Sunday, May 13, 2007

Joe Martin: Saturday Time Trial

With the two road races decided in bunch sprints, the time trial was sure to be decisive. Now was the time for Kathleen, Hiroko, and I to show what we could do. The course climbed 2.5 miles through the Devil's Den state park south of Fayetteville, a wild venue that involved 7 switchbacking miles of "highway" to access. The teams started in blocks, for logistical ease. It's more motivating and in many ways more fair to be chasing the person who is just behind you in the gc (and who is not necessarily on your own team), but so it goes. We started: Kathleen, Mandy, Andrea, me, Hiroko, Robin, and Leigh. I got to pre-ride the climb during the warm-up, and think I did a solid warm-up. I feel I did an ok ride. Maybe I went out a tad hard, since I was struggling in the last mile, which was where I had wanted to ramp it up, since it was flatter than the first mile of climbing. Greg described the approach to this time trial as "unrolling a carpet" as far as moderating the effort. This will take practice but I aim to improve. I knew my time wasn't spectacular, and I finished a reasonable but not great 24th place, a whopping 1:20 off the time of winner Alex Wrubleski of Colavita. The GC got shaken up, with Wrubleski in first by one second, followed by Katheryn Curi, then Cheerwine rider Brooke Ourada. Kathleen is now in 15th place overall, I am in 21st, Hiroko in 23rd (though we might all be one back since there seemed to be an omission of Cat Caroll in the results). None of these places is worth defending: today we go on the attack and aim to tear this crit apart. It sounds very selective and conducive to a breakaway. My guess is we aim for a podium on the stage and top-10 on GC. I think we can do it. I can assure you no team had a better post-race dinner than we did: we returned from the time trial to a buffet of pasta salad, green salad (vegetables!), grilled chicken to be decked out with tomato and avocado, garlic bread, fruit salad... Lucy Kate graduated from kindergarten today! Steve even arranged for Leigh to get some stitches in her knee and elbow from his personal doctor friend. The host family deserves some results!

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