2017 Race Report #5: Regional Time Trial Championship

My fifth race of 2017 was the Regional Time Trial Championship, held in Cambridge, MD, on a flat 20 kilometer (12.4 mile) out-and-back course, on Saturday, August 19. The weather was warm and humid at my 8:53:30 a.m. start time: temperature was 80 degrees (felt like 84 degrees), humidity was 74 percent, and the wind was from the northwest at 6-8 mph.

This was the 12th time I’ve raced this venue. The course hosts two events per season. The first time was in 2010 and it was my first competitive time trial ever. I would race on the 40 kilometer loop course a total of six times until I advanced to my current age group. My best finish on the shorter 20 kilometer course was third place. There have always been a couple of regional competitors who were a bit faster than me. As the three of us have aged, there has been a shift to younger competitors finishing on the podium. That would be the case again this time.

I finished a 20 minute cadence warmup on the trainer and rode the 5.5 mile transfer route to the start line. There were a total of 15 entries in my race, a mix of four age groups: my current one (nine competitors) and the next three older age groups (four competitors, one competitor, and one competitor, respectively). The results would reflect the appropriate age groupings. My goal was pretty simple: ride as fast as I could.

I took advantage of the tailwind outbound and hit the turnaround point in 0:15:36 (23.89 mile average). I expected the inbound leg to be affected by the headwind, but soon realized that the wind speed had actually increased. My speed really suffered, despite maintaining my position on the bike and my target power level. I slowed to 20.13 mph average inbound. My finishing time was 0:33:07 (22.51 mph average), slightly better than my time at Nationals in June. After the respective age groups were tabulated, I finished seventh out of nine competitors. The first place time was 0:29:16 (25.47 mph average). Three competitors from the other three age groups finished ahead of me in the overall results.

Race replay: Regional Time Trial Championship

My next races are the Northern Virginia Senior Olympics 10 kilometer and 20 kilometer time trials on Sunday, September 10. I am the defending three-time age group champion for the 10 kilometer event, and the defending four-time age group champion for the 20 kilometer event.