U.S. Time Trial Nationals

24 Jun

Fast forward a few days.  I’m now in Augusta, Georgia for the U.S. Road National Championships.

Wow.  What can I say?  I am stoked about my ride.  Of course I’ve gone over a million things in my head that could have led to a few seconds faster in my time.  But I am 100% happy with my result.  It was a very exciting battle for the top 3 positions.  Teammate Evie Stevens defended her title and will wear the “captain America” skinsuit again next year.  Her time was 39:22:1.  Teammate Amber Neben came in a close second with a time of 39:22:3.  Third place was Kristin Armstrong with a 40:39:2.  I came in fourth with a time of 40:55:7.  Alison Starnes was fifth with 41:14.

Before the Race: Preparation leading in to today’s race went perfectly.  I felt comfortable on my TT bike.  My position was good.  The bike (Specialized Shiv) was fast.   It’s very hot and humid here (90 degrees with 100% humidity), so staying on top of hydration was crucial.  I made sure to eat plenty last night and this morning, as 30km is quite an effort.  I rode the course four times over the past two days, including one motor pacing session, so I knew the course very well.  I had a rough plan in my head as to how I wanted the race to play out for me.  My warm-up and pre-cooling session went well.  Keeping the core temperature as low as possible while warming up was very important today. I’ve trained, raced, and recovered hard.  TT Nationals wasn’t necessarily one of my main goals, but I wanted to do well.  When talking with my coach recently, I told her I wanted to get top five.  Realistic?  Maybe not. But I was going to do everything I could to aim for it.

The Race: My start time was 11:34am.  Riders were off in 1 minute intervals.  I got to the start ramp with plenty of time to cool off a bit and focus.  The first 1.5km was across a dam.  There was some major wind blowing off the lake and it was a struggle to control the bike.  I was all over the road.  The next 5km were the hardest.  It was undulating with some false flat up hill.  Finding a rhythm from the start was crucial, and hard.  I settled into a pace that I thought I could sustain for the first half of the race.  At 10km there was an intersection with a quick right and left hand turn.  I hadn’t pre-rode the course with these turns in it, so it came a bit by surprise.  I managed it just fine though and quickly settled back into a rhythm.  The course continued to roll uphill until the turn around at 15km. I caught a rider as I was going through the turn around.  It was tricky, as she got to the turn before me.  I had to slow down a bit, but was able to get going with some speed afterwards.  I continued to roll my steady pace until the intersection.  From there, I knew it was 10km to go.  I started to pick it up a bit.  I saw four riders ahead of me.  This gave me some motivation to go a little harder.  I came up to the parking lot which was roughly 2km from the finish and looked at my time.  I thought it was a good time, so I picked it up and went harder.  I crossed the line with a time of 40:55, meaning I averaged nearly 27mph.  This put me in the “hot seat.”  I stayed there shortly, as Kristin Armstrong was a few minutes behind me and came in with a faster time.  After her, my teammate Amber Neben destroyed it and broke the 40 minute barrier.  Shortly after, teammate Evelyn Stevens also broke the 40 minute barrier and beat Amber by less than a second. Wow that was close!  Such an impressive race!  Was I surprised by my finish?  Yes.  I knew I felt good on the bike.  My HR was actually low for a TT.  Maybe I could have gone harder?  Either way, I’m satisfied.  It gives me motivation.

Shortly after the women finished, it started raining.  It’s still raining this afternoon.  Glad we finished when we did!  Now it’s time to recover and switch gears to the road race.  We race on Sunday.  Looking forward to it!  More updates to come.  Thanks for reading! 🙂

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One Response to “U.S. Time Trial Nationals”

  1. Sarah June 25, 2011 at 2:55 am #

    Glad you started blogging again. Love to read them.

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