Monday, August 23, 2010

Buckner Burn

It was exciting to see a team time trial category at a local race. One of my favorite parts of racing in college was the TTT. We had one each weekend of the college season. TTT's are challenging because all the riders need to balance their efforts off of each other and communication is critical. It's not easy to hear inside an aero helmet either. When all goes well though, it is a thing of beauty.

The course was different for the ITT and the TTT. The individual TT was raced on the 10.1 mile "short course" while the TTT would be contested over the 17.5 mile "long course" which added two long (for a time trial) climbs.

My day began with the non-aero "Merckx" category individual TT. Arriving at the course early and warming up, there was a dense fog over the course. So dense was the fog that just riding through it soaked the skin and it made glasses impossible to see though. The early racers plunged into the fog and were quickly out of sight. The Merckx category was the last to go, so by the time I started, the fog had mostly burned off. The course started on a highway with a nice smooth shoulder, then turned onto rural roads. It was fairly rolling terrain the whole way through, which I enjoyed. I tried to ride conservatively for the first 3 miles, then pick it up after that. I caught my minute and two minute men and quickly came up to the finish. The last mile was all downhill at about 1-2%. It was pretty fun to blaze through the finish. In the end, the top 3 spots were 10 seconds apart with Kent Woermann getting the win, me in 2nd, and Adam Miller 3rd.

Our TTT consisted of Greg French, Kelly Ricke, and I. We had done a quick TTT practice run earlier in the week to get used to riding fast in close proximity. The tough part about this course was going to be the climbs and descents. On climbs, the strongest riders can really hurt their teammates by climbing too strongly. On the descents, the most efficient way to go is rotate very quickly to keep the speed high. Our team did a really good job trading pulls, communicating, and not destroying each other too much on the climbs. The finish was again very fun, I think we crossed the line going ~40mph. Afterwords we all agreed that it was much harder than we expected, but also super fun. It turns out that we did very well, but got second overall; about 25 seconds off of the first placed team.

It would be cool to see Kansas or Missouri add a state championship TTT event like Washington and Oregon have. You could even put it back to back with the State TT, as a Sat/Sun time trial weekend. I would guess that it may even bring a few more out to the State event.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Not much going on right now in cycling terms. I've had a few weeks off of the bike while on vacation in Canada and then the Pacific Northwest. It was great to be back in the PNW, but coming back to the humidity and 100+ degree heat index for the last week has been rough. Riding has felt pretty terrible so far as well.

On the upside, I got my order placed for a 2011 Specialized Crux frameset. I also built up my S-Work Tricross. Hopefully lots of off-pavement riding in my future!