Argyle Time Trial Race Report

My ninth race of 2014 was the Argyle Time Trial, held in Charles Town, WV, on Sunday, September 7, on a 16.6 mile rolling hill loop course that was described by the promoter as “…brutal! Plenty of rolling terrain and rough roads to loosen your fillings. Typical West Virginia roads.” He wasn’t kidding. Watch the video preview of the course.

This particular race had been a last minute addition to the Mid-Atlantic Time Trial Series (MATTS) to replace another race that was cancelled after failing to get the required approvals from local government and law enforcement. If it had not been part of MATTS, I would not have entered. But, this was an opportunity to take the MATTS points lead after I discovered that the current points leader would not be entering because he was in Utah for the USAC Masters National Championship. Another reason for entering was to get some shifting practice on a rolling hill course with my new bike before next weekend’s two Senior Olympics time trials.

The weather was a mixed bag: temperature was 65 degrees, humidity was 73 percent, and the wind was from the north-northwest at 11.5 mph. I completed my warmup in two parts. The first part was a structured 35 minute routine on my trainer. The second part was a 3.6 mile/11 minute transfer from the race registration site to the race start line. I added a couple of short, race-pace efforts during the transfer ride. I arrived at the start line concerned about whether or not I should have switched my rear aero wheel from a full disc to a partial disc. I did get buffeted by the wind on a few sections of the course, but never lost control or momentum.

I started last, out of three competitors, in my age group. I was also the very last rider to start of the 53 riders entered. I quickly accelerated away from the start line and powered up two short hills. My chief rival started one minute ahead of me. My other age group competitor started 30 seconds ahead of me and I passed him in the first mile. I saw no other competitor during my transit of the course. My chief rival won in 0:44:45 (22.25 mph), while I finished second in 0:46:45 (21.3 mph). He was only able to increase his time gap by an additional one minute. Losing another 10 pounds of body weight over the off-season should give me the edge in our races in 2015.

Race replay: Argyle Time Trial

I am pleased with the result on three levels. First, I had successfully solved the saddle problem from last race. Second, I was able to maintain a steady pace on the rolling hills going into the Senior Olympics races next weekend. And, third, I am now the MATTS points leader in my age group. If I place no worse than seventh in the last race of the series, a flat 10 miler, in Dover, Delaware, on Saturday, October 4, I claim the championship jersey.