|(photo courtesy of J Fougere)|
|At about the12km point|
|Wondering what the heck am I doing here?|
Having rode the Bridgewater Century Ride yesterday and logging 123 kms I was curious to see how the legs would respond to a 40 km hilly time trial. Needless to say my expectations were not great for a high placing in the final results.
It is funny to see how many roadies avoid the "race of truth" either from fear or a lack of pain tolerance as the participation numbers were low again this year. TNS also had a triathlon booked this weekend so that might have split off some possible competitors. In any case I realized at the start line that there was only six competitors in Cat C so my chances at a decent placing no worse than sixth was looking better(wink).
Having AC, a fellow BPCC member, depart before me I had my minute man to focus upon to gauge my progress on the course. The first 10 kms went well so that was a good sign. The legs felt pretty good so I ramped it up a bit more and reeled in AC on the long gradual climb before the turnaround. I passed him on the crest and got around the pylon feeling good at 20km.
I always feel better after the turnaround and usually the return trip to the finish line is my best in any ITT. Being a slow starter I begin to feel better after the legs are fully warmed up and the knowledge that I'm heading back always gives me a mental boost. Things were going well until midway up another gradual climb when the legs began to scream. I was passed by a couple Cat B riders who were flying so that helped motivate me to push harder. With about 10 kms to go I was feeling better and peeks behind me revealed no threats of being caught by other Cat C riders so I began to focus on a strong finish.
At this point I was out of the saddle on the rollers, climbing with hands in the drops to maintain my power. Legs were burning but the lungs felt good. At the 1 km to go point it unravelled when some insect hit me on the nose, deflected downward on my upper thigh and STUNG me through my shorts. I was thinking how lucky it was not eating the bug when my thigh felt like a cigarette was put out on my leg. Looking down I swiped the wasp(?) off my thigh but proceeded to lose some momentum as I weaved while climbing a small knoll.
Thankfully I was close to the finish, got in the drops and hammered the race home.....the sting masking the rest of the misery of riding 40 kms near or at the red zone. Straight back to the car to assess the damage. Aparently I am not allergic to whatever bug got me but the thigh is pretty tender and sore at this posting.
Unofficial time was 1:10:00(ish) for about a 35(ish) kph average speed over a challenging course. I was quite happy with that result. It ended up being the third best time and since the race was won by an OEM racer who did not qualify to win a Provincial title I got bumped up to second overall. Go figure? After 6 years of racing I finally got a podium although I feel it would have felt better had the usual cast of Cat C racers all opted to race the event.
Even with the sting it was a good day and with the conclusion of the BNS race schedule for 2010 I can say it has been a fun season of racing. My fitness has never been better and with consistent top 10 results all season I am happy with my summer of racing. My motivation will be to maintain my fitness over the winter since I probably will(should) move up to Cat B next season.....(gasp).
Official time - 1:08:29 @ 36.02 average.
For frame of reference for next season that time would have placed me last in the Cat B. Crikey......those fellas are fast. I got some serious training to do if I want to race up next season.
Next up is the Riverport Duathlon in the Fall. Guess this means I should start running again..........
|(photo courtesy of J Fougere)|