2021 Race Report #4: WBR Harvard 22 KM Time Trial

My fourth race of 2021 was the Wisconsin Bike Racing (WBR) Harvard 22 Kilometer Time Trial, the fourth race of the 20-race Mid-America Time Trial Series (MATTS). This race is an out-and-back flat course near Milky Way Park, Harvard, IL, 63 miles west of Chicago.

The weather was cool with a slight breeze. Temperature at my 9:40 a.m. start was 55 degrees, 44% humidity, and the wind was a crosswind from the southwest at 3 miles per hour (mph). The wind would be a glancing headwind during the outbound leg of the course. The local road surface condition was excellent.

I completed only 30 minutes of my structured 40-minute warmup on my stationary trainer for 7.84 miles. Average speed was 15.9 mph; maximum speed was 21.8 mph. Average power was 134 watts; maximum power was 277 watts.

Registration opened at 7:30 a.m. for race number pickup. My start time was originally scheduled for 9:01:00 a.m., which meant I had to start my warmup by 8:00 a.m. to complete it before I needed to head to the start line. I started my warmup at 8:11 a.m., after struggling with pinning my race number to my speed suit, which resulted in the shortened effort.

I moved to the start line on schedule only to learn that the race starter was sending riders off in two minute intervals, rather than the advertised 30 second intervals. My actual start time was 9:40 a.m. This delay was not shared with riders at the registration desk or the parking lot. The unexpected wait completely negated any benefits of a structured warmup.

My objective for this race was to push a bigger gear than my first three races. Today, I started my race in my 53 x 19 gear and shifted progressively throughout the course until I finished in my 53 x 15 gear at 26.2 mph. I averaged 22.13 mph for second place in 0:37:24, though there was only two competitors in my age-group. The winner’s time was 0:35:29 (23.33 mph). The course was advertised at 20 kilometers, but was, in fact, lengthened to 22 kilometers.

Race replay: WBR Harvard 22 KM Time Trial

My next race is next Sunday, June 6, a 10 mile time trial in Maple Park, IL, another course that I’ve raced both live and virtually multiple times over the past two years.