Monday, 31 August 2015

Alberta Provincial ITT & TTT Championships

United Cycle Open Team in Action: Me, Kevin, Ben, and James

So this year I decided to do a little bike racing and I decided that the best way to cap it off would be to compete in the ITT and TTT Championships. To be honest I wasn't overly keen to race the TTT as part of the United Cycle Team as I felt going in that I would be the weak link. The other guys on the UC Elite Team are all CAT1/2 and then there is me...CAT 5. (Note: CAT1/2 = semi-pro and CAT 5 = beginner). James Dean convinced me that they needed one more guy to round out the team so I agreed to participate a few weeks back. The UC Open Team would then consist of James, Ben, Kevin, and myself. We had managed over the past couple weeks to organize a few rides but every time only three of the four could make it out. Finally last Thursday night we were all able to make it out together.

The ITT & TTT this year was organized by Juventus and the race director was Bruce Copeland. The race was hosted out of Miquelon Provincial Park with the actual route being an out and back course on Spilstead Rd (Township Road 494A) with a small out and back section on Range Road 205. The ITT course was 30km with the TTT course being twice the ITT course less the out and back section on RR205.

Saturday afternoon was the ITT with the first cyclist departing at 1600hrs. I was fortunate to be starting fairly early and at 1631hrs I was off. Going into the race I was hoping for calm conditions but it was most definately not the case with moderately hard winds out of the SE. This meant a head wind on the outbound section and a tailwind on the inbound. The course was mostly undulating terrain, but was relatively flat with about ~300 feet of elevation change over the 30.5km course. I was optimistically aiming for 280W average power but decided I would go out conservative and aim for splits by quarters of 270, 275, 280, and then give it all that I had left for the last quarter. When I realized I would have a slight tail-wind on the return leg I altered that plan slightly aiming for 280W outbound and then aiming to just hang on for the last section of the course.

CAT 5 Awards:  Me(2nd) and Jason Dyk(3rd) (Absent Andre(1st))
In reality I was closer to 290W for the first 10min and then settled into an almost constant 270-280W for the remainder of the course (with slight changes due to the undulating terrain). The resulting output was 275W Avg, 275W NP, a VI of 1.00, and a time of 41:52 for an average speed of 43.7km/hr. Pretty much spot on of where I expected I would be (best case I estimated 40:00 and worst case was 45:00). Even better, after the results were posted, I was 2nd in CAT 5 (20s slower than Andre Ratte) and had a faster time then everyone in CAT 3 and CAT 4.

Stew, Shauna, Rick, Travis, me, Kevin, Ben, and James
UC entered two teams (1 x Open Team and 1 x Mixed Team)
The TTT on Sunday was nothing short of fun, but at the same time it hurt like hell. Having never done one before I didn't really know what type of effort I should be putting in at the front but figured a good estimate was probably 10% greater than FTP so about 300W pulls. (FTP is currently ~270W). There was a slightl breeze on Sunday morning but this time it was more from the SW. We tried to echelon ride for the first loop and it took me a bit to realize that wasn't really working. Just prior to the second outbound turn-around (15km to go) Ben had a flat which left only three riders for the last portion of the race. I was seriously suffering during the last 10min, but we managed to hold it together for a time of 1:11:54 for the 54.6km course which worked out to an average of 45.6km/hr. We were fourth overall in the Open Team Time Trial which we were satisfied with. 256W Avg and 264W NP.

And we are off!

Heading out for the second loop!

Overall a great weekend of racing...if only there was more road racing this year! A bit bummed that I can't upgrade to CAT 4 this year, but I guess that'll have to wait for another year. (Five more points to go!!!)

Photo Credit: Anita