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Old 06-07-12, 01:10 PM   #1
heppm01
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Tips for a 4 mile TT with 13 corners?

Omnium prologue TT tomorrow evening. It's a 4.1 mile course with 13 turns (not counting those greater than a right angle).

Map

As you can see the longest uninterrupted stretch is maybe several hundred meters at best.

Any tips on how to approach this thing? I imagine it's going to basically on/off the whole way - brake, sprint, brake, sprint, repeat ad nauseum...

edit: In case you are wondering, the winning Cat 4 time last year was 10:06 which comes out to be around 24.6mph, so this is definitely not your usual TT.

Last edited by heppm01; 06-07-12 at 01:14 PM.
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Old 06-07-12, 01:18 PM   #2
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1. Pre-ride the course.
2. Scout the course (walk it) thoroughly.
3. Pre-ride the course.

Several of those corners look like you could coast through them pretty quickly, and the line you take can easily set you up for the next corner.
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Old 06-07-12, 01:21 PM   #3
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1. ride fast
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Old 06-07-12, 01:27 PM   #4
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I like that course!

I would really "spend as little time going slow as possible." Carry speed into the corners, brake hard if you have to brake at all (so you can brake late -- but mind your cornering traction). Most importantly: sprint hard out of each corner to get back up to speed. You should be able to handle 13 really short sprints (probably 8-10 pedal strokes). Then, once you're up to speed, just hold it as long as possible.

I would look on Strava for the best time on the course, then look at that rider's speed in each stretch to give you some targets (scale by your ability/suspected speed).
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Old 06-07-12, 01:40 PM   #5
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http://app.strava.com/segments/1514587

Well, no good there. Nobody fast on it.
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Old 06-07-12, 01:56 PM   #6
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You're using a road bike right?
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Old 06-07-12, 02:00 PM   #7
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http://app.strava.com/segments/1514587

Well, no good there. Nobody fast on it.
Yeah, but that was a great tip though.

rtc: Yes. Chief ref mandating bikes must be legal for mass-start events.
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Old 06-07-12, 02:10 PM   #8
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Old 06-07-12, 03:31 PM   #9
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This.

Seriously. Only 4 miles. Pedal until you can't take it anymore and then pedal harder.

Like Waterrockets said, carrying speed will be important. Also keep the RPMs up so you can accelerate quickly of corners.
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Old 06-07-12, 03:46 PM   #10
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Psychologically, I'd be riding this like I'm trying to bridge to a breakaway in a crit. Hard, hard, hard. Good lines through corners, and then harder, harder, harder.
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Old 06-07-12, 03:50 PM   #11
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minimize the time you spend below tempo speed/power

meaning- break late and come out of the corners and spin up as quickly as possible, but dont sprint- if your cruise speed for the course is 27, just spin up to 27 as quickly as you can.

and yeah know the corners and which ones you can pedal through and tuck through and which ones you cant.
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Old 06-07-12, 03:51 PM   #12
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Psychologically, I'd be riding this like I'm trying to bridge to a breakaway in a crit. Hard, hard, hard. Good lines through corners, and then harder, harder, harder.
This.
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Old 06-07-12, 04:49 PM   #13
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Good tips - I appreciate the input.

Any thoughts on tire pressure? Assuming the pavement is in decent shape I was thinking of going -5 to pick up a little traction in the corners.
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Old 06-07-12, 04:52 PM   #14
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That sounds like over-thinking. Just run what you usually run.
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Old 06-08-12, 08:49 AM   #15
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4 miles is longer than it sounds. I just did a 3.2 mile prologue last weekend (8-9 minute course for most) and it was a much harder/longer effort than I was expecting. Don't blow up on the first few corners.

I also did a similar course to the one you are doing but it was about half the distance. Like Kensuf said, pre-scouting/riding the course is the best way to go. With all those corners, if you can save a 1-3 seconds on each corner over the rest of the people, it adds up. The only way to know how hard or fast you can do those corners is by doing them ahead of time.

Good luck! Remember to suffer and you'll be fine!
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Old 06-08-12, 09:52 AM   #16
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4 miles is longer than it sounds
4k is much longer than it sounds.

1k is death.

Go out a bit under what you think is comfortable for the first 2-3 minutes. If you feel any lactic at all immediately ratchet it back and spin for a minute or two to get under control...because you've gone out too hard. I'd be looking to come out of the corners as fast and start pedalling as early as possible...think 50% of a full on sprint for 3-4 seconds. Hard, but under control.

Because you'll be going from 20-30mph any number of times try to stay as aero as possible once you've accelerated up to speed to minimize drag on the straight sections.

Controlled aggression and course knowledge wins. Stupid aggression (giving in to adrenaline) and Schleck-like prep loses.
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Old 06-08-12, 07:43 PM   #17
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Wow, how embarrassing.

(RacerEx can stop reading now)

Went anaerobic almost immediately but figured it was just adrenaline so I kept pounding and concentrating on the corners. About 3' in I realized I was in deep **** but the damage was done. Eased up but the next corner turned me into a 15mph headwind and slight rise and even crawling along at 16mph I wasn't getting any recovery. After another minute or so things were a little more under control and I was able to get back on it but it was too little, too late. Finished 21/25 in 10:50.52.

My main takeaway is that I was so focused on the corners that I totally lost any sense of pacing <insert I-told-you-so here>. If I had a zillion TTs under my belt I might have been able to get away with it but I clearly don't have the sixth sense to instinctively throttle back when digging myself a hole.

On the bright side, I wasn't DFL, I didn't do a Schleck buttslide around a corner and if I ever decide to go transsexual my time would be good enough for the podium.

Thanks to all that took the time to share their thoughts.
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Old 06-11-12, 07:15 PM   #18
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Edit=oops too late.


I will repeat a previously asked question, you are riding a road bike, right? This whole course is about corner speed, There is no way you are going to get around the corners fast on a TT bike.

Don' give up corner speed for anything, don't brake, go in very wide arcing turns so that you can pedal through as many corners as possible. On corners where you can't pedal through, downshift before the corner, stay in the saddle and start pedalling as soon as possible after you hit the apex. What you want to avoid at all costs is not pedalling through a corner, waiting till the bike is almost straight up in the exit and then getting out of the saddle to accelerate. You will burn out in a few corners.
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Old 06-11-12, 10:13 PM   #19
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Hey, if it was easy, everyone would be a winner. Congrats on getting through it and learning something. Hang on to that.
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Old 06-12-12, 01:23 AM   #20
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Wow, how embarrassing.

(RacerEx can stop reading now)
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