The first 10 mile TT of the year is always a bit of a shock to the system. Figuring out the correct pacing is a challenge and it usually puts a real stress on your lungs. Traditionally my first Canada Road TT of the year results in a terrible performance and a hacking cough. In recent years I have not ridden my race bike for the first event, in order to take some of the pressure off, but with the Madera stage race looming I needed some seat time on my Trek TTX
I moth balled my TT bike last September after the Esparto TT and only tried it out for 20 miles on Sunday prior to this event. The bike felt good but the TT position called upon some different muscles and the narrow aero bars felt a bit scary at speed. I opted to ride a dual HED3 setup for BTC as the forecast was for extremely light winds so I thought there wouldn’t be much of a speed hit compared to the disk and I would shave some weight for the uphill return leg.
Race day morning was very cold but, as forecast, there was virtually no wind. When I raced the average temperature was around 40 degrees which was hard work on both the lungs and legs. I rode the event without reference to any pacing aid (pulse or power) and just concentrated on getting back my TT pacing feel.
I was a terrible coward when it came to the down hills and at over 30MPH I didn’t feel very safe on the TT bars so I ended up riding on the cowhorns. It didn’t really seem to hurt my speed too much but I need to get a lot more practice on the Trek before my next TT. Despite many reviews stating how wonderfully stable the Trek TTX is I do not find that to be the case. Perhaps my position is just slightly too far forward or I am simply not a very good bike handler on narrow aero bars.
My legs were burning a bit on the way out but I seemed to be able to keep a pretty fast pace going on the up hills. Even the dreaded rise before the turn wasn’t too bad although it still hurt. I passed and caught one rider on the way out but other that that the course seemed eerily quiet. I didn’t seem to be able to get into my TT zone at all and I always felt over or under geared.
The return leg is always a lot harder as it is generally up hill and I concentrated on pushing hard on the up hill bits but not so hard that I would blow up. I also tried to spin up the rises rather than mash. I caught another couple of riders just before the last nasty little up hill mile to the finish and was determined not to blow up. Even though my pacing was good it was still depressing to see my average speed ebb away but I kept the effort constant right up to the line where I caught two more riders.
I finished in 23m57s and without badly beaten up lungs. I was initially unhappy with my race as it felt slow to me but after seeing my time I was happy. I think Canada road is a course that does benefit from some wind (hopefully tail wind back) but it was nice to race in still conditions. I was even happier to find that I got in the top 10 especially considering the quality of the riders out there.
Results: 16th February 2012 BTC 10 Mile TT (Canada Road)– Solo Men
- 0:22:15 – Christopher Phipps – ThirstyBearCycling
- 0:22:19 – Kirk Carlsen – Team FF
- 0:22:55 – Michael Kopp – Team Mike’s Bikes p/b Incase
- 0:23:10 – Marcel Appelman – Team Mike’s Bikes p/b Incase
- 0:23:27 – Oliver Ryan – Team Mike’s Bikes p/b Incase
- 0:23:29 – Jan Weissenberger – ZIPZ CYCLING TEAM
- 0:23:36 – Jens Hillen – ZIPZ CYCLING TEAM
- 0:23:44 – John Ford – Morgan Stanley – Specialized
- 0:23:57 – Mark King – Team Fremont/FFBC p.b. Chipotle
- 0:24:21 – Magnus Gille – Suffolk-SunPower Racing
My Non Recumbent personal best for the Canada Road course is 23m32s which I did in July of last year (71f). This was slap bang in the middle of my really good TT form and in much warmer weather. I am really happy to get within 25 seconds of my p.b. in February.
I don’t know how accurate “Bike Calculator” is but if you put in my numbers for Saturday, keep power as a fixed value and then change the outside temperature from 41f to 71f it reckons that my effort was equivalent to a 23m31s TT. Interesting stuff !
I need to get a huge amount of TT bike seat time in between now and March 9th so I am in with a chance for the Madera TT.