A little history on the Fall Time Trials (TT's). First off, they are not in the Fall, but since Summer seems to wind down in August, and there is a Spring TT series, we call them the RASC Fall Time Trial Championships or some spin on that. Since 2008 they have taken place out of Douglas, MN. The TT's, near the end of the summer, however, have been going on for as long as I have been in the Rochester area (moved here in 1999). They've moved around town a few times though. I remember them being out in Chester (east of Rochester), as well as off of Bamber Valley Rd by Salem Corners and Rock Dell (west of Rochester). The distances have varied too--for a few years there was a 40k TT which was pretty tough. In 2006, Mark Consugar, added the infamous HILL TT up the painfully steep Genoa Hill. The next year I don't think the Hill TT was part of the series. After he moved/relocated and there was no one to run the Fall TT series, I decided to take them over in 2008. I recruited Pattie and Jeremy Ekman to help with the timing, but we have now switched roles and I assist them as they have a decent system going now. In 2008, we moved the series to start out of Douglas using the Treadman Duathlon course and we brought back the Hill TT. The way it works is that the first three TT's are on the long course which is 18.9 miles mostly following the Treadman Du route--save for the in an out of Pine Island--and we start in Douglas west of the Douglas Trail, and end east of the trail so as to not be sprinting across the trail crossing (this shortens the loop by about .06). The last TT, this year Aug 23, goes from Douglas, west on 75th, up Genoa Hill, and ends where 75th crosses CR105. Its 3.39 miles of pure pain. You get three shots at the long, but we only count your best two, and one shot at the Hill. Combined times gives you an overall time and rank. Ok, that's the brief version of the TT history and format. Here's my recap of the TT from this last Tuesday...
The first two weeks, Aug 2 & 9, there was a pretty decent turn out. I missed Aug 2, but did the Aug 9 TT. I was happy with my time, second fastest, next to Dave Herbert (freaky fast guy). This week the turn out was a little low compared to the first two weeks. With Tuesday August 16 being the third and final long course, many already had 'their two' in. That, and the windiness this past Tuesday, probably deterred some from showing up. Because Pattie, Jeremy, and I do the timing, the 3 of us usually put in our TT earlier in the evening so we have time to set up and start everyone else off. Bill and Wendy Nevala (and Zack) showed up early and set up the TriRochester tent so it looked like the real deal that night! Before they arrived, however, Pattie and I went off on our own to warm up, and did our TT thing. Jeremy timed us and sat this one out. Here's how it went for me:
I said to Jeremy before I took off that I would be happy to get within 5 minutes of my PR on the course, but figured I'd give it my best. I started at about 4:45. It was REALLY windy going to Genoa hill. I figured I have nothing to lose so would experiment a little, give it about 90% for the first 3.39 miles and see what I got left for the remaining 15+. I went hard to and up Genoa. Wind was from the SSW so it was sort of hitting my left front on the way to the hill. Up the hill there is really NO wind until you crest the peak, but its not over--you still have about a quarter mile of false flat before the climb truly ends. I hit LAP at different points in the course that night so I could find out what my speed was in thru the different sections. I got to the top of Genoa where CR105 crosses 75th at 9:36 (the Hill TT end mark). My best Hill TT when only doing the Hill TT is 8:41 so I was really happy with 9:36. About 2 miles later I hit LAP again when I turned on to CR5 then hit it again at the next turn--in Pine Island when you turn right on to CR3--so I could section out that segment of the course. Over that 5.75 mile stretch (approx), I averaged 31.8 mph! TAILWINDS ARE AWESOME! Overall average at that point was 25.9 mph. However, now that I was going south on CR3, that changed. This starts the slowest section of the course: two long false flats--almost climbs--so it’s slow goin' for a bit. Also, going mostly south that tailwind that I just took advantage of, now was taking advantage of my face. I watched my average drop from 25.9 to mid 24's. After the false flat/climbs, you get a nice downhill. Then CR3 flattens out and curves left heading east. On this stretch I had a cross wind, maybe slight tailwind, on my right side/rear that helped me along. The next right turn, oddly, puts you on CR3 again and you are heading south to Douglas parallel to the Douglas Trail. This is a slow section for about 1.2 miles. Then its flat, curvy for a short stint, then down hill to Douglas. One right turn, a block to sprint, and you're done. Until the finish I didn't look at the time on my watch since the 9:36 split atop Genoa. My final time was 45:03 (25.17 mph). A minute six faster than last week and a PR for me. Previous PR was 45:08 in 2008. Not a CR as Joe Moyer set that in 2008 at 44:15 !!!
SEE COURSE MAP HERE
The wind died down a little bit for the bulk of the group so it about evens out--a little less headwind, but a little less tailwind as well. I don't know much about wind, but I seem to do well in it. I think its from a few years of road racing--often getting separated from the peloton (ie: spit out the back as Phil Ligget would say) and have to go it solo usually in the wind (spring racing) to try to bridge the gap back to the group. Common sense tells me that you want tailwind pushing you back home on the second half of a TT course--like last week. However, Joe Moyer, being the cycling efficiency analyst that he is, says that you WANT tailwind in the fastest sections and headwind in the slow sections. Since you're going to go slower anyway, the wind doesn't slow you down as much. Makes sense when you think about it that way. It just feels worse on the way back fighting wind.
See RESULTS here.