No Tour of Geelong, or Vic Open Champs thread ... so might as well post my race report where it belongs - in the ITT thread!!
Vic Open TT Champs report ...
The Victorian Open Time Trial Championships was held on Friday (14th August) near Geelong. There aren’t many time trial races on the calendar, so I decided to enter the Vic Champs to get more racing experience. The advantage of time trials – even at the Victorian or National level – is that it is a “race against the clock”. This meant that I could enter and race my own race, against my own goals – and not worry about how fast the other competitors were.
The 28 km course started in Gnarwarre, and went out-then-back 8 km before continuing on to Ceres a further 12 km down the road – with two climbs (and two downhills) before the finish. (See profile below).
I was racing unsupported – so I left after-race-supplies (drink, food, warm clothes) at the finish, parked at the start … then after racing, waited for gplama who was also competing to finish. Then - after they were reminded that race numbers had to be returned at the start to get licences back - gplama's Von gave me a lift back to the start to my car (and turn numbers). Thanks heaps - I didn't really want to climb down two hills again and ride back to the start!!
Competitors started down the starting ramp (Tour de France style) at 1-minute intervals – but that almost wasn’t enough time for me! I’ve done a held start (bike held, so start with both feet “clipped in”) several times … but the holder was holding my bike too far to the left – so I felt like I was about to fall over! So I definitely wasn’t prepared to clip my second foot in, or sit on the saddle … It wasn’t until 10 seconds to go that I was finally sorted – and successfully rolled down the starting ramp! PHEW!!
I struggled a bit to the turn around point (block headwind), but I absolutely flew in the other direction with the lovely tail wind … other than choosing to stop to retrieve my drink bottle when I dropped it just after Gnarwarre! (It was 12 km to go at that point - I considered leaving it for a second, but knew I had to get it.) It wasn’t long until I reached the final 5 km – and the hills. The first hill was OK, but the second hill (1.6 km long) was hard work but rewarding – cos the Ceres Primary School kids were all cheering at the fence, complete with flags! With 500 m to go up the hill, it was just what I needed.
It was hard getting back up to speed after the hill, but I still managed a slight sprint as I passed under the finishing banner. My goal was to complete the course in under an hour. (The winner’s time was 41 min 27 sec.) My time of 59 min 41 secs had me in 39th (last) place – 18 min 14 sec behind the winner, and 4 min 18 sec behind 38th place. However I was wrapt – because I wasn’t last by as much as 2007 (~ 9 mins behind 2nd last), and I was under the hour.
Next major races will hopefully be the Victorian Track Championships (individual events only) in December, before the Nationals (time trial only) at Buninyong in January – where there’s another BIG hill!
And it also has to be mentioned ... for a very brief time, gplama was leading the Vic Open TT Champs male leaderboard!!! That is, until Peter M put ~ 1 1/2 minutes into his time
Comparison of two Vic Open TT Champs stats ...
2007 @ Learmonth
HR time 57 min 41 sec (actual 57 min 31 sec)
Distance: 26.97 km
Av speed: 28.4 km/hr
Av HR: 165 bpm
Av cadence: 74 bpm
2009 Gnarwarre -> Ceres
HR time 59 min 48 sec (actual 59 min 41 sec)
Distance: 27.84 km
Av speed 27.9 km/hr (Not stopped = 28.2 km/hr)
Av HR: 165 bpm
Av cadence: 98 rpm
The 2009 course had two climbs before the finish, rather than one - so I feel it was a slightly harder course. Regardless, my average speed was pretty similar between the two events. (Haven't gone over the illusive 30 km/hr barrier yet ... well not in road TTs anyway!)
What's really pleasing is the change in my average cadence - from a grinding 74 bpm, to much more spinning 98 rpm. I made sure that I kept my cadence high for the rest of the course (knowing that I'd be grinding up the 1.6 km final hill - too steep and long to spin up at 100 rpm like I do on Kew Blvd hills). In fact, some of the early short sharp hills, I was in my granny gear (39 X 27) and spinning at 100 rpm or higher - because I knew I needed to save my legs for the climb.
As a result, the first climb (~ 600 m, around 3 km from the finish) was manageable spinning up and I only started to grind up the last climb
Mind you, my definition of "grinding" is now around 80 rpm - which was more than my average cadence in 2007!!
I also got useful feedback about my aerobars between the women's presentations and the men's finish from one of the Commissaires - who was in feedback now mode. As expected, my aerobars are too high (above the height of my seat) ... so if I want to do the Nationals, I'll have to get new flatter aerobars. (Or just race my roadie without any aerobars attached.)