadence Min/Avg/Max: 64/90/117 rpm
Here is the power/heart rate graph. My speed / distance is still off or maybe the course wasn’t quite 22 miles?
- Note the rolling hills right from the start. Difficult to get in a rhythm. The best strategy was to make sure that you didn’t ease up too much on the downhills so that you could carry some good momentum into the next hill. Then because it was still difficult to keep the wattage up on the downhills you needed to finish off each hill above your threshold power.
- This was the largest “roller” on the way out. Note how my power dropped and stayed consistent, but it was still 15-30 watts above my threshold power.
- There was a sharp downhill right before the start of the climb up Bull’s Gap. Note how I hit it hard to get my speed going up before the bottom of the hill and then kept a steady wattage on the climb — 332 watts which again is 15-30 watts above my threshold power.
- The long false flat on the way back. My wattage was a little bit chaotic here as I was feeling a bit of my early efforts, but still wanting to push the pace hard. My average power for the false flat was 313 watt (right at threshold).
- Wattage all over the place on the final rollers. I was still feeling pretty good towards the last rollers so I tried to really ramp up my effort. It was hard though spinning out the downhills so my average wattage for the last 5 minutes was only 319 watts (a few watts above threshold).
Finally, here’s a comparison of pictures right before the start of today’s race in 2008 and the one 15 years ago in 1993. Enjoy!
Here is a blast from the past. I am racing this Sunday for sentimental reasons as much as for the training. It will be exactly 15 years since my first bicycle race – the Bull’s Gap time trial in 1993. Here a couple pictures my dad took during that race.
You can’t miss the tube socks, hairy legs, world championship jersey, and glasses! I had just turned 17 a month prior to the race.
The course this year is the exact same as 15 years ago, 11 miles out with the turnaround at the top of Bull’s Gap and then 11 miles back into the outskirts of Sylacauga, Alabama. I think my time back then was 1 hour and 6 minutes. I am hoping to be at least 10 minutes maybe even 15 minutes faster than that this year.
From worst to first! Anybody who knows my racing knows that I usually finish towards the bottom end of the group in time trials. Today I turned that around — well, sorta … I placed third today in the 1/2/3 category but since I was the only Cat 1 from Alabama in the race, I guess that makes me the Cat 1 Alabama State Time Trial Champion. I was super happy with my time 59’05 considering I had my training front wheel and a 10-15 year old Spinergy wheel on the back of my road bike for the race.
I had two goals for the race: 1) Break 1 hour for a 40k TT 2) Determine my threshold power by recording my average power for the race. I accomplished both goals, and here are the stats:
A few highlights from the race and from the power data:
- The course was a pretty flat out/back course. Here you can see the turn-around. Note the power spike which indicates the power it takes to get started again after slowing down for the turn-around.
- Here you can see a dramatic drop in the average speed which is indicative of the tailwind that we had on the way out. Many people blew up on the way back in, but I just tried to keep a constant power to match what I did on the way out. Even then, I was getting tired and my average power dropped a bit on the way back in (312 watts on the way out, 301 watts on the way back in)
- I started out with a relatively low heart rate but it rose steadily all the way to the end, which is interesting since my average power output was dropping by the end. Any thoughts on that?
Work: 1082 kJ
TSS: 98.4 (intensity factor 1)
Avg Power: 307
Distance: 24.88 mi
Elev. Gain: 157 ft
Elev. Loss: 151 ft
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 776 305 watts
Heart Rate: 119 191 180 bpm
Cadence: 41 106 89 rpm
Speed: 0 29.5 25.0 mph
Altitude: 489 535 511 ft
Crank Torque: 0 1028 291 lb-in
My teammates did well in the race. Wes Douglas smoked it with a time of 57’50″ easily winning the Cat 3 championship and having the 2nd fastest overall time for the day. I was next and Lennie Moon was just 3 seconds behind me for fourth. Darryl Seelhorst was riding really well (on pace for sub 57′) until bad luck caught up to him again with a flat rear tire only 4 miles from the end. Kevin White got 2nd place in the Masters division rolling one of the top times of the day as well. Philip Thompson (Eddy Merckx style with no aero equipment) and Faris Malki both had good rides, too.
Quick summary: not dead last (127th out of 145 if you count the people who didn’t start), thunderstorm, “the river”, “the lake”, epic.
The details: I had a great warm-up and was feeling very good with my TT position on my road bike. My TT bars were far enough out that I could stand comfortably without hitting my knees. One downside is that I had to slide very far forward on my seat in order to have my arms at the right angle. Still, I felt great and felt like I was putting a lot of power into the pedals on the hills as I was warming up.
As I rolled up to the start line, I could see the storm clouds slowly moving in. I was one of the last starters so it was quite a disadvantage since a good majority of the field got to ride it in dry conditions. Five, four, three, two, one and right as I took off the thunderstorm hit with a torrential downpour, a little thunder and lightning, too. This normally wouldn’t have been so bad, except that the heavy rains obscured the cracks, uneven pavement, and potholes. A few times I almost fell and each time I scrubbed speed to make sure that I didn’t fall.
Even with all of that, I was having a bad TT but it wasn’t the worst in the world until I tracked right into “the river”. Yes, the rain was so hard that it had created a virtual river running down the righthand side of the road on one of the steeper climbs. I didn’t see it in time and ended up riding straight into it, nearly falling, and having to slow way down in order to get out of it and back onto the part of the road that didn’t have a river in it. Then at the bottom of the next downhill was “the lake” where enough water had pooled on top of a narrow bridge that it formed a lake that you came flying into at 30mph, huge splash, but kept it upright. Finally, a very sketchy 35mph downhill to the finish line, with potholes, uneven pavement. Nasty, cold, epic. Here’s my HR and power data for the ride:
- Going out way too hard
- Paying dearly for going out way too hard
- OK on the steeper hills, nothing left for flats or downhills
- Better here on the steepest climb
- Very sketchy downhill
In summary, I went out way, way too hard averaging almost 580 watts for the first minute, dropping to 421 watts for the next minute, 381 watts for the third minute, 324 watts for the fourth minute, and then averaging only 342 watts for the rest of the TT. Even then, the only reason I was able to manage an overall average of 363 watts is because I was still able to crank out some wattage on the steeper climbs. Hopefully, that means good things for tomorrow’s 104 mile road race.