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Old 09-16-07, 12:42 PM   #1
DrWJODonnell
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Last Report of the Season - Silvermine ITT & TTT

Well, I am off to Panama, but first I wanted to say a thanks to PCad for coming over and saying "hi." I remember as he walked up to me thinking "Oh, there is my friend...what's his name? I know I know this guy!" Then i realied of course I thought of him as a friend because I have seen his picture posted ALL over BIKEFORUMS. Creepy. It's like meeting a star from your favorite movie or something.

The race? Picturesque TT location along Seven lakes drive (why I wonder did they pick that name?) with some decent climbs. I went out to finally have my legal age and racing age being one of the same. 3years, 364 days until I am a master's racer (ok, so I know it goes by racing age, but still, I did not FEEL 31 until yesterday).

Race summary? HR through the roof. Rough Roads. Slow Climbs. SCREAMING fast decents. The promoter messed up my category (funny as my team is the promoter) and requested that I just race with the 1/2 group to give another teammate a chance to win the 3's. Ok, no problem.

Results will be posted, but the read is located here.
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Old 09-16-07, 01:17 PM   #2
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Sounds like you made the best of your circumstances. Congrats on an incredible season!

FWIW, you don't want your strongest climber leading the climbs in a TTT. The weakest rider should lead them so he can set a pace that doesn't kill him, then recover on the descent on the other side, when your strong climber gets to stop twiddling his thumbs and make use of his over-done recovery. Being in the draft at high speeds is the easiest place for the weak guy to be, especially since he didn't overdo it on the climb, hanging on by a thread.
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Old 09-16-07, 01:31 PM   #3
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Then i realied of course I thought of him as a friend because I have seen his picture posted ALL over BIKEFORUMS. Creepy.
It's creepier BEING me.

By the way, my understanding is that Seven Lakes Drive got its name from the Seven Lakes that are near the Pkwy, most of which were created by the Harriman family (some were not natural lakes). Somebody correct me if that's wrong, but I think that's the story.

My guess is that Will was too deep in the velo Hurt Locker to notice the lovely panoramic lake views that would have unfolded in front of a normal dude driving a Winnebago.
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Old 09-16-07, 01:43 PM   #4
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Sounds like you made the best of your circumstances. Congrats on an incredible season!

FWIW, you don't want your strongest climber leading the climbs in a TTT. The weakest rider should lead them so he can set a pace that doesn't kill him, then recover on the descent on the other side, when your strong climber gets to stop twiddling his thumbs and make use of his over-done recovery. Being in the draft at high speeds is the easiest place for the weak guy to be, especially since he didn't overdo it on the climb, hanging on by a thread.
I am not sure this applies. Although, I am obviously no Greatly Skilled TTTist. Here is my thought.

Climber leads climbs so that weaker climbers can sit in his draft, that is, he does more work, but that is ok, because he is a stronger climber. Then when it comes to the flats and descents where I am much stronger, I pull and let him sit in. This way we maximize the speed and even out the workload through the use of the draft. This makes sense to me.

The way you suggest says that I slog it up the hills taking in both the climb AND the draft, and then the strong climber who is now REALLY rested goes on the flats where he is not very strong while I rest. Just sounds like exactly the opposite of what I would want to do if I am maximizing my speed. If I am setting him up for a win in a road race, yeah, I hop on the front and he gets a stupid easy ride. But if we are trying to even out the workload, doesn't my reasoning make more sense? Curious. Not saying I am right, but I am genuinely curious.
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Old 09-16-07, 02:09 PM   #5
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The way you suggest says that I slog it up the hills taking in both the climb AND the draft, and then the strong climber who is now REALLY rested goes on the flats where he is not very strong while I rest. Just sounds like exactly the opposite of what I would want to do if I am maximizing my speed. If I am setting him up for a win in a road race, yeah, I hop on the front and he gets a stupid easy ride. But if we are trying to even out the workload, doesn't my reasoning make more sense? Curious. Not saying I am right, but I am genuinely curious.
It depends on the caliber of the climb I'd say. If it's a low grade grinder, or a short/steep/fast kicker then a draft is going to be important. However, if it's a slow climb - the draft will be minimal, so having your slowest guy lead the climb so as to keep everyone together makes some sense.

It'd all be very course dependent in any case.
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Old 09-16-07, 05:47 PM   #6
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It depends on the caliber of the climb I'd say. If it's a low grade grinder, or a short/steep/fast kicker then a draft is going to be important. However, if it's a slow climb - the draft will be minimal, so having your slowest guy lead the climb so as to keep everyone together makes some sense.

It'd all be very course dependent in any case.
Yeah, I'd say that's true, and it depends on the differences in the team's abilities. In my experience, even 3% grades are enough to make the difference. You wouldn't want to change the rotation order for anything shorter than a minute, but if the weaker rider is trying to keep up in the very minimal draft (climbing) of a stronger rider, you're not being as efficient. When the team crests the hill, send your fresh climber to the front to ease into a roaring pace, and the weaker rider can sit at the back in a 40mph draft, which means he'll be barely working. The draft is so much more valuable to the weaker rider on the descent, and your stronger rider can tear his own legs off as much as he likes.

There's a lot to be said for the slower rider setting his own pace at the front. Just be smart and pull at your normal pulling power.

If the climber pulls up the hill, to the point that the team is asking him to slow down, then you are pushing the weaker rider too hard. He's not recovering in the draft. It's not smooth, and a TTT is all about smooth. When the weaker rider crests the hill after hanging on for dear life, do you think he's ready to take a turn?

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Old 09-16-07, 05:57 PM   #7
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The best part about TT's may be the endless hand-wringing and 'back to the drawing board'-ing that the sport naturally encourages : ). Man, what a total blast that was today. I loved it. Pcad will now become the slowest TT specialist in North America. And the funny thing about a TT bike is you can be the slowest guy at the race and you still feel fast when you're riding. That's kinda cool. My result today would have landed me in the middle of the 4/5 field, so I wasn't the slowest guy there.

Ulitmately on this level whether you're Dr. W. or Pcad the point is to have fun, and I had BIG fun today. In fact you can argue I had MORE fun because my race took 6 mins. longer than Will's : ).
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Old 09-16-07, 06:00 PM   #8
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Sounds like a fun day. Wish I had gone.
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Old 09-16-07, 06:05 PM   #9
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Sounds like a fun day. Wish I had gone.
Excellent venue and event, very well organized, gorgeous setting. Perfect course for KP, with some extended upgrades (the opening one is 2 miles @ average grade of 2%), screaming descents, amazing views/scenery. About the only downside is the road surface isn't ideal in all spots, but frankly that bothered me in training, not today. The 'damn the torpedos go fast' adrenaline was such that it was essentially a non-factor on race day. Cool vibe, warm bathrooms with toilet paper. I've been to many bike races, this one was about as good as they get.
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Old 09-17-07, 08:23 AM   #10
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At our collegiate regional TTT, we had a wide array of dudes. Two big, strong kids, one of whom can do it all, a MTB kid, and myself, who would fancy himself a climber. We had previously been smoked by half the teams in the last TTT, taking 7th out of 14 teams and losing by 30 seconds over 10k. Pan flat course. The team that won featured no less than 4 aero helmets and 4 dedicated TT bikes. We had one disc wheel, and two guys with sets of aero carbon wheels, no aero helmets, and one set of aero bars. Pretty weak sauce. Teams that were not as strong as us, but simply had better equipment, put the hurt down on us.

Two weeks later, the regional course was a little different. It had some rollers, a big, mean, sharp leg buster, and then a false flat for about the last 2 miles. 20k in length, wind would be a factor on the way out. A bit more strategy than a straight shot 10k. We now had two aero helmets, two sets of aero bars, and two disk wheels and an aero front, and two sets of deep dish wheels.

Basically, we decided to have yours truly get to the front and crank it as hard as I could go up the rollers at the beginning letting the bigger guys maintain their momentum as they rode in my draft. Thus recovered, they would take over on the downhills and flats. Then, after the roller/headwind section, the goal for me was "go till you blow", which happened right before the crest of the big hill, with around 5 to go.

After that, the big boys rolled down the hill and then assaulted the false flat, with slight tailwind, to the finish. I rolled it in, enjoying the scenery, particularly the two young ladies I happened to catch on the way to the finish. We took 2nd, putting a good amount of time into the team that won the first TTT, who had added stronger riders to their team, and thus had both an A and B team.

Synopsis:
Flats, minimal pulls from the small guys.
Rollers: let the little guys roll it up the hills, big guys on the flats and downhills.
BIG climbs: Big guys take the lead, then, as they fall off towards the end, let the climbers ramp it up.

If someone is going to fall off, you want it to be the guys who are going to be least effective in the end, and have them do the hard work in the beginning.
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