State Senior Games Time Trial Race Report

The second time trial race of 2014 was the State Senior Games, held in Newport News, VA, on Saturday, May 17, 2014. Weather was again ideal: temperature was 68 degrees, humidity was 50 percent, and a steady 10 mph wind from the north (crosswind based on the course’s east-west orientation).

Unlike my first time trial race back in March, I had plenty of time to complete a 56 minute warmup, including a two-lap reconnaissance of the course. Time trial courses, at the amateur level, are usually out-and-back straightaways with no cornering. The Senior Games course, on the other hand, was a single 5 kilometer (3.1 mile) loop similar to a Tour de France Prologue with an emphasis on technical cornering. This course had 14 corners. Most of them were negotiable at full speed, but several required braking. The challenge was to maintain full speed while leaning the bike into the turn and adjusting for a 10 mph head/crosswind over the first half of the course.

I knew, from my research, that last year’s winner in my age group had averaged 24.36 mph for a time of 0:07:39. Even though I am just starting a four-week peaking/tapering training period, I felt confident that I could beat that time. And, that’s just what I did for a first place finish in 0:07:36, averaging 24.52 mph with a sprint finish at 28.7 mph. The second place time was 0:07:57 (23.44 mph average). The third place time was 0:08:02 (23.20 mph average).

Race replay: State Senior Game Time Trial. NOTE: I forgot to start my GPS recorder at the start of the race. I realized my mistake and turned it on at the end of the first mile. This replay starts at the beginning of mile two.

This race was a state qualifier for next year’s National Senior Games in Minneapolis where I’m eligible to compete in both 5 kilometer and 10-kilometer time trial events. The winner of both of these events last year was the guy that beat me in the first race of season in March. His winning time at Nationals in the 5 kilometer event was 0:07:20, only 16 seconds faster than my time on Saturday. In fact, my time would have been fast enough for third place at Nationals last year.