Isn't Time Trialing Like Many Sports Where "High Score Wins"?

This morning I took another kick at the time-trialing can. Unfortunately, this time, it was my can that was kicked.

The cycling team/club I'm in sponsors the Haystack Time Trials here in Boulder. In the morning was the Individual Time Trial (which I did) and in the afternoon was the Team Time Trial (which I volunteered at.) The course was just about 12 miles long, with a good portion of it on a slight downhill, so there were sure to be some good speeds on it.

My warm-up went fine, so I felt like I would be able to have a good result. For me, with not having a TT bike or helmet or some of the other TT finery, a good result means being able to average a certain level of power during the race. Within the first several minutes after leaving the start line, though, I had a sneaking suspicion it wasn't going to the kind of day I had hoped for: 1) my hamstrings felt pretty tight and it was tough getting to the power level I wanted, and 2) the guy that started 20 seconds after me blew by me.

I kept pushing on, with hopes of my hamstrings loosening up and being able to finish the last 8 miles strong. Alas, it just wasn't happening... they were still tight, and the guy that started 40 seconds after me blew by me. Because I was on a normal road bike and not a TT rig like most other riders, I wasn't so concerned about place, but a) it is a slight mental blow to get passed a couple of times during a TT race and b) I didn't want to finish last. Schadenfreude-ily, I avoided the latter with about 3.5 miles to go... one of the racers that passed me (there had been 3 or 4 by now) flatted.

And so, just about 28.5 minutes after I started, I finished (37th out of 42; 25.2 mph.) And I knew as I crossed the line that I wasn't able to maintain the average I wanted. Even though I'm pretty new to this racing thing, I have learned a couple of things: 1) I've got to expect to have these kind of days every once in a while and 2) if I have too many, I'll lose my Nike, Cannondale and Lexus endorsements!

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