Esparto - Individual Time Trial
August 10, 2008
Women Cat 4
I was looking forward to Esparto and hoping for good results. This time it all came together for that seemingly elusive victory. At the Sattley district championship TT, I missed a second place podium finish by 11 seconds. Here, only 11 seconds separated first and third, so maybe there is justice after all. Second place finisher was 48:51 – one second behind. Almost as an afterthought, I stuck my empty super-aerodynamic water bottle on the bike. Who knows? – Maybe that made the difference . . . .
The Cat 4 women (all ages) started at 9:44 while the temperature was still moderate (mid-seventies) – sunny and dry with a light wind from the north. I was the first Cat 4 woman out (again, in alphabetical order – I am definitely going to change my last name to Zallen!) There was a 4 minute gap between the W 1/2/3 group, so I had no rabbit. The remaining Cat 4 women started at one minute intervals. We had a holder for the start. Purportedly for traffic reasons, the TT started around a corner bend (which also happened to be on a slight incline). That said, I had a good start. Based on my results at the Dunlap ITT, my goal was sub-49 minutes. The first leg headed north into the head wind (it seemed stronger than it was). I was a bit concerned when I saw my speed drop below 22 mph at times, but I figured that I could make up that time somewhere (although we would never get a tail wind due to the "L" shape course design, i.e., north on a 2 mile leg, right turn east onto the long leg, turnaround and finish westbound just before the intersection). Cross winds on the long legs but no gusts.
Although I did this course last year, I forgot about the sets of rollers, but was happy to see those figuring they would work in my favor. After the turnaround, I saw two other Cat 4 women, noting that the two minute woman had just passed the one-minute woman. It was hard to judge the time gap, but I did realize that I didn't have a huge cushion. That was the kick that I needed to really push on the rollers on the way back and go for a strong finish.
I was almost afraid to look at the results when they were posted – agony or ecstasy?? First place – by one second. BTW, last year my time at Esparto was 52:33 – improved by 3:43. Last year was on my Orbea Orca in the drops (no aerobars); this year on my new Orbea Ordu TT bike. Similar setup both years as far as TT helmet, booties, skinsuit and wheels. So improvement was due in part to the TT bike, in part better due to a better engine for which I give credit to the Russian coaching/training program I started last December.
It was good to see Red Rider who also competed in the Women Cat 4. Congrats on a fine race (she will tell you about her TT bike) and CGallagh (carrying out his bike slave and photographer duties). And many thanks to Hermes for all his support.
Here are some pics....
Waiting at the start.
In action...pic is from the Dunlap TT a few weeks back . Note: I didn't use the disk or the tri-spoke at Esparto, but raced with my Easton Tempest II carbon tubulars.
There was no podium but I do have a “show me the money” pic. I received $25 prize money and a T shirt for first place.
Packed up, changed and ready to race again.