Finally back on the bandwagon here the I will have things to chat about now!
Toed to the line for my first cycling race in about 1.5 years Saturday during the 11 mile Frostbite TT up north of Ft. Collins near the Wyoming border. This course is on a frontage road right off I-25 and can bring about some horrible winds. The forecast was calling for a relatively "calm" day, with NW winds from 5-15mph. It all seemed to be going swimmingly when Will Buick and I were driving up there, not getting blown around. As soon as we hit the course, the winds really picked up, go figure! Had plenty of time to pin up the new Cycleton skinsuit, and get the bike prepped and ready to roll. My teammate Kevin Flanagan also made the trip to hopefully start the
season out on a good note and get some BAT points for Cycleton. With about 1 hour to go, I hoped on the bike and started warming up. Adding in some Tempo/Sweet Spot and a few short Anaerobic efforts to open the legs up. Legs had been feeling good the whole week before with watts on the TT bike coming easier and easier over the last couple weeks. Downed my Clif Shot Gel with about 20min to start line and got ready to rock.Time to go, mentally prepping myself on the start line for the short and hard effort that was about to come. Positive mental reinforcement does so much for an athlete and visualizing the race can help calm nerves. I knew it was going to be a very fast course on the way out with a slight tail/cross wind and new I needed to be a bit reserved and let the wind get my speed up and not effort in order to save some for the return.
5.....4.....3......2.....1.......GO! I was off, and quickly brought the bike up to speed, seeing 30+ mph quickly and efficiently. Settled into the aerobars and off I went, keeping any eye on my 30sec man. I reached the top of the plateau and the cross-winds off I25 started to really hit. Good thing I had some 60mm wheels thanks to my buddy Gui Campos, a disk was too dangerous! HR was rising steadily and I was happy to see I had been a bit reserved in the first 4-5min. I passed my 30sec man about 1 mile from the turn around, and had my sights on my 1min man as well. At the turn around, I had clocked 12:00 flat and 28.7mph. After a quick turn around, I quickly tried to get back up to speed for the slightly uphill return leg. I was able to catch my 1min man after about another mile, and at this point, US Pro Triathlete of the Year Cam Dye came by me. Cam and I trained together last year when I was doing multi-sport and he offered up some good words of encouragement. I didn't let it get to me that my min man had caught me, he is probably the strongest US triathlete on a bike and won the whole day as it was. I told myself to stay as close to him as possible over the next 5 miles and it would help my overall position. I was able to keep him at probably 15-20sec for the remainder of the race. With about 1.5 miles to go, I was really starting to suffer and constantly had to reassure myself that it's almost over...Only 4, 3, 2, 1 min to go. With one last sprint to the line I finished and was left gasping for any amount of air I could find. The return leg was a bit slower because of the slight uphill and head/cross wind, with a 13:56 for a total time of 12:56, and an average speed of 27.0mph.
Here is a link to a picture by Dejan Smaic HERE
I had done what I came to do, put out my best effort and was rewarded with a 3rd place finish on the day, behind Cam by 1:15, and a Nick Applegate (GS Boulder) by just a mere 15sec. If Cam would be allowed to race in an Open 1/2 category based on "Pro Status", I would have been 2nd. Poor Cam has to beg just to be a Cat 3 when he was the strongest guy on the bike!
Good finish to the first race of the season, and the races start coming hot and heavy the next couple months and I am so excited to start racing again and get some good results. I have never trained as well as I have so far this season and have never had Power numbers this high (even at lower elevations). So it's going to be a great ride this season! The season keeps rocking next weekend in Ft. Collins for the CSU Road Race and Oval Crit!