Monday, September 18, 2006

Race of Truth - Provincial ITT

We raced the 40K time trial in the Annapolis valley and it was pushing 30C by start time. A headwind/crosswind arose just to make the rolling hill course more challenging.

I left the start gate and absolutely suffered like a dog for the first 15K. My heartrate was in the middle/high 170`s yet my speed was only in the low 30kph. At a couple points along the road when the wind shifted to a headwind I dropped to 28kph. I felt like I was cycling in mud. I knew if I could hold on until the 20K turnaround I`d be OK. I`m a notorious slow starter and knew that I would get stronger as the time trial went onwards.

We left the gate in one minute intervals and at the 15K point I was passed by Eric, a teammate, and it was just what I needed. You cannot draft in time trials so I positioned myself about 5 bike lengths behind him and used him as a rabbit. I adopted his cadence and got into a groove, hydrated and got my heart rate down. We passed through the turnaround and I finally got my legs and second wind. I had dropped a minute to Eric when he passed me so I focused upon getting my minute back in the last 10K of the race. I shadowed Eric right up to the 30K point where we were cruising along doing a 35-45kph average speed thanks to the tailwind. I was positioned to pass him having noticed some fatigue signs in his form but a car came along so I had to slow up and fall back behind to avoid being in a drafting situation.

At the 32K mark I hit a bit of a hill where I made the pass on Eric and just dropped the hammer. My only hope was that he had nothing left to pursue so I could get a gap that I could exploit. To get back a minute would be hard but not impossible so I focused on the guy ahead of me and thought If I could catch him I might get back my time I lost to Eric. I absolutely hammered the last 5K and in a final sprint I finished about 5 seconds behind the guy who left the start gate a minute before me. I ended up gaining time on him but Eric had a great race. He dug deep after I passed him and, in his own words afterwards said, " Dude, you made me work hard!". Whereas my motivation was to get back my minute his was not to give it back.

I ended up gaining back some time but not a minute. No worries. Eric rode a great race. I was spent at the finish and didn`t think to shut off the computer or heart rate monitor. I soft pedalled back to my car about half a K past the line and still showed a 34kph average in the parking lot. Eric later said he showed a time of 67(ish) minutes for the 40 k. Cool. I `ll see what the final times are when they are posted.

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