Monday, April 27, 2009

Haystack 45+ ITT and TTT

Race Report and Results: Haystack Mountain Time Trial, Boulder, CO
ITT Burt Henry 1st 45+

TTT 1st 45+
Team members: Joe Paulson, Mike Newsome, Dean Sandoval, John Talley, Burt Henry
Author: Burt Henry

After winning in such impressive fashion last year, the pressure was on for us to keep the streak alive. JT and I were new to the team in the 45's. We really had just one good full practice day. With Len's guidance and help we improved immensely in the course of just one day.

I felt some pressure myself as I really wanted to pull off the double. I had been getting faster each week at Cherry Creek and though I had yet to win this year, I finally felt dialed on my Specialized Transition. I thought I was close to popping a good one.

I felt great on race day and had good legs. I felt like I was having a good ride, but there were no rivals around so sometimes you can get lulled into a false sense of security. That didn't happen, and I stayed focused, coming through with an excellent ride of 34:04, easily winning the 45+. I felt a huge relief when I saw the results. I only had a little over 1 hour between races then reality set in. I CAN"T let down my teammates. I tried to stuff in recovery food and drink but it was tough to get anything down. I knew I had to though or risk bonking.

We gathered and did our last minute discussions on details and did a quick spin out to the start. My legs hurt REALLY bad in spite of cooling down and keeping them moving.

I led us out with Joe, Dean, JT, and Mike behind. We had a west/NW wind and we kept it under control with everyone doing fairly equal pulls off to the left. Mike pulled us at a perfect pace up the hill at lefthand canyon and on the next rotation through the turn. We did this section well. We were under control and somewhat smooth, although it was a bit nervous setting up a little left of the white line on 36 to allow for a slight echelon. I tried to talk alot throughout the race but between the wind and the helmets it was difficult at times to hear.

After the turn I hit the front and with the slight quartering tailwind and slight downhill, quickly got into the 55x11. After a long pull, everyone took one rotation of pulls, then I took the front again before the first long downhill. One more rotation through and Mike took me through the S turns before the last long downhill. I hit the front for this and carried the momentum downhill until the road leveled, and then we resumed our rotation.

At this point we got a bit ragged. The transition with JT and Dean wasn't going smoothly and Dean started to struggle. Mike led us up the hill toward the lake and again perfectly dropped me off at the top to go through the downhill around the lake. After I rotated back, I saw Dean was gone.

Mike led us through the turn and we then switched our rotation side to the right. Mike punched it hard out of the turn and we got split up briefly, but then regrouped. Things got a bit fuzzy here. At some point John said he was hurting and started sitting out pulls. Also the wind shifted to out of the southeast. I made an error in not recognizing this right away.

This was not our best section. Mike led us up the only real hill and after we rotated through again, he dropped me off at the top of the hill on 73rd. I led us down and then out the flat for as long as I could. At some point around here JT was gone. It was then that I started in with hunger pains. Oh, crap, a bonk is coming. I told myself that I usually have 20 more minutes of glycogen when this occurs, so ignore it and I did.

I then realized the wind had shifted, so I switched the rotation to the left. Mike took us through the last turn and the 3 of us charged home. We really clicked on the homestretch. We were tight, smooth and efficient and all working hard each pull. I do remember when I thought there were maybe 3K to go, I said I'm going to really drive it for a long time and got on the front in the 55x12 until I was redlining. Mike took another good pull and then Joe took us through the S turns.

I then said hang on and drove the last K+ in the 55x11. I heard Len on the side scream encouragement. I make a couple of head checks through my legs to make sure we were all aboard. We hit the line tight as a drum and completely spent in 33:47, almost 1 minute faster than last years team (The course was shorter by 15 seconds or so this year).

What a blast that was! We all contributed and with a few kinks to iron out, I think we will go even faster.

Dean and JT came along soon after the finish and we noodled back to the parking lot. I started feeling very dizzy and out of it when I found my car. That was my bonk. Later at home, Joe called with the news that we had won. Again, relief.

...Cool, Vic's had pulled off the double!

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