The weather was hot and very windy for the rather unusual Folsom Canal 11 mile TT. The course is run on a bike path/service road along the side of a canal and as such is completely closed to traffic. I didn’t have chance to check out the course before the event but it turned out to be a fun race track. The course was pretty narrow and ran about 30 feet below the levee sides for most of the way. There were three short steep climbs back up to the levee top in each direction and the first and last 0.5 mile were at Levee level. The surface wasn’t too bad if you stayed in the middle of the track but there were all kinds of interesting debris to keep you concentrating such as a rotting racoon, coyote poop and tumbleweed. There is a TT series run on the course throughout the year so it seems a popular course. Link here.
Warming up before the start was a bit difficult as it is in the middle of a housing estate (50% of which still isn’t occupied) and as such you couldn’t ride very far before hitting a stop sign. It was also very hot and the wind was strong and gusting which left me a little concerned about the HED 3 front.
Once I started racing, the cross winds were not really much of an issue and I quickly got into a good pace. When I hit the first of the rollers I got out of the saddle and managed to keep most of my momentum but it felt hard. The next two rollers (all within the first 2 miles) all hurt and seemed to be gradually getting harder. Finally past the rollers I concentrated on getting my rhythm back and chasing down the two guys in front of me. The 2 mile section before the turn was actually pretty hard and it took me a while to catch the two riders in front. It felt like there was a strong headwind on this bit and my speed dropped below 25MPH a few times. I hit the turn around 11m53s
The return leg definitely felt faster but I was a little bit cooked after the outward leg. I caught another two people but it seemed that it was getting progressively harder on the way back and my speed was dropping. When I hit the first of the climbs I really struggled and my speed dropped much worse than on the way out (see graph Below). I was catching another rider but I seemed to blow up a bit on the next two climbs and struggled to get my pace back. The last mile was torture and as it was on top of the levee I finally noticed some really strong crosswinds. There was one gust, about 1/2 mile from the finish that really took the HED 3 away and ruined my rhythm.
I finished in 23:43 (unofficial) which was good enough for second place (my third second place this year). I thought it was a great and challenging course but I also think it is a course that would take many attempts to master. I couldn’t quite get the measure of the 6 climbs and I am not sure if I got out of the saddle too early on them or should have tried to power up them on the aero bars.
- Pictures : Link
- Time: In dispute ???????
- Position: 2nd out of ??????
- Winner: ????????
Link To results (there were many problems with the results and times and I am still waiting for them to sort it out. My time at the finish seemed to be 30 seconds out (too long).