River Towns Time Trial Race Report
My ninth, and final, race of 2015 was the River Towns Time Trial, held in Delaware City, DE, on Saturday, October 31, on a 10.1 mile point-to-point course between New Castle and Delaware City. This was also the sixth, and final, race in the Mid-Atlantic Time Trial Series (MATTS). I was leading my age group by two points and needed to finish in the top two places to successfully defend my previous year’s title and secure the 2015 championship jersey.
This race was originally scheduled for Saturday, October 3, but was rescheduled due to flooding caused by three days of rain. Coach sent me a new training plan to keep my race fitness intact over the four week delay. The biggest concern was early morning temperatures in the 30s. When the start times were announced, my age group was scheduled for later in the morning. Usually, we are one of the first groups to start. So, we raced in much warmer weather: 51 degrees, 54% humidity, variable wind at 4 mph.
I started third, out of 10 competitors, in my age group. While there were two fast racers ahead of me, I was most concerned about the racer that started one minute behind me. In two years of head-to-head competition, I have never beaten him. And I had to beat him in this race to capture the MATTS championship.
I smoothly accelerated away from the start line, negotiated the narrow city streets, and made two left-hand corners before reaching the main highway to Delaware City. I focused on maintaining a steady effort and shifting as needed on the undulations in the course, which was not as flat as advertised. I passed the rider who started 30 seconds ahead of me within two miles. But, I was unable to catch the rider who started one minute ahead of me.
More importantly, unlike last year’s race, my chief rival did not pass me in the closing stages of the race. In fact, I increased the time gap on him and finished 20 seconds faster than him to secure a second place finish in 0:25:21 (23.9 mph). He finished third in 0:25:41 (23.6 mph). The winning time was 0:24:39 (24.6 mph), only 42 seconds faster than my time.
Race replay: River Towns Time Trial
My second place finish ensures that I will win the 2015 MATTS championship jersey for my age group with 61 points, a one point margin over the second place competitor’s 60 points.