My eighth, and final, race of 2017 was the River Towns Time Trial, held in Delaware City, DE, on Saturday, September 16, on a 10.1 mile point-to-point course between New Castle and Delaware City. I previously competed in this race in 2015 when I was leading my age group by two points in the Mid-Atlantic Time Trial Series (MATTS). I finished in second place and secured the 2015 championship jersey.
This race is normally scheduled for the end of September, but was moved up two weeks due to a conflict with another local event. My biggest concern was the weather. We raced in warm and humid weather: 79 degrees, 69% humidity, north/northwest wind at 6 mph.
I started third, out of 15 competitors, in my age group. There were three unknown racers in our group, in addition to the usual group of competitors. My goal was to finish with my fastest average speed of the season.
I smoothly accelerated away from the start line, negotiated the narrow city streets, and made two left-hand corners before reaching the main highway to Delaware City. I focused on maintaining a steady effort and shifting as needed on the undulations in the course, which was not as flat as advertised. I didn’t pass anyone that started ahead of me, nor was I passed by anyone who started behind me. My average speed was 23.33 mph, with a maximum speed of almost 30 mph. I recorded a maximum heart rate of 149 beats per minute and a maximum power of 575 watts, both season highs.
The three new guys dominated the podium positions, with the winning time of 0:23:41 (25.58 mph average) and second and third place decided by one-tenth of a second: 0:24:06.1 versus 0:24:06.2 (25.14 mph average). I placed 10th in 0:25:58 (23.33 mph average), my fastest average speed of the season.
Race replay: River Towns Time Trial
The 2017 race season is over, but I’m going to spend the next four weeks increasing my mileage in preparation for racing a century (100 miles) solo on Saturday, October 14, in less than five hours, without the aid of companions or a paceline. I previously rode this particular century in 2002 and 2003 and finished in five hours, without the aid of companions or a paceline. My goal for this century is to finish in four hours and 30 minutes at an average speed of 22 mph.