Sunday, June 3, 2012

OBRA TTT Championships 2012

Today was the State Team Trial Championships, my favorite race of the year. It's such a great racing format because you need to work as a team to win.

It's a lot of suffering because it's not a traditional time trial where you get into a rhythm and crank out steady watts. It's not like a crit because it's not all hard accelerations, but is similar in that there are a lot of VO2 max efforts and it's not like a road race where you can hide in the pack the whole time drafting off others.

It's an hour of suffering!

This year was a new course and instead of doing 3.8 laps it was a single 28.8 mile loop. So, not only did we not have to do laps, we also got to do another 1.5 miles of racing with a little hillier terrain to ride.

The race took place in Brownsville, OR and was well organized and they chose some fantastic roads to ride on. The weather was great with temps in the low 60's, winds in the 3 mph range and just a small amount of drizzle near the end of the race, but nothing that stuck to the road.

Being on a new team that's not dominated by time trialists like my old team was for a while, I didn't know what to expect out of my teammates who a mostly road racers. My teammates were Tony Coca, Shawn Cecotti and Stephan Niquet.

We all arrive, set up, warmed up and lined up to race. We didn't have a chance to practice before the race so it was all new for us as far as working as a team, strengths and weaknesses, etc. I knew my fitness was good after last weeks PIR TT and figured I could do a lot of pulling if needed.

When the race started it took a few seconds to get everybody clipped in and rolling...but once moving I quickly bumped the speed up into the 29-30 mph range and took a 2-3 minute pull. From there we went into rotations with each rider figuring out what they could do/not do. When we hit the hilly section we became separated for a short while and I had to slow down to regroup with the team.

In the corners we did fairly well given no practice, only falling apart in about 2-3 corners where we slowed down a fair amount.

In the end we pulled in a time of 1:02:33 (though OBRA scored everybody 5 minutes fast, not sure how that happened...the time gaps were accurate, but the actual times were smoking fast) over 28.8 miles for an average speed of around 27.6 mph.

We won the CAT 3 class (my 4th straight time on a TTT championship winning team) and had the 2nd fastest time on the day of all classes.

Needless to was a good day :) Now I get to order Championship gear again that was redesigned this season.

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