Wednesday, July 1, 2009

2009 Masters Nationals, Day 6

US Master's Road National Championships, June 28-July 4, Louisville, KY
Individual Time Trial 07/01/09
Henry Hauls Home Hardware!

Vic's riders Burt Henry and Joe Paulson competed in the Men's 45-49 time trial today, held under mild but somewhat breezy conditions on a rolling to hilly 25.8 km course in Taylorsville, Kentucky. The blue boys arrived at the site about 2 hours prior to their start times in order to leave plenty of time to set up base and get good warm-ups.

After getting their canopy and trainers all set up, tires inflated, and so on, they were preparing to start their warm-ups when word came out that all start times had been pushed 1 hour back due to problems getting the course ready. The boys chilled out for a bit, then were again preparing to start their warm-ups when another 1 hour delay was announced.

A little more relaxation, a little food, and the first riders started to roll down the ramp from the start house, and it was finally on. After mounting their trainers, Burt found that his legs felt great after days of rest, but Joe's legs were complaining after the previous day's road race, and riding at LT hurt. Burt advised Joe to push through it, explaining that pushing through the pain in the warm-up would allow the legs to open up and feel better in the race.

Soon it was showtime, and Joe was down the ramp and onto the course. Sure enough, the legs felt better, and Joe focused on his power meter to avoid overcooking the steep hill right out of the gate. His pacing felt good, and his legs felt okay, but the end result was a disappointingly slow time.

At his appointed time, Burt rolled out of the start house, onto the course, and up the first climb. His 30 second "rabbit" put 20 seconds on Burt on the first climb, but Burt resisted the temptation to go too deep. Sure enough, when they reached the turn-around and headed back into the headwind, the rabbit died and Burt thundered past. His mass turning into an advantage on the downhill run-in to the finish, Burt carried his momentum to the line, sprinting in the drops the last meters in case precious seconds would be the difference between the podium and the also-rans.

The deep effort turned out to be well worth it, as Burt finished in 30:47.36, capturing 4th place and a long-sought place in the medals. The 5th place rider stopped the clock at 30:48.04, and the 6th place rider crossed the line at 30:49.10, earning nothing but heartache.

The new national champion, Matthew Wukasch, posted a blazing 30:16.83, and Mix1 rider Eugene Palumbo had a fine ride of 31:17.48 to round out the top 10. Joe wandered in at 33:43.27. Joe explained that front and rear flats had impeded his progress on the course, resulting in his mediocre time, but both tires had mysteriously re-inflated by the time he got back to the van.

In the 50-54 race, Mike Newsome was able to produce a medal-winning ride without even being able to get on his bike. Jim Dickerson flatted his disk while warming up, so Mike loaned him his, and Jim went on to capture 4th place. Individual Time Trial Results on 07/01/09

After the award ceremony (also delayed 2 hours), Burt and Brian Todeschi rushed to catch their flight home out of Indianapolis, and Mike and Joe dropped Eugene off at the Louisville airport, then headed out for some dinner. The consensus opinion of Joe's teammates was that he was too tense to ride well and needed to relax. Heeding their advice, Joe ordered a 24 ounce margarita with dinner, which seemed to improve his mood, if not his motor skills.

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