The past few years I have done the Dash for Cash crit on the day prior to this event and for a change of pace I skipped the criteriums to focus a bit more on the time trial. Chris D managed to convince me to not do a five hour ride to Pescadero and the group ride outvoted me and we just did King's Mountain so I wasn't too tired and came into this event with a TSB of 7 and a CTL of 134.
Still bruised and battered from the crash before Berkeley Hills, some road rash on the elbow where I rest my forearm and my right hip still hurts a bit when I press hard but it goes away after about an hour so today I'll just try it and see what happens.
Use the pursuit bike with Vittoria EVO CX tires and a latex tube in the HED 60 front with the ghetto disc in the rear, wearing skinsuit, space helmet from Louis Garneau and shoe covers. After reading my report from last year, switched from the 50x15 that I had been doing the valley loop (doh!) to a 51x15, calibrated the SRM, and left the bars where I last used them about eight months ago.
Been doing mostly sweet spot training at about 90% of what I think my threshold is so today I test the theory out by aiming for 260 watts. At the start I remember to zip up the skinsuit unlike last year, and try to hold back a bit as the start is not that important in an event this long. Still manage to catch my one minute man as he has a mechanical on the side of the road. I am going at about 270 for the first five minutes and it feels easy, and I hope I am not digging a hole that I can't recover from later. It is a long fifteen minutes before I see the next rider and he fights hard to stay in front of me so he's a good rabbit. The wind has picked up but it is not nearly as bad as last year. My 30 second man had a P2C with a Zipp disk and a Zipp 100 deep wheel, didn't think I would see him again and I don't. On the second head wind section I start catching someone every minute or so and soon pass about ten riders in quick succession. Now I am hoping the race will end soon, look down and only about thirty minutes have elapsed. Probably about twenty minutes or so to go. Tell myself this is doable and I force myself to pedal faster into the headwind. I struggle with really painful sit bones, but can't adjust anything without slowing because I'm on a fixed gear, and in the the time trial position. On the plus side that takes my mind off the hip and the re opened wound on the elbow. I pass a couple of more riders and look down, forty minutes down, about ten minutes to go. Make myself pedal as hard as I can, the bike swaying a bit to the right and the left, thankfully no one near me. There's one corner ahead that says 15mph and I take it at 25 and the rear wheel slides a bit but that's it. There are two more corners left with course marshals and I think there's about two kilometers to go and I am drooling over myself at this point. Finally on the last straight, one and a half kilometers, and I want to give up but remember that the difference last year for a couple of spots is less than five seconds and press onward. Finally the finish line arrives and my time is 50:10 which is thirty seconds faster than last year. Good enough for 7th of 35. My top five/ten/twenty/thirty minute powers all start from the beginning of the race but the average for the first thirty minutes and the last twenty minutes are only one watt different, well within the precision of the power meter so my pacing was pretty good, even going a good four percent harder than last year. It does seem the power/speed sags in the middle when there was no one to chase but something to work on next year.
After the race I can't sit down for about two hours on a chair or a bike saddle due to the tender sit bones, may have to change saddles next year...
Changes? Wonder how much time a 100 mm deep wheel would get over a 60 mm deep wheel. Someone I spoke to had almost the same power output but his time was about four minutes faster. He's been in the wind tunnel, though, and last I saw he had a custom 18cm long stem. Not sure if I am up for that kind of dedication. :)
Otherwise, not sure what else to do to improve except increase the power, and maybe use the under the jersey camelbak as my mouth was parched at the halfway point and it only got worse as the miles went by, and judging by this picture, learn how to apply numbers. Also, the helmet makes my butt look bigger.
Thanks to Mark and Paula for the photo!
Photo © 2007 Mark A. Adkison, Ph.D., Hors Categorie Photography