Monday, May 21, 2018

2018 Texas State Time Trial Championships

After not having competed in the TX State Time Trial Championships for 5 years I decided early last week to give it a shot and join my teammate (and defending champion) Justin Stanley in trying to keep the Time Trial title within the team. The last time I did the TT Champs was back in 2013 when now-retired Kiwi pro & ex-teammate Logan Hutchings beat me pretty handily for the title in Lytle, TX on a similar course like this past weekend in Hempstead, TX.

With stage & TT-only races races becoming extinct in Texas and most bigger US races only having short TT's these day's it been a while since I had spent 50+minutes "in the hurtlocker" - as I would describe a all-out time trial effort in flat, windy, and humid Central Texas in the middle of May. I've been riding my TT bike on a somewhat regular basis but mainly for general training purposes and staying "sharp" with frequent (weekly) 20min Threshold/+10% efforts on both road and TT bike.

The 10:20am start time and a stiff 10-15mph headwind going out (South) and a cross/tailwind back (North) pacing yourself was crucial. At the same time, it is harder to make up/gain time in the tailwind vs. in the headwind so going out "easy" wasn't an option. So, besides pure power & speed (physical ability) I realized some experience should come in handy for this TT and I'm glad I've done a few of these 40K in my past racing.

We only had 5 guys racing the P1 and I was first up to go from our "field" with Matthew Davis aka "Bolthrower" 30seconds behind me. But I avoided looking back in order to focus on the task ahead and just kept my head down, focused on the course, my cadence and trying to hold 25-26mph for most part of the headwind section. My power/wattage was secondary and I blackened it out (old school, with electrical tape) in order to avoid letting the #'s distract my "internal" pacing and race strategy. At the turn-around (mile 12.5) I realized I had put in a good sized gap into Matt but both Brady Reed (who ended up in 3rd) and Justin were in the position I expected them in (close to my time based on their 1min and 2min later start time compared to me). On the way back I spent most the time rolling the 54x11 and 12 on my SRAM Red eTap 1x11 setup I had built up myself recently with a little bit of "MacGyvering". After having passed the P12 ladies and a few Cat 2's who started a few minutes ahead I knew I was on a good run but was unsure I can beat my own teammate Justin who's been dominating the Time Trials in Texas lately. I would be a close call and it WAS close: 52:21. I went only 16seconds faster but enough to win again after my 2009 and 2010 from way back when. Not the fastest 40K I've ever done but I take it on a windy course.

This fun Strava Labs video gives you an insight how Brady, Justin and I paced and raced each other just to finish all within 25 seconds from each other:

And for all the bike geeks among you here are some bike tech stats for you:

Frame & Fork
Specialized Shiv, Small (51cm)

Specialized Shiv, integrated

Specialized Shiv, 3T Alloy Bar extensions (Ski-Bend)

Brake Levers
Specialized Shiv-specific with SRAM Red eTap Blips

Rear Derailleur
SRAM Red eTap with Digirit OS cage & ceramic pulleys

Bar-End Shifters
SRAM Red eTap Clics

SRAM Red XG-1190, 11-28, 11-Speed

SRAM Red, PC Red22

Crankset & Chainring
SRAM S900, Quarq, 172.5mm, X-Sync 54t, 130bcd

Rear Wheel/Disc
HED Jet Disc Plus, Clincher

Front Wheel
HED Jet 9, Tubular

Front Tire
Vittoria Crono CS, 24mm, Tubular

Rear Tire
Specialized S-Works Turbo Cotton, 26mm with Vittoria Latex inner tube

FIZIK Tritone 5.5, Kium Rails

Specialized Shiv Carbon

TIME RXS Ti Carbon

Bottle Cage & Bottle

Computer Mount:

Bike Computer
Garmin 520


Thanks to Specialized & HED Cycling (who would have thought 10 years ago that a clincher disc with regular tire and inner tube is faster than a Tubular?), and Hyperthreads for the fast & aero gear. And last but not least, thanks to Ino Sofjan and the North West Cycling Club for putting on this race since 2014 and keeping Time Trialing in Texas alive! I hope there will be more people back in 2019 and a higher attendance for time trialing in general. It's a tough but yet beautiful discipline of our sport!

(by Corvin Alstot)

(by Corvin Alstot)

No comments:

Post a Comment