Friday, May 19, 2006

Collegiate Nationals Team Time Trial

Well Lawrence Kansas served up a interesting course, its more or less a huge highway, with a ripping tail/head wind that turns into a dramatic cross wind, and it's run with two turn arounds. The first third is really really flat, and then the middle is rolling with one solid climb and the end is basically downhill and fast. We warmed up for about an hour on the trainers, then I took one on-the-bike opener just to make sure the legs were ready. We got to start last because of our win the previous year. Only Brent was left from that team, with freshmen Went and Scott J, and myself having our first go at the nationals TTT. Going out to the first turnaround we had an almost direct tail wind so we tryed to keep it steady and fast but save ourselves for when we had to turn into the headwind. A pretty simple tactic of ride harder when it's harder that has worked for us in the past. We had some complications in the early going, Went had some troubles with the pace, but I think he just didn't warm up enough and was a little too excited about it, because he's proved countless times in TTT practice that he can handle and push any pace we do. But we made the turn into the wind and pushed on with three guys, the headwind was tough but it allowed for a fair bit of rest when you weren't pulling. Going through the start/finish on the opposite side of the road, which I figure was about 1/3 of the way, we got a time check, we sat third at +0:03. A little alarming but we knew the hardest part of the course lay ahead. We cruised up the first half of the main climb, then road really hard on the second half and thats where I got well into the read zone and had to start sitting on. Here the course turns a little and we had a crazy cross wind, at some points we were almost riding side-by-side across the road. We had no idea how we were going, and we came down the climb into the finish, and I am glad we had opted for the 55/44 chainrings because I was close to spinning out, I am not sure if I ever did but it was nice know I had another gear just in case. We spread out three wide across the finish line to the cheers of teammates and our coach on the side of the road. We coasted back to the tent and trailor and were informed that we smashed it, and took out the win by almost a minute, I think the gap ended up being 56 seconds. It's great to defend our win from last year with almost a completely different team. All four guys were great all season long, and put it together when it mattered, and I am glad to have had the oppertunity to race with them. I am already looking forward to the challenge of repeating again next year.

No comments: