Monday, May 27, 2013

Killington Stage 3: TT, Best of the lot

Stage 2 didn't go as planned and Stage 1 was just terrible weather. I'm typically no good in a TT, but I was ready to lay it all on the line today, see what I could get out of my body and get the best time I possibly could. I went with what I call the "Haul ass and hold it" pacing strategy. Do threshold just until you can feel the pain and then go a little harder than feels sustainable and sustain it. I had an idea of what was a pretty good wattage goal, having done 250w for 20 minutes during a RR, I though 250 for 25-30min on a stand alone TT should be doable. I considered going for 255-260w but it seemed kinda out there.

The course was thus: Start heading WNW on a windy valley road with a bunch of nasty cracks in the shoulder. This portion was gradually climbing up little stair steps, rounding about to about a 1% grade for the first 8 km, then you take a sweeping bend to head NNW. Right after the bend there is about 1.5km of climbing at 3%, then leveling out for the next 5.5km when you hit a short 7% slope, turn right go back down the hill and sweep back to going NNW. From here there were 2km of small rollers to the finish line. The nature of riding through entirely valleys and a 20+ mph NW wind gave us a nice strong headwind the whole way. 

On the first section of the course, I had a really hard time finding a 'groove'. Along with the stair steppy gradual climbing I was trying to stay in the shoulder pick out a line, should have just taken the lane. Averaged  245w through this first section, less than I would have liked. On the next half, and especially the long flat I was able to really find a groove. On the short 7% popper I stayed low, but got on the hoods for some shifting and popped out 300w up it. Kept the power up to the finish line and finished having done 251w.... and I most certainly could have gone harder. 

In the end I finished up in 27:49 for the 17.1km course with the head wind and gradual climbing the whole way (~110m of net difference between start and finish according to my garmin). 22nd out of 60 and moved up from 31st to 26th on GC. I don't think the TT has ever moved me up on GC before, so that was happy. I also discovered that my front brake had been rubbing the whole time, not a whole ton but definately rubbing, not sure how much time that lost me but some. The wind died down just a hair after I finished my TT, and became a bit more gusty. Not sure how this affected TT times though, either way I got a good effort out of myself. Gonna take a week or two of just fun riding and then continue building up towards next year.

Post to come with thoughts overall on the race and the season so far.

30 second smoothed view of data metrics from the TT, NP=AP=251w
Critical power curve from today, personal best average power from just about 13 min - 28min