Saturday, August 30, 2008

USPRO TT: out like a lion, in like a lamb

Whoever said it is better to run "negative splits" was definitely on to something! I just got done with the USPRO TT in Greenville, South Carolina, a three lap affair with three roundabouts and many turns and undulations, not to mention some considerable heat and humidity. I came in 18th, just over three minutes down on the Z-man himself, Dave Zabriskie. However, if you took my first-lap split and tripled it, I would have come in just 1:24 down and slotted in for sixth place! Let's just say I got myself a little in over my head after the first lap's blazing effort.

I really liked the course, essentially a north and a south loop with an out and back thrown in for good measure. There were some corners that could be taken at full speed, sometimes even in the aerobars, but they were quite exhilarating to say the least. There were many spectators and photographers, as well as follow vehicles, to keep one motivated, but that was definitely not my problem! It's funny, in only the third time trial I have done all year I have basically run the gamut in terms of time trial "don'ts": at Nature Valley, I dropped my chain three times on the considerable final climb to the finish and had to big-ring it, then at U23 Nationals in California I didn't push it hard enough in the middle 50% of the course while I was all alone and I also didn't hydrate well or stay cool, and now I made the most amateur yet common mistake of just going out at 105% and paying for it in the middle!

I am relaxing up in a cabin on top of a mountain at Jamie Bennette's father's vacation home with Daniel Ramsey and Mike Stoop, half-watching Constantine and trying to recover for tomorrow. We are scheduled for 110 miles, in the hottest part of the day with four trips up a considerable 10-minute climb called Paris Mountain. The climb has been made famous after two years of deciding the US Professional Champion, and George Hincapie even lives on the climb. He will have his work cutout for him tomorrow, as Slipstream is obviously the team to beat with leaders such as Christian Vande Velde, Danny Pate, Tom Danielson, and Dave Zabriskie, not to mention Will Frischkorn, Steven Cozza, and Tom Peterson!!

Our plan tomorrow is to just do as little work as possible, conserving the legs as much as we can, until the Paris Mountain ascents. At that point, it really is every man for himself. I know that I need to see the front of the race at the base of the climb in order to mentally enter the pain cave, and I need to ride a very consistent tempo and not slow down during any hesitations. I also need to keep a very high cadence, around 100-110. However, MOST importantly, I have to make sure to stay cool. Paris Mountain is mostly concealed by trees, but feeding with plenty of Dedicated Athlete Rapidaide as well as numerous socks filled with ice is what will allow us to consistently stay in the front group for as long as possible. I don't have any illusions about tomorrow--it is at nearly the same level as Philly. However, I know I'm riding very well right now, and I want to give it my best shot and see how it works out. I know that if I can make it over the top of Paris without too much of a gap to the lead group, I can descend like a madman and make the catch!

Thanks for reading, and check back to Cyclingnews for results from the TT and maybe even some pictures of me or the Time Pro Cycling boys! I also promise to get up a report from the U23 Nationals RR, Downer's Grove USPRO Crit, and Chris Thater Invitational!!!

P.S. they are going to have LIVE coverage of the race on the USPRO website tomorrow from 1PM to 5:30PM EST!!! Also check this website if the USPRO website isn't working.

1 comment:

Matthew Phillips said...

I enjoy reading your blog, Nick. Good luck tomorrow and let us know how it goes.