I’m new at track racing. We opened the 166 meter velodrome in Cleveland late last summer and had the first races mid-Sept. I raced the flying 200, 500 TT and Individual Pursuit. Prior to the races I rode the track often to get a feel of the facility and did a couple workouts on the track that were sprint specific. I have raced for the past 5 years doing crits, RR, cross and a few mtb races. I’m confident that Track is my specialty and intend to place a great deal of track focused training time this winter and at the track beginning spring that inlcuded modifications to my core/resistnce workouts. I’ll be 60 yrs for next season and hope to race at the Masters Nationals in the TT events and possibly form teams for the Pursuit and/or Team Sprint. I’m not planning to enter mass start track races next summer other than our local series as it develops.
My sports background is that I was a good decathlete back in my college days and a very good indoor 330 yd dash runner. I was not fast enough to be an elite sprinter and a little too big to be a good 400 runner. The 33 second indoor race was my domain and it separated me from those others. I believe my best track event will be the 500 TT. I have a 30” PP of 907 watts that I did this past summer, but only have a 5” PP of 1,378 watts. I’m 5’ 10 ½” and 188 lbs. I’ve only done one race and with only a minimal understanding of how to prepare and to race it. I rode the race with sprint bars and stock wheels and got a time of 40.42. A few weeks later we had Tuesday TT’s at the track and I hit 40.08 and 40.28. I’m confident that with training to get stronger starts, longer sprint duration, experience, proper gearing and a good taper my time will drop significantly. (The same as it did back in my T & F days) If I can take 1.5 seconds off my time I possibly could podium at Nats, and dropping 2.25 might even win in the 60-64 division. The races this year are at Indy on a 330 meter track which might also be faster than our 50 degree 166 meter track.
My question to the great minds here at BF is about equipment. A fellow BF’er has advised me on aero bars and my Christmas gift is a Pro Missile Drop aero bar. (thank you Hermes for the reccomendation) I am wondering about upgrading the helmet, getting a rear disk and bladed front wheel, and what advantages the aero bar and wheels might bring. Not taking into account my fitness and preparation, I’m looking at how much time the equipment could buy me. Computing my average speed, while racing the 2K pursuit while in the drops, my speed would have been 2.1 mph faster in the aero position while averaging 400 watts. In theory that is 12" for the race or 76 watts less power needed to ride the same time. I know there are too many variables to assume the time grab the calculator suggest.
Any ideas on that kind of time I might be buying in a 500 TT? For me the investment would be worth it for a podium it the gain was more than minimal.