2017 Race Report #2: Argyle Time Trial

My second race of 2017 was the Argyle Time Trial, held in Charles Town, WV, on Sunday, April 30, on a 28 kilometer (17.39 miles) rolling hill loop course that has been described by the promoter as “…brutal! Plenty of rolling terrain and rough roads to loosen your fillings. Typical West Virginia roads.” This year’s race distance and course was the same as last year.

The weather was warm: temperature was 85 degrees, humidity was 73 percent, and the wind was from the north-northeast at 5 mph. I completed my warmup in two parts. The first part was a structured 20 minute routine on my trainer. The second part was a four mile/15 minute transfer from the race registration site to the race start line. I added a couple of short, race-pace efforts during the transfer ride.

I started second, out of 10 competitors, in my age group. I smoothly accelerated away from the start line and powered up two short hills in the first mile. One rival started one minute behind me, while the other started 30 seconds behind him. Both of them passed me during my ride. Unlike last year, I attacked the uphill portion of each hill and recovered on the downhills. Early in the race, I started to feel irritation in my groin from my saddle angle. I started sitting up on the downhills to reduce the irritation, which effectively reduced my downhill speed by several miles per hour.

Not surprisingly, my time, 0:48:56 (21.33 mph), was only good enough for eighth place. I missed a podium finish by almost two minutes. The winning time was 0:45:53 (22.82 mph). All three podium finishers averaged over 22 mph. The time gap between the fourth place finisher and my eighth place finish, however, was only 39 seconds.

Race replay: Argyle Time Trial

While I was disappointed with my result. I actually increased my average heart rate and power output. And I have three spare saddles and two weeks to solve the irritation issue.

My next race, on a short flat course, is the Virginia Senior Games Time Trial (5 km) on Saturday, May 13. I’ll be competing against the second place finisher from today’s race.