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Cambio/Core Team Time Trial - CycleTime Trial

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Laie, Hawaii
United States
Cambio Core
75F / 24C
Total Time = 55m 30s
Overall Rank = 2/22
Age Group = Cat 1/2/3
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine: this was it, State Championship TTT. Our team had won this 6 years running, but with the recent defection of 3 riders to another team, we had spots to fill, and I was selected for the last spot. Tony being the last remaining member, Pavel Stuchlik (a international CAT1 from the Czech Republic), and Burt rounded up our team.

The goal was to win overall. Nothing else mattered, and I knew I was also the weakest link. Burt was stronger, but not that much stronger, so if he had a bad day, then I would need to step up and hang on for the 3rd wheel (3rd wheel's time is what counts for the team).

I didn't agree with our pre-race strategy to work as a full paceline, even if it meant I was taking extremely short pulls...but who was I to insist that we change the strategy for me. I thought it would have been best for me to stay in the 4th wheel going out with the tailwind, then do as much work as possible into the headwind to give them a break for as long as I could hang on. And the same could apply to Burt to a lesser degree, with him only taking pulls every 2nd or 3rd rotation. Tony and Pavel would have to do more work, but they're clearly stronger, and it doesn't make sense to kill us and end up having to slow down for us during the second half anyway.
Event warmup:

Winds were 20-25 STEADY...gusts up over 30 mph. Went out for a quick spin on the course and knew it was going to be a brutal day. We'd have a cross tailwind going out, and a cross head wind coming back.
  • 55m 30s
  • 24.85 miles
  • 26.86 mile/hr

I start out on Tony's wheel...which is the first mistake IMO. He produces literally no draft, so every time he went out on a monster pull, it was almost like I was pulling too. We're heading out and after 3 rotations, I let Pavel in front of me to change the order. Works out for me since now I'm sitting in a nicer draft, but now Burt is getting killed in Tony's draft. Pavel does some nice work up front too, and while things are tough, I never had the urge to drop off on the first half as we averaged 29.5 on the way out.

But as soon as we hit the turnaround, things went to hell. I think the adrenaline hit, and the pace got jacked up. I needed to jump out of the saddle just to latch back onto Burt's wheel. Tony was up front, then Pavel, then Burt. After Tony was done with his pull, I made the fatal error of letting him back into the line in front of me. Pavel does his pull, then Burt, then Tony decides to go on a long pull. I'm getting no draft, and a gap is opening. I yell about 3 times for him to slow down, and he does, but speeds back up. He finally pulls off, but at that point, I was beyond red lined and couldn't jump back into the back of the line after I pulled off...and if I did, I felt that I would only be slowing them down at that point. I just cruised the last 10 miles in.

I was mentally defeated. I felt helpless as they rode away, just hoping I did enough, but feeling I should have done more. Burt mentioned he was getting killed on the way back, and they had to slow down for him a couple of times...but I know he gave it his all.

We ended up 2nd overall, losing to BOCA by 8 seconds. The feeling was sickening.
What would you do differently?:

We needed more experience riding with each other and knowing each others limits. It's amazing how complicated a TTT is. With an ITT, you just manage your own effort. There is very little decision making or areas to screw things up. But with a team, everyone has to be in tune with each other to make it work.

Post race

Last updated: 2011-12-28 12:00 AM
00:55:30 | 24.85 miles | 26.86 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 2/22
Performance: Below average
Wind: Strong with gusts
Course: Ku'uloa park out to the Laie Foodland intersection and back.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2012-05-07 1:54 PM

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Subject: Cambio/Core Team Time Trial
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