2017 Race Report #6: NVSO Time Trials

My sixth and seventh races of 2017 were part of the Northern Virginia Senior Olympics, the same event where I achieved my first win in 50 years back in 2013, and have been a double gold medalist in the two time trial cycling events in 2014, 2015, and 2016. Last year’s course, mostly flat with several small rolling hills and several high-speed 90-degree corners though a residential neighborhood, was straightened out somewhat to remove all but one small hill climb and all of the residential corners. This made the course faster and safer.

The weather was chilly and windy. Temperature was 55 degrees, humidity was 85 percent, and the wind was from the north/northeast at 10 mph. This would be an issue for me with my less-than-optimum aero position on my race bike. Yet, my goal this year was simple: repeat as a double gold medalist for the fourth consecutive year.

In the first race, a single lap of the 10 km (6.2 miles) course, unlike last year when I was the sole competitor in my age group, I had two competitors. Overall, the number of total competitors dropped by 31% in the 10 km race and 40% in the 20 km race over last year.

I followed the same strategy I used last year. Within the first three minutes of the race, according to coach’s plan, I was to increase my heart rate to just above lactate threshold, roughly 136 BPM (105% of my functional threshold of 132 BPM). My cadence target was 88-92 RPM. I was able to hold this level of effort for the entire race and finished with the third fastest time of the day. My winning time last year was 0:15:42 (23.75 mph average). This year it was 0:17:26 (21.38 mph). Top speed was 28 miles per hour and maximum heart rate reached 141 BPM.

Race replay: NVSO 10 KM Time Trial

In the second race, two laps of the 10 KM loop (12.4 miles), I repeated coach’s strategy. My winning time was 0:34:08 (21.84 mph average), again the third fastest time of the day. Top speed was slightly slower at 26.9 mph. My maximum heart rate was 141 BPM.

Race replay: NVSO 20 KM Time Trial

Next race: River Towns Time Trial, Delaware City, DE, on Saturday, September 16. This is my final race of the season.