Very possibly a dumb question, but as someone who's never done any racing, I was wondering what it is that seperates the good time trialers from the bad ones. I assume any professional rider is intimately familiar with their power output at different gearings and cadences, and would know from their training regimens what sort of power output they can sustain over different distances. So with the equipment and training they have now, is seems like it ought to be straightforward for everyone to ride at their maximum sustained power output. But there are guys who are great climbers, like the Schlecks who are also pretty bad time trialers. How can you have the power to accelerate and sustain speed up a hill and drop other guys, but not have a similar power advantage when riding on a flatter course by yourself?
Also, I've heard commenters talk about how Contador has put in a lot of work and learned how to be a good time trial rider, which implies that it is something that you can work on--there is a set of skills that can be developed to improve time trialing.
So what is it that AC learned? What is there to time trial riding besides just riding hard at a target power level? What's the skill set to be mastered? What am I missing or not understanding about time trials?