River Towns Time Trial Race Report
My twelfth, and final, race of 2014 was the River Towns Time Trial, held in Delaware City, DE, on Saturday, October 4, on a 10.1 mile point-to-point course between New Castle, DE, and Delaware City. This was also the fifth and final race in the Mid-Atlantic Time Trial Series (MATTS). I was leading my age group by eight points and needed to finish in the top seven places to secure the 2014 championship jersey.
Last Sunday, after my training ride, I developed a sore throat. Thinking it was probably just a head cold due to end-of-season fatigue, I self-medicated with over-the-counter cold products. On Wednesday, I started to experience prolonged bouts of violent coughing. On Thursday, I was diagnosed with acute bronchitis and was prescribed an antibiotic, cough syrup, and nasal spray. After resting at home for two days, my doctor cleared me to race, but not at maximum effort. He said that if I experienced any dizziness or shortness of breath during the race, I was to shut down the effort immediately.
It had been raining throughout the night. Fortunately, the rain had stopped by the time I arrived in Delaware City. Temperature was 65 degrees, humidity was over 60 percent, and the wind was brisk from the west-northwest at 11 mph, gusting to 17 mph. My warmup was the 10 mile ride to the start line in New Castle. Before departing, I swapped my front wheel for one with less shielding to improve my steering in the crosswind. I left my full aero wheel on the rear. That turned out to be the optimum wheel combination.
I started third, out of 10 competitors, in my age group. I smoothly accelerated away from the start line and negotiated the narrow streets and two left-hand corners before reaching the main highway to Delaware City. My chief rival started one minute behind me. But, I kept my focus on my breathing and maintaining a steady effort. I passed the two riders ahead of me in the first mile. I was not passed by my chief rival until we made the final turn into Delaware City, roughly 2.5 miles from the finish line. Then, feeling comfortable, I matched his speed of 25-30 mph to the finish. He won in 0:24.25 (24.8 mph), while I finished second in 0:25:31 (23.7 mph).
Race replay: River Towns Time Trial
My second place finish ensures that I will win the MATTS championship jersey for my age group with 66 points, a seven point margin over the second place competitor’s 59 points.