This years Dunlap TT was hot and windy and I felt pretty sluggish on my warm up. It was pretty hard to get a decent workout on the roads near the start as the road surface was nasty and the wind was strong enough to make me consider changing out the front HED 3 wheel. This was only my second ride on my new Renn disk wheel and despite the rough roads it felt good. I have come realize that how I feel on the warmup doesn’t often translate to how I feel in the race and today was no exception.
I came to the start ramp already feeling a bit dehydrated with the 90 degree temperatures but my good lady wife was waiting for me with an ice cold bottle of HEED. That cold drink certainly hit the spot and I drained about half a bottle before my start. My start was a bit of a farce as the rider who was supposed to set off in front of me turned up late after I was already staged in the start house. I got confused when they counted him down and tried to start but my holder held me back and I nearly fell off the ramp. I think the kerfuffle actually helped me as my heart was racing by the time I started.
[Section 1] There was quite a nasty cross wind on the start straight but I was very careful not to go too hard and blow up like I did on Wednesday. After the first left turn I hit the strong headwind section [Section 2] and didn’t worry too much about my speed as I expected everyone was hurting here. My pulse was pretty high but I felt comfortable and I passed a few riders on this long section. My average speed for section 2 was only 22.7MPH. The next leg [Section 3] I was hoping was going to be a fast crosswind but it actually turned out to be a nasty cross/headwind. I was a little more concerned at my lack of speed here but there wasn’t much I could do to get it up. I was really getting blown about with my Hed3 front but it never felt dangerous and the traffic was almost non existant. I could see that I was pulling in a few more riders on this bit and I thought one of them was my old team mate Chris. My average speed for this section was 23.9MPH.
As we finally turned North [Section 4] , the tail wind hit and despite dead legs I finally managed to get some serious speed wound up. I caught one person on this sector and finally started to close on my mate Chris even though he was flying. My average speed on this section was a much healthier 30.3 MPH. The next short section [Section 5] into the cross wind was hard but it allowed me to catch and pass Chris just before we hit the next long tailwind section. I managed to average 27.5MPH on this bit. I had the added motivation on [section 6] not to let Chris catch me back again and a Davis rider as a carrot in the distance to catch so I let it all hang out. I caught the Davis guy about a mile before the final turn to the finish. I averaged 30MPH on section 6 which left me with just one section to go.
The final 2.5 miles [Section 7] were cross/tailwind and they really hurt. I had pushed a little too hard on the last tailwind section [Section 6] and this left me on the ragged edge for the finishing straight. The finish seemed to take forever to come but I managed a new personal best of 44:04. I was really pleased to see I finished one place better than last year and after Wednesday’s TT effort it was great to actually feel good on a TT.
1st – Kevin McMurtry – 0:42:28.2
2nd – Mark King – 0:44:04.9
3rd – Richard Coyle – 0:44:24.1