Yesterday was the Prologue and not being a hill climber I knew it was going to be tough. I was the 6th rider off the line but had driven the course before I started warming up so I kind of knew what to expect. Having run some power numbers before the race I figured my time would be somewhere between 12:30 and 13:00...which proved to be fairly close.
The start was good...I had a hard jump to speed and quickly settled in to a nice pace on the flatter section to start the race. Then I hit the steepest part of the climb where the pain really started. As I came over that section where the road leveled off a little (down to around 6% average grade) I found an issue with my bike. My rear derailleur wasn't adjusted properly since I was using my race wheels instead of training wheels...so my rear derailleur was skipping in the middle cogs. It would drop down a gear, then jump back up so I couldn't put out power in those gears forcing me to either spin faster than I wanted or put it in a harder gear using lower RPM's and more strength...generally I chose to spin faster.
I figure this cost me a good 10 seconds on the climb...maybe a bit more, but it's really hard to tell.
In the end I crossed the line in 26th place with a time of 13:09 with an average power output of 388 watts. Had I not had the skipping cog I know I would have broke 13 minutes and had my overall power around 400 watts for the climb...I could see the areas where my power dropped off when I downloaded my Powertap data.
I really wasn't expecting a lot from the Prologue but was happy with my ride.