I've made a lot of changes to my position on my TT bike over the winter and today was my first chance to give them a shot in a real race. I've put around 150 - 200 miles on the bike over the last couple weeks during nice riding days, continually making small adjustments here and there.
In the end ... all the adjustments felt like they paid off with a position that was comfortable and appears to be pretty fast overall.
Jack frost is usually my worst race of the year position wise. I don't think I've ever finished higher than 3rd place at this race with a Personal Best of 27:42 that was set a couple years ago. With a course length of around 12.4 miles, that gave me an average speed of around 26.7 mph. As the season progresses on flat ITT's I'm usually in the upper 27 to low 28 mph range ... so I do tend to get faster as the year progresses.
I wasn't sure what to expect time wise given I'm at the tail end of a cold I've had for the last 9 days. I'm still a bit congested and hacking up stuff from my lungs, but overall felt really good.
I got off to a fast start and for the first 4 minutes or so my HR was above 170 and with a max HR of around 178, I knew I was pushing it pretty hard. When I rounded the 2nd tight corner I pulled back a little and my HR dropped down into the mid 160 range where I was able to hold in the entire race.
On the way out we had a tail wind ... which allowed me to move up to 5th overall on the STRAVA KOM list for the outward bound section with an average speed of 27.9 mph. I felt good on the way out and my cold didn't seem to be effecting me too much. I knew though with the speeds I was holding outbound, I was going to have a headwind on the way back.
Last year I crashed at the turn around by locking up my rear wheel, so I took it cautiously through the turn this year. I could see a couple guys I was chasing ... I was the last one off in my class having won the TT cup last year and could see I had made up little if any time on my 30 second man at the turn around. Up to this point I had caught/passed two people in the race, so rabbits were hard to come by until the turn back. From there I started passing other riders at a regular clip.
The headwind wasn't too bad, either that or my position is more aero than in the past ... not sure which at this time, but I was able to hold a good clip on the way back.
Rounding the final turn, I got out of the saddle and sprinted for the line finishing with a time of 27:25 eclipsing my PR by nearly 20 seconds. So, either I'm in better shape or I'm in a better position on the bike ... either way, I'll take it.
I ended up 2nd in the 40-49 class and had the 11th fastest time overall (I don't count the guy in the full fairing recumbent). My best result overall at Jack Frost.
After the race I received my trophy for winning the TT cup last year since I was unable to attend the awards banquet. I should be receiving my new skinsuit in the next month or so that each winner can purchase as well ... which I'm really looking forward to.
Anyway ... a good start to the season. Not a win, but a very good result for this time of the season.
Next up: As the Raven Fly's (two races) and PIR #1 that will take place at the end of March.