Church Creek #2 Time Trial Race Report

My fifth race of 2015 was the Regional Age-Graded Time Trial Championship, conducted on the Church Creek Time Trial 20 kilometer (12.42 mile) flat, out-and-back course, in Cambridge, MD, on Saturday, July 18. The weather was again warm and windy; temperature was 79 degrees, humidity was 70 percent, and the wind was from the south at 10 mph gusting to 16 mph. I completed my 30 minute warmup successfully, and rode the 5.5 miles to the start line with about 10 minutes to spare. My goal for this race was to again earn a podium finish, despite the stronger headwind outbound. With my closest rival, Jim H., starting right behind me, I needed to hammer to the finish line with nothing to spare if I was going to beat him.

I started second, out of 15 competitors. I smoothly accelerated away from the start line and quickly passed riders who started ahead of me. I settled into my 53 x 17 gear at 90 RPM cadence for an average speed of roughly 21 mph. My heart rate was at 105 percent of threshold. I reached the turnaround slower than last time, in 0:17:35 (21.20 mph) versus 0:17:05 (21.82 mph average) on May 30th.

Just before the turnaround point, Jim caught and passed me. But, as soon as I started the return leg, I shifted into my 53 x 16 gear, increased my cadence to 100 RPM, and steadily accelerated to 27 mph. I quickly caught Jim and we dueled, at times side-by-side, to the finish line. My time for the return leg was 0:13:45 (27.11 mph) versus 0:13:56 (26.75 mph average) on May 30th.

Stuart R. won in 0:29:36 (25.19 mph average), Jim H. took second in 0:30:49 (24.19 mph average), and I took third place with 0:31:20 (23.79 mph average).

Race Replay: Church Creek #2 Time Trial

Overall, I realized that the increased wind speed would slow me down on the outbound leg. I was able to average 21.20 mph despite having trouble handling my bike at times when buffeted by the wind gusts. But, I was pleased with the consistent effort inbound that showed I could keep up with my rivals. The loss of another 15 pounds of body weight over the off-season should allow me to start capturing second place finishes next season.