I agree that the results were pretty spread out for a lot of the grades. It was similar for the 1-in-20 as part of the Doherty Tour last year too - and a similar discussion about grading was had then too from memory!
I haven't done much road racing over the past few months - but have been in D grade for the crits I did some of. (i.e. did a few laps, got dropped, and then pulled out for "flag duty" at Sandown.)
I was in D grade at the Kew Blvd TT in May, and came 16th out of 20 overall ... but I had a new PB, so that was all I cared about. Obviously I'd be happy to gradually move up the grade leaderboard as well - but PB's are what I aim for.
When I sent my pre-entry email on Friday night for the 1-in-20, I requested D grade as per usual. However the handicapper placed me in E grade for the 1-in-20 = first time up the climb, ever.
My time would have placed in last in D grade by 15 seconds or so if I'd remained there. In E grade, I came 6th out of 11 - beaten by 3 juniors from my club (2 U13, and 1 U11) who rode really well. The fastest time in E grade was 20 min 29 sec
The thing I like about TT's is that it is a race against the clock ... so better than having to deal with other people, and tactics. Hence its a better way to gauge improvement - especially now I've got time(s) for both the 1-in-20 and Kew Blvd.
Also, its less obvious that you're slower than everyone else in a TT as well. When I did the Vic TT Champs back in Aug 2007, I came last by heaps (2nd last was 9 mins faster than me) ... but my average speed of 28.5 km/hr was a new PB at the time for me, so I was wrapt. Surely that's what racing TT's is all about?
So maybe ... there should be some way of BBN recording in the results who achieved a PB (by their TT records from previous races on the same course) in that particular day. And maybe have a prize for someone who has improved their PB by the most between the monthly TT's on the Blvd, for example.