Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Golden Ears TT - pre-ride 33:45

Did a pre-ride on the RaceTheRidge Golden Ears TT. Late evening, bit of wind, finished in 33:45. Not a bad time... but not great. Need to take at least a minute off that next Sunday.

This is a "fun" TT course. Just under 22km in length, with 220m of elevation gain. But almost all of that on reasonable slopes. Mostly under 5% grades. There is only one short section, about 200-300m at just over 6%. A strong rider can do the entire course in his big-ring even with an 11x23 cassette. Even a less strong rider only needs the little ring for one or perhaps two very short sections.

And you do want an 11x23 cassette for this course. There are several sections, including the finish, where you can push the pace up past 60kph with just a little extra effort. But you won't be able to without an 11 unless you can spin high RPM's..

About 2.5km before the finish there is a half km downhill section that you can do at > 60kph coasting. Which gives you a (short) rest before a slight climb and then putting the hammer down for the (long) slightly downhill finish.

Overall there are two long climbs, two medium and two short climbs. Which really screws up your pacing. You start uphill so the tendency is to start with higher watt's than you probably would like too. And then you have to roll up the hills and try and make time on the downhills..

Overall though it's fun. Hopefully I can redeem myself on Sunday. I had an absolutely horrible time last year on the Zipp 404's with Tufo's... finished in 36:26. Anything in the 33 minute range, plus/minus 30 seconds would be acceptable. Under 33 minutes is probably top three. Probably something close to 32 minutes is needed for a first or second.

A lot will depend on how hard and long I go in the RR on Saturday. With the RR's two long climbs (and a couple of short ones...) it's probably not a race I can do well in. So I probably will be saving myself for Sunday's TT and Crit. Go easy in the RR, hammer the TT and then see what's left for the Crit. Most likely the TT is the only one I have much hope of doing well in.