Friday 4 July 2008

Not Quite Fabian Cancellara But Getting Closer

Well, the weather turned out to be beautiful after I got soaked in the rain on my ride to work. I left the office early and had everything set up quickly at the parking lot for my next 15 km Open Time Trial with the Ottawa Bicycle Club.

The warm-up program, supplied by the Coach of Cruelty, went quite well but I had to truncate it a bit from the suggested 1 hour as there was not as much time as I needed before I had to get out on the course. Every time I start further back in the pack, which is a good thing but I feel the pressure with the really fast guys behind. Hermann, the rider who started ahead of me has the course record for the 70+ plus age group and he is very fast but I figured I could pull him in. A decent start and I started to speed up but I just did not feel the power coming on as much this time The wind was supposed to be behind me but I was definitely not getting any help and it soon was apparent it was a side wind. Just before the turn the road swings right and I had a tailwind finally there and pushed it up to around 44 km/h uphill. The turn went well and I was just behind Hermann.

On the way back the headwind was more noticeable than the sidewind had been and I really had trouble getting much over 38 km/h. I was trying to ride as steadily as possible but I was not able to reel in Hermann. As I was getting near the finish my time actually looked very good and I thought I might make the 40 km/h average but the speed was falling off a bit as I could feel my legs get heavy and I could see as I passed the finish line that the time was around 23:00. I was right on Hermann's tail, so at least I gained time on him! I could really feel the fading towards the end, not to mention the hurtin' o' the legs, so I need to work on the energy management more to get me through that last bit.

I came 19th out of 53 cyclists, which is pretty good. In terms of my age group, I am reaching for the podium as I was 4th out of 11; the average time was 24:03 so my 23:01 was finally better than average! As to the riders ahead of me, the fastest in the group came in at 20:46, which was his personal best, followed by riders at 21:58 and 22:15 (another personal best). So it looks like I need to find another 45 seconds to get on the podium--this will be a challenge for sure. I was third on June 19, but there were only four Vet C riders so I don't count that. I should be in great shape when I get back from Europe and I also notice that the hotter it is the better I go.

And because you can never have too much hurtin', I am planning to do a 40 km time trial on Sunday at Calabogie. It looks like a pretty rural course, with 317 m (ouch) of climbing. I will probably not be very fast as I want to ride the hills in Gatineau Park tomorrow but it will be a nice day out.

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