Shenandoah Time Trial Race Report
My sixth race of 2015 was the Shenandoah Time Trial, held in Shenandoah, VA, on a hilly 22.25 kilometer (13.83 mile) loop course, on Saturday, July 25. The weather was pleasant at my 9:16:00 a.m. start time: temperature was 70 degrees, humidity was 80 percent, and the wind was calm.
The promoter had posted the course profile on the Map My Ride website, plus I had raced on this course last year. So, I knew what to expect. My biggest challenge would be shifting gears efficiently to keep my pedaling cadence in the 95-100 RPM range as I dealt with the fluctuating grade changes along the course. There would be over 800 feet of climbing.
I finished my 30 minute warmup and arrived at the start line ready to race. There were eight competitors registered in my age group, but only seven showed up. I was familiar with all of them. Missing was Stuart R., the winner of all my races so far this season. I felt that I had a good chance for a podium finish.
Unlike my failure to shift gears efficiently at National Senior Games, I started the race in my small chainring for the first two miles of the course. Once the course leveled off, I shifted into my big chainring and started pushing my biggest gears at speeds in excess of 30 mph. I repeated this approach on the second hill, which included grades of over six percent. One of the podium finishers started 30 seconds ahead of me, but I never caught him. The other podium finisher started two and a half minutes after me, but he never caught me.
Tom C. finished first in 0:38:00 (21.82 mph), Matty P. was second in 0:38:12 (21.71 mph), and I took third place in 0:39:25 (21.05 mph). The rest of the field finished no closer than 0:45:00 (18.35 mph). There was a protest over the official times, which I joined. My “official” finishing time was 0:39:50, but my Garmin GPS recorded a moving time of 0:39:25.
Race Replay: Shenandoah Time Trial
To recap the season after six races: one 1st place, three 3rd places, one 4th place, and 11th place (National Senior Games 10 km time trial). Four podium finishes out of six races. I have eight weeks until my next two races, a 10 km and 20 km time trial over rolling hills at the local senior olympics on Sunday, September 13, where I’m the defending champion and course record holder in my age group.