Last week I got your pedals wet with the first of three posts that attempt to explain the cycling world; D is 100% in racing mode, now even more so with a new goal added to the agenda (Labor Day weekend just filled up!). The recent stage race that his team participated in, the Tour of Washington County (ToWC), consisted of a Road Race, Time Trial (TT) and Criterium (aka Crit).
While cycling is a team sport (many people forget that, or never knew), the Individual Time Trial is, well, just how it sounds. It’s just you and the long, open road…
This particular event was pretty short – they did ~16 Km* (10 mi) as an out & back. The entire ride is an all-out sprint!
It looks like this:
Step 1: Warm up! Almost every rider had their trainer set-up and a routine to go through. D’s warm-up involves ~55 minutes of intervals, building up and and then bringing the heart-rate back down. This is no easy 10 min “lap”; it burns upwards of 500 calories!
Yep, that tan is totes normal; the darker the line, the more you’ve trained.
Step 1.5: Entertain your girlfriend while you wait to line-up.
Step 2: Line-up and wait for your turn. A race official is standing by, announcing numbers in groups – “Three One Nine, Three Seven Five, Three One Six!” – to let the riders know, you’re up next!
The racing order depends on the prior stage’s results. They race backwards; whoever won the ToWC Road Race on Saturday would go last for the TT in their Category.
Step 3: Wait for it…and, GO! (This is how the pros do it, a la TdF.)
Officials give the rider a “4, 3, 2…”, and then they’re off!
TT’s are also know as the “race of truth”; riding alone, putting every ounce of energy into those pedals, sprinting for miles. You get no help from teammates, or drafting; the true test of endurance and strength!
This is where the fancy bike gear comes out; you’ll see the sperm Aero-helmets, aero-bars and more aerodynamic bikes. See Fabian Cancellara, TT king:
The ToWC TT finish was ~2 miles from the start, and I totally missed the memo on that (realizing about half-way through D’s race). I did see this tired guy after:
And after that, it was time to rest! The riders had a few hours to recoup before their final ToWC stage, the Criterium.
Tired, yet? All I did was spectate and soak in some rays, but this was part 1 of a long day and an early morning! It was fun to watch all of the individual riders in their different routines, racing styles and fancy gear.
Questions? Personal TT stories? Curious how anyone could wear that helmet and take themselves seriously? Me, too.