July 1/11 17:29 pm - Masters Nationals ITT - Bruce Bird Report
Posted by Editoress on 07/1/11
Men's Master B Time Trial Champion Bruce Bird has once again provied one of his articulate and thoughtful race reports.
On Thursday, June 30th, I competed in the 2011 Immunity-FX Canadian National Time Trial Championship for the Master B (40-49 Men's Master B Time Trial Champion Bruce Bird has once again provied one of his articulate and thoughtful race reports.
On Thursday, June 30th, I competed in the 2011 Immunity-FX Canadian National Time Trial Championship for the Master B (40-49 age group) in Belfountain, Ontario.
It was an ideal day for a race, with clear sunny skies, a moderate wind and temperatures rising into the upper 20's by late in the afternoon. I drove up to Belfountain with the comfort of knowing the course, thanks to Midweek having staged a trial even earlier in June. I could not arrange to pick up my race packet the day prior, so I had to make sure that I arrive in time to meet the noon deadline; my start time was 1:47 pm.
I was bestowed the honour of starting last in my age group by the race organizers, and undeservably so, because the 2009 Canadian champion David Gazsi (Cyclelogik) who missed the 2010 race, was also in the field. I started two minutes behind last year's silver medalist Ron Amos (Ride with Rendall) and one minute behind the 2008 National Champion and 2009 Silver medalist Ilija Petrovsky (Nacsworld).
When I picked up my numbers at 11:45 I found out that the race was running 20 minutes late, which meant that I had 2+ hours to kill. I spent the better part of the next 90 minutes catching up with fellow riders. I noted how serious and professional everyone looked in their team kits on their shiny speed machines with imposing sounding disc wheels that screemed out "I mean business" as they rode buy in every direction as they warmed up.
I got some encouraging words from both Mirek Mazur (www.mazurcoaching.com) and Adam Johnson (www.wattsupcycling.ca), who had showed up in support. Mirek, always the strategist, focused me in on the first few kilometres while Adam assessed my preparedness.
I did not need to stress about my bike meeting any of the regulations, thanks once again to the Midweek dry run TT event held earlier in June. One by one the riders in front of me made their way to the start platform and off onto the course, until there was just Ron, Ilija and me remaining from our group. When Ilija rode off I climbed up to the platform and cranked my left pedal to the attack position as I awaited the countdown. As the official called out 30 seconds to go, I could not but help thinking that seven months of training towards this event were now down to just a few seconds. The officials hand came out and five fingers rhythmically reduced to one, and then zero as I drove my left leg down and off I went to tackle the course (21.5 kilometres with 143 metres of elevation gain).
The first climb, despite being right at the start of the race in my memory, was actually closer to a kilometre from the start. I kept my cadence high up the climb and my heart rate jumped from 60 at the race start to 160 at the top of the climb. From then on my heart rate stayed within 10 beats of max for the rest of the race.
There is not much more to report about the race because, as anyone who has competed in a TT knows, it is a solo event where most of the race is spent in an inner battle between your mind and body. The body want to let up and reduce the effort, while the mind pushes for everything it can get. The body then starts to trick the mind by throwing up distractions, which lead to a quick reduction in effort and speed. That is pretty much all there is to a TT except, of course, for all the training and being as efficient as possible with your efforts on the course.
I kept my focus on Ilija (my minute man) as I watched the kilometres slowly and painfully make their way from from zero to 21.5 on my race computer. I caught up to Ilija on the climb at kilometre 14 and pushed on up the incline. I saw Ron and Brian Kelly (Nacsworld) up ahead in the distance but never got that close as the speed picked up through the final seven kilometres of the course.
I raced up to the finish line fully anaerobic over the last 40 seconds and then spent the next few minutes gasping for air. I knew that I had given all I had and there is great satisfaction in knowing that, but that feeling is quickly replaced by anticipation and nerves as I joined the rest of my group at the results board awaiting the verdict on whether or not my effort was sufficient.
The time dragged on as my nervousness increased. After I crossed the line I had hit my lap button on my Garmin and seen that I was in near 28:40 (my time was 28:36). A few other people stated their times but some held their cards close to their chests like clever poker players, while others did not track their time.
When the officials finally made the long walk to results board from the finish line with the new list in hand, Mirek strode up, peered down then turned his head with a big smile and said "You won man".