2020 Race Report #14: WCW Bryce Master 19 KM Time Trial

My 14th race of 2020 was also my third outdoor race of the season since resumption of live racing in early July. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing was observed by expanding the start times between riders from the usual 30-seconds to 7 minutes. Each racer self-started because there were no officials at the start or finish lines. Instead, finishers were instructed to record their race with a GPS device and upload it to Strava for verification and awards.

The weather was cool, humid, and windy at my 09:37 a.m. start time: 66 degrees (felt like 66 degrees), 88 percent humidity, and wind at 10 mph from the North. The wind direction meant a headwind on the inbound leg of the 11.78 mile course. There were four entries in my age-group.

My goal was to set a new personal record (PR) on this course. My previous PR was set last year with a time of 0:30:51 (23.1 mph average). I wanted to break 30 minutes. Unfortunately, the inbound headwind was going to make a new PR difficult.

I started right on time and quickly accelerated to 24-25 mph with the tailwind and gradual downhill to the turnaround point at 5.98 miles. My elapsed time was 0:14:41 (24.4 mph average). My elapsed time for the 5.72 mile inbound leg, gradually uphill into the wind, was 0:16:45 (20.5 mph average). This was a complete reversal from my previous race on this course when the inbound leg had a tailwind. My official time was 0:31:45 (22.3 mph average) and a second place finish. The winning time was 0:30:25 (23.2 mph average).

On Monday, I will be taking my race bike to the shop and having new aerobar extensions installed. These extensions feature a 45-degree angle bend which will allow me to more fully block the wind, especially headwinds, that are slamming into my exposed chest, since I am unable to assume a fully aero position. These new extensions should increase my average speed, particularly into a headwind, by 1-2 mph average.

Race replay: WCW Bryce Master 19 KM Time Trial

My next live races, actually two races back-to-back on the same day, are the Wisconsin Senior Olympics 10 KM and 5 KM Time Trials, on Tuesday, August 18. I am the defending age-group champion in both events. My goal is to increase my average speed to over 24 mph this year. My winning average speed last year was 23.54 mph for the 10 KM TT and 23.30 mph for the 5 KM TT. I also plan to race both events virtually the week before the live ones as part of my preparation.