Saturday, August 1, 2009

Nationals Time Trial - Roastarama

The 35k Nationals time trial course included the 15-mile out-and-back up and down Skyliner Drive (the Cascade TT course), plus an additional 6-mile rolling loop. Once again temperatures were in the 90s. I'd spent the week practicing going fast on the descent - I really wasn't sure why I felt so ill-at-ease on this - but I felt like a runaway truck with failed brakes just waiting for the escape ramp on the highway. I'd figured it out that if over 2 miles I went 30 instead of 40mph I would lose 1 minute. I picked this because the math was easy and it's an exaggeration since speeds were actually higher but that's a lot of time! The extra loop was good, rollers and corners and smooth fast pavement compared to Skyliner's cracked and bumpy surface. I considered the course in thirds: strong and patient on the climb (just try not to lose too much time), attack that descent (make up some time), then fly through the fast loop (best section here). Seemed like a good plan...
I warmed up riding around, having ridden in the morning and not wanting to overheat. Doused myself in water and zipped up the torture implement of my black skinsuit. I had Kori Seehafer - a very solid time trialist - chasing me at 30 seconds. Seemed to be going fine, roasting aside. I caught my 30-second person and Kori caught me about 6.5 miles in - but after the turnaround she disappeared. Just after the turnaround there was a kicker to climb and my labored ascent of that might have been an indication of things coming apart. But I went much better than at Cascade down the descent, caught a few people, and entered the loop. I was barely hanging on, smoke coming out my ears, never finding that smooth powerful feeling. Finished and wow I got killed. I came in 4:38 back of the winner Jessica Phillips. Kori got 7th. I was 2:28 behind, which to me indicates that I went out to hard because I should have lost the most time on the first section, since it was my weakest link and since it was the slowest section of the course, one-third of the distance but much more than one-third of the time. But instead I lost less than one-third of the time there. Just another way of saying I combusted. Or that Kori is a very smart pacer, which she is. Less good ride than at Cascade, relative to others. Ah well. Evie Stevens missed out on the jersey by one-second. AY. Awesome and a small heartbreak I imagine. WOW for her though!!!! Alison Powers finished third. Suffice it to say people are riding FAST. Pictured: At the line, offical telling me about his Polish last name. Entering the loop - the still photograph conveys the labored effort remarkably well. What will I do without photographer Nils?

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