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Empire State Games Time Trial - CycleTime Trial

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Somers, New York
United States
85F / 29C
Total Time = 10h 00m
Overall Rank = 15/16
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

This was the first of 4 events I would be doing at the Empire State Games. The Games are a statewide Olympic style competition. I was representing the Hudson Valley region in the Open cycling division. Normally I would have raced in the masters division like I had done in 2005, but Hudson Valley didnt have enough women to fill a team. We needed at least 2 so that we could do the team time trial on Sunday. I thought it was rather pathetic that the host region could not field a team without using two masters riders. We couldn't even get a 3rd woman to fill the other spot. However racing in this division is much harder because I'm racing against younger and higher level cyclists. I'm a Cat. 4, a number of these women are Cat. 3s or maybe 2s. I was figuring if I wasn't going to be DFL in any event this would be the one.

The other difficulty for me was that my training started very late this season, so I'm not in my best shape and I'm 10 pounds over my prime racing weight.

I got up to the race shortly before they were going to close the road to traffic. My start time was scheduled for 11:11, so I got there around 9:30. Since a 10 mile time trial doesn't involve a lot of set up I didn't want to get there too early.
Event warmup:

I rode on the course before the race started. Once the first rider went off I had to get off the course. Since I was number 72, I had time to kill, but didn't want to have my legs stiffen up. I borrowed a wind trainer from one of the Hudson Valley coaches. Her husband set up my bike on it. I'm not sure what happened, but me, the bike and the trainer fell over. Oops!!!

My pride was a little bruised along with my butt and right knee. I got back on the trainer after David made sure that my bike was secure and the unit was on level ground.

After my warm up I tried to stay in the shade as much as possible since it was getting hotter.
  • 28m 32s
  • 10 miles
  • 21.03 mile/hr

In 2004 I was dropped by the holder, so time trial starts always make me a very nervous. Fortunately the president of my bike club was doing the holding. He is strong and very steady. That didn't prevent me from being a little anxious especially when I managed to drop my chain about 5 minutes before my start time.

Not being in top shape, and not getting out of my comfort zone much makes it harder to know how to pace myself. The club TT from a few weeks ago wasn't a great indicator. I figured I start out a bit easy and see how I felt as I went along. It's hard not to get pumped up when your friends are yelling your name as you go by. That would get me going and after awhile I have to dial it back a bit when I found it hard to breathe. Mary was on the megaphone trying to keep riders and spectators close to the grass. Every time I'd pass her spot I'd hear her yelling something about me through the megaphone. People who didn't know Polly sure did with Mary announcing my coming.

I suck on the turn around. The way this course was configured I'd have to do 3 U-turns. The first turn around was a little hairy. I decided that it was too hot not to go without water, but I didn't have any of my aero-bottles so I was going to have to reach down and get a bottle. I figured the best time to do that would be after completing the turn, and before I got back down on the bars. Good plan, but poor execution on the first turn. I came around the turn, but had not quite gotten straightened out so when I went for the bottle I slid out a bit and almost hit one of the cones. I decided for the second turn I'd wait a little longer before going for water.

I was wondering how long it would be before the woman who started right after me would catch me. Some of the other women who were starting after her said she was fast. They weren't kidding. She went blowing by me before the second turn around point. I wasn't too surprised since she started only 2 minutes after me. Her final time was almost 3 1/2 minutes faster then mine. Ouch! I still wish I knew how old some of these women were. After the last turn around two more women came blowing by me.

I learned from my 2004 Games experience that these Open women are much better time trialists then the competition I get in Masters. I remember in 2004 expecting to finish somewhere in the middle. I was rather shocked by my next to last finish that year. I blamed some of it on being dropped and losing all that time picking myself up off the pavement, but truth be told I'm racing against Cat 2s and 3s in some cases. These women are hardcore racers, not a tri-geek pretending to be a bike racer.

My time was 28:32.79. It's not my worst time, but certainly off from the 26:23 from 2005. I did manage to avoid last place by a scant 18 seconds.
What would you do differently?:

All things considered I couldn't complain about my time. I wish I could take the turns better. That's something I should practice more.

Post race
Warm down:

I didn't really cool down much. There was nowhere to ride for a cool down, and I wasn't getting back on the wind trainer.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Not enough training, and 10 pounds extra.

Last updated: 2007-07-31 12:00 AM
00:28:32 | 10 miles | 21.03 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 15/16
Performance: Below average
Wind: Little
Course: 2 loops on Rte 100 with 3 turn arounds.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Below average Cornering: Below average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2007-08-01 12:07 AM

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Westchester County NY
Subject: Empire State Games Time Trial
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