I while ago I decided I wanted to just have fun this year, so when Jim Uemura asked me if I wanted to do a team time trial with him in a week and a half I said yes and signed up.
After signing up I relazed a few things .... I have not riden in my aerobars since November, I was still waiting to get my new TT bike, my old TT bike was setup on the trainer and not ready to ride outside.
I decided that I needed to at least get a ride or two in before the TT, so I scrambled to fix up the old bike and I was able to get two rides in before the race. I felt decent in the aerobars for the first hour or so of each but after that my neck was definitely not used to the position.
Of course, a few days before the even, my new TT bike shows up at my door so I start to build it up to. I decided I was better off not rushing though and just racing on the old bike.
The morning of the race was well, not ideal. It had poured over night, was under 40 degress and there was a really cold 25mph+ wind. At least the road was dry and the rain had stopped.
Not only had I never riden a TTT before, I had never done a TT that didn't involve swiming before or running after. Plus I have not rode with Jim since last May, so we talked on the phone for about 20 minutes on the drive to the race to figure out our plan.
At the race we warmed up for a about 15 minutes practice switching postions for a few minutes and I attemped to get used to my Zipp 808 front and Disc. Figures first time I'm on these wheels there are 25mph winds (and I'm not exactly a big guy).
Before I know it we are in line and starting in about 2 minutes. The first 20 minutes was pretty uneventful. I had a side/tail wind and we quickly caught up to the few teams that started in front of us, then we did the first u-turn and had a direct cross wind. I was pretty much riding leaning as far into the wind as I could (like pictures on the Queen K). At least is was a steady wind so I was able to control the bike and still ride decently stong. We did however hit a pretty big bump which was not cool as my bike left the ground, the wind pushed it even more out from under me and it was not exactly a smooth landing and recovery. After a big swere and a few choice words I was just glad I was still on bike and put my head back down and keep pushing.
We then turned and got the tailwind again for just a few minutes before the final u-turn and then riding into a headwind all the way back to the finish. We ended up coming in at 57:53 for a 40k TT. I really figured we should have been faster, but the wind was pretty bad and it was the first time we route together. To my surprise we did end up with the fastest Cat4/5 time, however there were a number of teams that went faster in other division.
After reviewing my power file, I made a classic time trialing mistake and went out too hard. I was a good bit over my FTP for most of my pulls early on and I think I also pulled for too long at first. Plus, when I dropped back I was not good at getting into Jim's draft quick enough as I oftern drifted a few feet behind him and had to work really hard to catch back up and get on his wheel. Because of this I really suffered on the way back in and Jim did much more pulling than I did in the last 15 minutes.
The power numbers were pretty disapointing as well. I ended up with only an IF of .85, not sure if my legs just didn't have anything that day or what the deal was. Since then I have done an 2:15 ABP ride at .82 (in the aerobars) and also a 1:10 ride with 50 minutes at FTP (inside on new bike).
Eitherway, I really enjoyed the experience and my competitive side says that I know I personally could have rode better. Also, I think if Jim and I rode together a few more times we (meaning mainly I) could learn to be more effiecent at our chagnes and ride better overall as a team.
On a side note, the new bike is all built and I just did a first workout on it. As soon as I get it dialed in and it looks presentable I'll share some pictures.
Here is the bike setup for this race with my Argon18 from last year: