Church Creek #2 Time Trial Race Report

My eighth race of 2014 was the Church Creek #2 Time Trial, held in Church Creek, MD, on Saturday, August 16, on the same flat, fast 20 kilometer course I raced back on Saturday, June 21 (Church Creek #1 Race Report). This race was also the regional age-graded time trial championship sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Bike Racing Association (MABRA). MABRA is responsible for USA Cycling events and competitors in Virginia, Maryland, District of Columbia, and Delaware.

The weather was ideal at my 8:57:00 a.m. start time: temperature was 70 degrees, humidity was 70 percent, and the wind was East at 3 mph (a steady crosswind). I completed my warmup in two parts. The first part was a structured 30 minute routine on my trainer. The second part was a 5.5 mile/15 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 ready to unleash a season best effort.

I started second (out of 13 competitors) in my age group and smoothly accelerated to 24 mph at 90-95 RPM cadence. My chief rivals were slotted 30 seconds and 90 seconds behind me. I quickly passed the rider who started 30 seconds ahead of me before I was two miles into the race. As I passed slower riders from the earlier groups, I noticed that the nose of my saddle was dropping. After experiencing some soft tissue numbness in my groin at my race last weekend, I consulted with my bike fitter and we decided to drop the nose of the saddle about one degree. Evidently, I had not tightened the locking bolt sufficiently and the force of my pedaling was now pushing the nose down.

Approaching the turn-around, one of my rivals, the one who started 30 seconds behind me, passed me. Again, I was racing for second or third place. With less than a mile to the finish line, my other rival, the one who started 90 seconds behind me, passed me. Both of my rivals did a lot better than last race. The second rival to pass me took the win in 0:29:48 (25.02 mph). The rival who won the previous race finished second in 0:30:27 (24.48 mph). I took third place in 0:31:58 (23.32 mph), 23 seconds slower than the last race.

Race replay: Church Creek #2 Time Trial

It is not an understatement to say that I was disappointed with this result. Considering all the saddle problems I’ve experienced over the past two seasons, it was ironic that it would ruin what would have been my best performance in the biggest race of the season. On the positive side, I was able to maintain a much more even paced, albeit slower, second half effort. And, as a small consolation, I earned a silver medal since the second place finisher came from outside the association boundary and was ineligible for any championship prizes.