As part of my regular training I was doing lots of 2x20 and 2x30 during the off-season to improve FTP, something I would have done whether or not I was targetting TT's, the big change was position work. Last year I had the following position for TT's.
Much better or aero, power output I was concerned about but on the road it actually worked out alright. I did end up doing one more swap, I switched to some aerobars that had a lower stack while still giving me something to really settle my arms into (I found that without the "cup" shape of the pads my arms slid outwards. Unfortunately, I do not have a picture of this position
I was pretty happy with this position (and I finished mid pack in a TT with it), but saw some room for improvment. For one, the arms were SUPER close together, which I kinda liked but it is clearly straining my shoulders and pulling them down which makes it hard to allow my head/neck to sink. I needed to shrug my shoulders intead of pulling them forward. My arms are also pointed down, gross. I was also sliding off the front of the saddle during the TT, and moved it forward more after this. I widened the bars and angled the bars up a bit. This mostly concluded my fit changes, some small tweaks but nothing noteworthy. Now came the TT riding.
The next TT was the Killington TT, which I already discussed. I had some great power output and finished top third in the stage, with my front brake rubbing. After that I had nothing big on the schedule, planning to do the State TT just to see what I could do. I drove back home, going through colorado and doing some great riding there. No real training, just going out and riding for fun. I decided after I got back to sign up for the Ironhaus TT on June 15th, to get some practice with the pacing for the effort. I had a target of 235w for the event and decided to go out at 225-230w and try and come back with whatever I could. I ultimately missed that power target, averaging 225w the whole way. But I broke an hour, one of my big goals for the year. 58:48 was my time, 2nd in the open division. It was a small event but I was happy with my time, very happy.
At this point I realized that a TT bike would certainly shave good time off my time. I searched and thankfully Jack Mott put me in contact with Christopher Stanton who hooked me up with a TT bike for the race. I got it just in time to blitz the South Mopac TT, where I beat my personal best by 3 minutes. Obliterated my goal of 18 minutes, doing 16:57. Then I mostly stopped riding. I did one set of 2x20s, a 2.5 hr endurance/tempo ride and then nothing right up until openers. I was just kinda burned out on training, and the TT stuff was supposed to be a fun different break so I didn't do anything.
The borrowed TT bike, and front wheel
I decided to register for the U23 category for state, prospects of podiuming in the 3's were low. Possible but low, I knew of 3 guys who were definitely capable of beating me in the 3's. The U23 field was smaller though, we ended up having 3. I was second to go off. Nerves running high, it took me about 5 minutes to settle into pace. We had a strong tailwind for the first 10km, and I averaged 46.3kmh up to that point. Power was down a bit, but somewhat expected it to be given the heat and lack of training. Ultimately I averaged 218w for the 40k, good for a time of 56:20. 2 min and 28 seconds faster than my previous TT, on less power. To some extent I think conditions may have helped me a bit (warmer and drier), but a large part of the difference was probably the bike. THAT is the difference aero makes.
The results were good, and I ended up right were I wanted to. First place in the u23 division, I now have a state champion jersey. Big improvement from last year, and a huge testament to how big aero is.