Friday, March 6, 2015

Chico Stage Race #3 TT

Zachary Hilton
Chico Stage Race #3 TT 35+ 3/4's
Chico, CA 
Place: 26  (GC Placing 24)
Field: 34
Teammates: None
Weather:  62 cold, crosswind, headwind, and crosswind, sunny
Start Time:  8:35 am
Total Time: 00:27:40
Power: No Power on TT
Average Speed: 22.45 MPH, Top Speed 27.60 MPH
Average HR: 163 Max HR: 174
Elevation Ascent: 79 ft


I'm riding my new 2013 Specialized Transition TT with SRAM Force group set.  I ride a 53/39 11/25 for TT's.   We stayed in our same parking spot near the crit and I warmed up on the trainer for the TT.   I carried no bottles for this TT.  It's going to be windy and it's just 10 miles.  The start is about 1 miles down the street from where I am at.  I stuck a Hammer Gel under the leg of my Voler speed suit.  I warmed up on the trainer for 20 minutes in the sun, drank though a bottle of Hammer Heed and headed to the start.  The intel that I've gotten on the course is that you hit crosswinds on the first section, then a right turn into a headwind, and then final right turn into some crosswinds.  I don't have a power meter on my TT bike so pacing is difficult.  I have to base of heart rate.

The TT starts and we are given the option to be held while clipped in.  I take off and get into the aero position on the bars.  The trouble with pacing off heart rate on the TT at a stage race is that fatigue is starting to set in also.  So even though I might be pushing threshold my heart rate might not be able to get high anymore.  I tried to go out easy and consistent.  There were some strong crosswinds blowing me around.  I have an aerodisk cover on my back wheel and a 54mm carbon wheel on the front.  We are all separated by 30 seconds.  I stayed in my drops the entire time.  The right turns aren't sharp ones.  While in the headwind I tried to not push to hard to fight the wind.  My heart rate was staying the same and when it increased I just backed off a bit.  During the final stretch the the finish I was able to increase my effort and heart rate.  Especially the last mile.  I really need a power meter in the future to be more competitive in the TT.

Well that's the completion of the second stage race.  The last one was Cascade Classic in Bend, OR.  That was 2 years ago.  My next event is SJBC Team Training Camp in Paso Robles, CA.  It's more like a three day stage race.  It's a mixed group, and I plan to get a great workout from it.  I'm sticking with those that are stronger than me :)


Thanks for reading!
Thanks to Race Rim Wheels!
Thanks to Hammer Nutrition!
Thanks to Voler!
Thanks to Vittoria Tires!
Thanks to SJBC Race Team!


Post Race Meal In-N-Out for the ride home!





Chico Stage Race #2 Crit

Zachary Hilton
Chico Stage Race #2 Crit 35+ 3/4's
Chico, CA 
Place: 26  (GC Placing 22)
Field: 36
Teammates: None
Weather:  49 cold, little wind, tailwind to finish line, sunny
Start Time:  8:35 am
Total Time: 00:27:40
Power: 180 W avg, 700 W max, 200 W NP  
Average Speed: 25.29 MPH, Top Speed 31.97 MPH
Average HR: 169 Max HR: 181
Elevation Ascent: 0 ft


I'm riding my 2015 Specialized Tarmac with Ultegra 6800 11 speed group set.  I ride a 53/39 11/28 for most races.  I am also racing with my Race Rim 46's Carbon Tubulars, and Vittoria Corsa EVO CX Tubulars.  I arrived early and warmed up on the trainer for 40 minutes.  No bottles needed for this Criterium.  We got a quick chance to warm up on the course, and then we got delayed for 10 minutes because of a previous race's crash on turn 1.

Race starts and my plan was to stay at the back of the pack so that I can take smooth lines around every corner with no braking.  All I need to do is preserve my place in the GC and perhaps move up.  I never race Crit's.  I'm comfortable with them a lot more now.  I did not want to get pulled.  That's happened in every Crit I've been in up until now.  The first few laps were easy, and then the front started to really stretch us out.  The course is an L shaped one and really fun.  The turns are mostly 90 degree turns and some are more sweeping because we have the entire road before and after to use.  The extreme inside line have chips in the road, and I stayed away from those.  Like in most of these races when the pace picks up it will eventually stop.  We were full gas for 2 laps and began to pop riders off the back.  My plan was working and I didn't need to yo yo on and off the group.  I would accelerate around the corners on the line I picked and roll up tot he group.  A breakaway formed with 4 guys and our group slowed.  I looked up front and the yellow jersey is staying with us.  Eight laps to go and I've survived the time cut!!  I'm really feeling great and confident.  Three laps to go and now we are going fast trying to catch the breakaway.  More riders getting shredded off the back and a few I notice are ahead of me in the GC.  I stayed tucked behind the pack and came across the finish line upright!  I didn't get dropped, pulled, or lapped for the first time in a Crit!!!! Whohoo!!!!


Overall I moved up 3 spots in the GC by sticking to my plan while trying to conserve energy for the TT at 12:40 today.  I was so excited that I came back to the car ecstatic where Katie and Avery were waiting for me.  Next up was some much needed coffee and food.  Avery has a kids race coming up at 11am!




Thanks for reading!
Thanks to Race Rim Wheels!
Thanks to Hammer Nutrition!
Thanks to Voler!
Thanks to Vittoria Tires!
Thanks to SJBC Race Team!