2020 Race Report #18: ABR 2-Person 19 KM Time Trial

My 18th race of 2020 was the fifth outdoor race of the season after easing of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. Social distancing was observed by expanding the start times between riders from the usual 30-seconds to four minutes and reducing the team size from four riders to two riders. There were officials at the start, turn-around, and finish lines observing social distancing. There were three 2-person teams in my age-group.

The weather was mixed at my 9:56 a.m. start time: 64 degrees (felt like 64 degrees), 77 percent humidity, and wind at 9 mph from the northwest. The wind direction meant a steady crosswind on both legs of the 19 KM (11.7 mile) out-and-back course.

I completed a structured 30-minute warmup on my stationary trainer before heading to the start line. I was racing my road bike, rather than my race bike. Since I had a faulty fitting on my race bike last month, my average speed has dropped by 2+ mph. (My race bike is going back into the shop in several days to restore the fitting I’ve been using for the past several years.) The chainrings on my road bike are smaller than my race bike: 50/36 vs 53/39. This affected my speed. Despite pushing a very big gear, 50 x 12, I was 2 mph slower than if I was riding my race bike.

I started right on time and quickly accelerated to 24 mph with a tailing wind. I averaged 20.64 mph for the first 5.94 miles before reaching the turn-around point. Into a strengthening 11 mph headwind, I only averaged 19.11 mph to the finish. My official time was 0:35:21 (19.99 mph), only slightly faster than my winning times for the three indoor races back in January, February, and March. Fortunately, my partner was significantly faster. He started four minutes after me and passed me with roughly three miles to the finish line. Averaging our two times gave us a second place finish with a time of 0:32:36 (21.72 mph). The winning team’s time was 0:29:20 (24.14 mph).

Virtual race replay: ABR 2-Person 19 KM Time Trial

The organizers announced at the race that they are working on adding three or more of the postponed early season races in September/October. Stay tuned for further developments.