Home > Experiences > TT Season Recap : Part 2
TT-HEADER part 2

With the first half of the TT season in the books, I took a few days to relax on the training and enjoy some fun rides with friends. I also realized that I had made some mistakes at races earlier in the season and wanted to re-focus and get down to business for the remaining races. I had some big races coming up in the second half of the season, including my first 40K TT and the first, inaugural, Eddy Non-TT State Championship TT, as its own stand alone event.

Rt. 29 TT

Course Data:
10.0 mile point to point course with 67′ of elevation gain.
Rt29TT

Equipment Data:
2015 Specialized Venge Pro, DuraAce 9000 components, Yoeleo Superlight SAT 88mm x 25mm C88 wheels, Vittoria CorsaSpeed 23C tires, Giro Aerohead Ultimate TT helmet, Pactimo Custom Crank Addicts skin suit, VeloToze Aero shoe covers.

Race Report:
With 2 races on this course each season, this is the course that I have the most experience on and the most pacing data on, at this point. On this race day, the weather was a little overcast and very humid. On the first half of the course, I was slightly slower than I had been two weeks earlier during the Kingwood TT, but given the weather, that was to be expected. On the second half of the course, I was actually slightly faster, but then hit a light headwind as the course turned towards the end. I grabbed the win and also one of the best prizes of any New Jersey TT race, a case of River Horse beer.

Data:
Time: 22:35.0
Speed: 26.6 mph
Heart Rate: 181 bpm
Power: 272 watts
JC166111-L
JC166114-L
JC166116-L
rt29podium
Oldman’s TT

Course Data:
The course is a 8.5 mile, 3 corner, circuit TT with 70′ of elevation gain.
OldmansTT
Equipment Data:
2015 Specialized Venge Pro, DuraAce 9000 components, Yoeleo Superlight SAT 88mm x 25mm C88 wheels, Vittoria CorsaSpeed 23C tires, Specialized Evade helmet, Pactimo Custom Crank Addicts skin suit, VeloToze Aero shoe covers.

Race Report:
This race was a big question mark for me coming into it. Last year, I had raced it the day after I had returned home from Colorado, on just 3 hours of sleep. The conditions that day were dry, hot and a little breezy. This year, the conditions were almost the exact opposite, it was hot, humid and there was a chance of rain. As I arrived at the race, it wasn’t raining, but that didn’t last long. It began to drizzle as I was signing in and picking up my race number and as I set up the bike on the trainer, the rain began to pick up in intensity, to the point that as I was warming up, it was almost a torrential downpour. By the time I lined up at the start line, though, the rain had stopped. I chose to race using my standard road helmet and glasses, not my Giro Aerohead TT helmet because I’ve learned that in hot, humid, rainy conditions, the Aerohead tends to fog up and I didn’t want to risk not being able to see where I was going in the wet conditions. I was the first Cat 4/5 Non-TT rider on the course, so that meant I’d have everyone chasing me, with the Non-TT women’s classes directly in front of me. I was pushing really hard on the opening leg of the course and felt really strong, putting out almost 300 watts, despite having a slight headwind. The second leg of the course is slightly downhill and I could feel my speed rise slightly. I think this leg of the course was one area where the decision to upgrade to the 52-36 chain rings this year made a difference. The final leg of the course was my fastest, averaging 26.9 mph, nearly 1 mph faster than my average for the race, while actually putting out slightly less power. I ended up winning the race, finishing about 16 seconds ahead of 2nd place.

Data:
Time: 19:58.13
Speed: 25.9 mph
Heart Rate: 178 bpm
Power: 290 watts
2017-Pedricktown-TT072
2017-Pedricktown-TT074
oldmanspodium
Honoring Sandrino’s Sacrifice TT

Course Data:
7.5 Mile point to point TT course with 57′ of elevation gain.
Mullica Hill TT

Equipment Data:
2015 Specialized Venge Pro, DuraAce 9000 components, Yoeleo Superlight SAT 88mm x 25mm C88 wheels, Vittoria CorsaSpeed 23C tires, Giro Aerohead Ultimate TT helmet, Pactimo Custom Crank Addicts skin suit, VeloToze Aero shoe covers.

Race Report:
The Honoring Sandrino’s Sacrifice TT at Mullica Hill is a short, 7.5 mile, point to point TT. The course is tough and the profile is essentially a small, false flat climb with a few, little risers along the way. It is those risers that are the key because they can really hurt when you’re already at the limit, but pushing over the top of them and keeping momentum is key. During this race, I was really hurting. I think I pushed too hard in the opening miles and the suffering was really getting to me by the mid-point. I tried my best though to push through, keep my head low and try to stay as aero as possible. There was also a slight tailwind. I ended up winning the race by 18 seconds and also cracking the 27 mph average speed mark which was something I had been chasing all season.

Data:
Time: 17:11.51
Speed: 27.0 mph
Heart Rate: 184 bpm
Power: 283 watts
Sandrino-TT-0032
Sandrino-TT-0035
Sandrino'spodium

Blueberry 40K TT

Course Data:
25.2 mile, point to point/ out and back style time trial with 80′ of elevation gain.
blueberry40k

Equipment Data:
2015 Specialized Venge Pro, DuraAce 9000 components, Yoeleo Superlight SAT 88mm x 25mm C88 wheels, Vittoria CorsaSpeed 23C tires, Giro Aerohead Ultimate TT helmet, Pactimo Custom Crank Addicts skin suit, VeloToze Aero shoe covers.

Race Report:
I came into this race with a lot of uncertainty. Last year, we raced this course as a complete, 14.5 mile, circuit. This year, we went out 12.5 miles, turned around and came back the same route for a total of 25 miles or 40K. I knew what to expect for the outward portion, but wasn’t really certain how that portion would play on the way back. Additionally, I had never done a full TT effort of this length and the heat and humidity of July was going to make it tough. This was the state championship race for all of the TT classes, and the state championship for the Non-TT classes would be the following week on a separate course. Even though, this wasn’t our state championship, I wanted to put out a good effort and try to win the race. My goal was to go below one hour, or average more than 25 mph. The start list had me starting late in the Non-TT class and I always prefer this. I don’t use the other riders to pace myself, as I use my power number and heart rate for this, but there’s definitely a visual incentive when you can see people ahead of you. I passed a number of racers on the going out leg and as I approached the turn around point, I could tell that I was on a good run. The last few miles though were very tough with some small climbs to get over highway overpasses. As I came into the finishing stretch, I became aware of the fact that I could no longer feel my hands and as I tried to shift gears to go harder and finish as strong as I could, I actually mis-shifted. I was totally in the red at this point and had tunnel vision. I remember myself and my competitor, Len coming into the finish almost side by side. I had caught and passed him earlier on the course, but he caught and passed me back as we came to the line. Once through the finish, after I cooled down, I realized just how deep I had gone. My legs were jello and I could not feel them. I had to continue to roll around for a while before I felt comfortable getting off the bike. It was definitely the hardest ride I had ever done. I won the Cat 4/5 Non-TT class and ended up being the only rider on a road bike to go under the 1 hour mark.

Data:
Time: 59:32.76
Speed: 25.7 mph
Heart Rate: 180 bpm
Power: 240 watts
2017-Blueberry-TT-0136
2017-Blueberry-TT-0441
blueberryteam

Eddy Cat 4/5 State Championship

Course Data:
14.3 mile circuit TT with 466′ of elevation
eddy tt course

Equipment Data:
2015 Specialized Venge Pro, DuraAce 9000 components, Ultegra 11-28 Cassette, Yoeleo Superlight SAT 88mm x 25mm C88 wheels, Vittoria CorsaSpeed 23C tires, Giro Aerohead Ultimate TT helmet, Pactimo Custom Crank Addicts skin suit, VeloToze Aero shoe covers.

Race Report:
This was a race that I was targeting to do well at, all season. It was the State Championship for the Non-TT classes, but because it was going to be run as its own stand alone event, that meant that all of the racers that normally race in the TT classes, would be able to enter and compete for the Non-TT State Championship as well. This change meant there’d be a whole slew of fast guys that I don’t normally race against and it was critical that I be as prepared as possible for this race. I drove the course two times in the weeks prior to the race and made sure to go out and test ride the course as well. Those recon visits told me that the course really had three distinct personalities. The first section on Rt. 29 was flat and fast. It is the same road we use for the Rt. 29 TT and Kingwood TT, but going the opposite direction. The second section is a climb of roughly 2 miles that averaged 6% with several steps of 10-12%. It would be a hard climb after doing nearly 7 miles on the limit for the first leg of the race. The third section of the course, after the climb, was a roughly 5 mile section of rolling farm roads with a short but fast descent into the finish line. I was really unsure how to approach the pacing and bike set up for this race. Initially, I thought that the climb would be the most critical part of the course, but just days prior to the race, the final TT in the Tour de France had a course that was fairly similar with a substantial climb in the middle. Some of the Tour riders chose TT bikes and some chose regular road bikes and it seemed like the guys that finished best had all chosen to be as aero as possible, but had chosen gearing that would still allow them to get up the climb at a reasonable pace. This was the strategy I chose to go with, using the 88mm wheels on the Venge, but I swapped on an 11-28 cassette to give me a few extra gears for those steps on the climb.
The race went well. It was wet in the morning, but the rain had stopped by the time I was on course. I was going really well on the flat, first section. I caught and passed several riders on that section. My plan was to ride to a set target wattage and then dial it back a little just before the climb. I hit the climb and I was really glad that I had that 28 tooth cog on the cassette. I caught and passed two more riders on the climb and then made the turn onto the rolling section. At this point, the roads were completely dry. I was pushing really hard and came across the finish line going well over 35 mph. I ended up finishing second, just 15 seconds behind Ryan Larson. I was happy with the effort I put forth and don’t know if I could have gone any faster. Ryan was just faster on the day. Looking at the data afterward, Ryan and I were pretty close on the flat section, but he was just a little bit faster on the climb.

Data:
Time: 36:30
Speed: 26.3 mph
Heart Rate:180 bpm
Power: 280 watts
eddypodium

Flanders TT

Course Data:
9 mile circuit style TT with 553′ of climbing.
flandersTT
Equipment Data:
2015 Specialized Venge Pro, DuraAce 9000 components, Ultegra 11-28 Cassette, Yoeleo Superlight SAT 60mm x 25mm C60 wheels, Vittoria CorsaSpeed 23C tires, Giro Aerohead Ultimate TT helmet, Pactimo Custom Crank Addicts skin suit, VeloToze Aero shoe covers.

Race Report:
I came into this race with a lot of questions as well. Last year, I missed the Flanders TT, so I had no prior experience to work from and just stories from past participants that the course featured a big climb, a rolling road across the top of the mountain and then a big descent. Fortunately, the roads that are usually used for the climb were being repaved this year, so the organizers had to change the course, which basically meant that no one else really had any race experience on it either. I got to the race location early and drove the course in the car ahead of time and saw that the climb would be really tough with three distinct, steep steps on the way up. I was glad that I had fitted my 60mm wheels with the 11-28 cassette. When the race started, I was making good progress on the way to the climb and I could see that I was gaining on my 30 second man. As I hit the base, I had definitely closed a significant portion of that 30 seconds. We collected and passed a few more riders on the way up the steep sections, which were really tough. I ended up pulling off the visor on the Giro Aerohead because the it was fogging up badly with the effort on the climb and no real wind because of the slower speeds going up the climb. As I came across the flat and turned to start the descent, I finally passed my 30 second man, as well as one other rider. I think I ended up catching two more riders on the way down. I was really surprised that the descent was never really steep enough to coast. I had to pedal and push the entire way down. I ended up finishing first, about 50 seconds ahead of second place.

Data:
Time: 24:42.01
Speed: 21.9 mph
Heart Rate: 179 bpm
Power: 273 watts
2017-Flanders-072
2017-Flanders-075
Flanderspodium

New England TT

Course Data:
13.1 mile circuit style TT with 193′ of elevation.
NETT

Equipment Data:
2014 Specialized S-Works Shiv TT, Ultegra 6870 Di2 components, Yoeleo Superlight SAT 88mm x 25mm C88 wheels, Vittoria CorsaSpeed 23C tires, Giro Aerohead Ultimate TT helmet, Pactimo Custom Crank Addicts skin suit, VeloToze Aero shoe covers.

Race Report:
This race is the New England Masters TT championship. It serves as the State Championship race for the New England states. At the start of the season, this race was not on my radar at all. In fact, it didn’t show up on my radar until about mid-July. I’ve been interested in building up a true TT bike for some time and when a used Specialized S-Works Shiv TT from the Specialized Lululemon team came up for sale, it was a deal that I couldn’t pass up. I spent the beginning of the summer, gathering parts and slowly piecing it together. As I got closer to completing the build, I became more and more interested in racing it, but I couldn’t race it in any NJBA TT Cup events because I needed to continue racing the Cat 4/5 Non-TT class to get points for the season long cup. When I heard about this race from another one of the NJBA TT Cup racers, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to give the new bike a test ride. I had been out on the bike three times prior to the race, doing 20-25 miles each time, just trying to get used to and adjust to the position. I tried as best I could to duplicate the measurements and position of my road bike to the TT bike, but the TT bike is meant to be slightly different. That’s part of what makes it fast. I also set this new bike up with Di2 electronic shifting so there’s a bit of a learning curve associated with that as well.
The lead up to this race wasn’t quite my normal routine. I had spent a week on vacation with my family and even though I tried to stay active on vacation, hitting the spin bike in the hotel gym a few days during the week, I’m sure that things were thrown off. I joined fellow Crank Addicts Dave and Sarah for this race and we headed up to Mystic, CT the day before the race to spend the night and make the drive to the race location in Rhode Island easier the next morning. We got to the race location early and headed out for a test ride, which I think was a good idea, since none of us had ever been on any of these roads before. We cruised it at a fairly slow pace, taking note of holes, sharp turns, small climbs, downhill sections, etc. It was definitely a good idea to get to Connecticut the day before and get to the race location early. I ended up finishing 2nd in the 35+ class, but with only 2 people in my class, that’s not really saying much. I was about 31 seconds off the first place finisher. The bike performed well, as I thought it would, but I really suffered. My power and conditioning had definitely taken a hit with the vacation time. I think that vacation time, combined with the new position on the TT bike (previously, I had only done an 8 mile TT effort, compared to this 13.5 mile effort) and the fact that the race was late in the day, in full sun and summer heat really had my off my game. All things considered though, I was still happy to be on the new bike and it was a learning experience. Unfortunately, there were no photographers at the race, so I don’t have any race pictures of the Shiv, but there are a few photos of the bike just after the build was finished. I’ll probably do a full feature story/shoot at some point, as the bike itself has a pretty cool story and some custom stuff.

Data:
Time: 32:07.40
Speed: 24.2 mph
Heart Rate: 180 bpm
Power: 229 watts
newenglandpodium
ShivTT-50
ShivTT-51
ShivTT-52
ShivTT-53
ShivTT-double
Silvermine TT

Course Data:
14 mile out and back course with 343′ of elevation gain.
Silvermine

Equipment Data:
2015 Specialized Venge Pro, DuraAce 9000 components, Yoeleo Superlight SAT 88mm x 25mm C88 wheels, Vittoria CorsaSpeed 23C tires, Giro Aerohead Ultimate TT helmet, Pactimo Custom Crank Addicts skin suit, VeloToze Aero shoe covers.

Race Report:
The final race of the NJBA TT Cup is the Silvermine TT in Harriman State Park up in New York. It is 14 mile, out and back TT with some pretty serious risers and fast downhill sections. The course is challenging because you need a wide gear range with short gear ratios to get up the risers but tall gear ratios to add as much speed as possible on the downhill sections. Last year, I came into this race with a huge hematoma in my thigh that was the result of a mountain bike crash the week before. My fitness was down and my leg was hurting. This year was a different story. I came into the race feeling good. My training was back on track and I was back into my usual routine after the couple of rest days during vacation.
The race went well. I felt really strong on the way out, catching and passing some riders. I felt really fast on the downhill sections. As I approached the turn around, I could see that I was going to catch a few more riders as we began climbing back up from turn around point. As I headed up the last big climb, at about the 10 mile mark, I felt like I was almost about to blow up. I dialed back the power just a notch, tried to catch my breath and tried to keep my form as low, tight and aerodynamic as possible. I knew that I’d have to make one last big push to get to the 11.5 mile mark because after that the race is mostly downhill. In the end, I ended up going nearly two minutes faster than I did last year. I won the Cat 4/5 Non-TT class by just .8. I was glad that I kept my cool on that final climb, keeping myself low and trying to preserve as much speed as possible at that point.

Data:
Time: 34:14.41
Speed: 23.9 mph
Heart Rate: 178 bpm
Power: 261 watts

Silvermine01web
Silvermine03web
SergioSilvermineweb01
SilvermineRebecca-50
silverminepodium

At the end of the season, I ended up grabbing 1st place for the Cat 4/5 Non-TT class in the season long TT-cup series. It was a long season and I faced some tough, relentless competitors that raced with me week in and week out. We had some close races, one were I was on the losing split of .3 seconds and one were I was on the winning side of .8 seconds. I’m looking forward to the new challenge of racing on the Shiv TT next season, learning a new bike and finding ways to go faster. I’ve got great information to build on for next season.
I want to give a huge shout-out and thanks to those that supported me this season. First and foremost, my friends and family for putting up with all of the training and hours on the bike and continuing to encourage and push me. I want to give a shout out to Hilltop Bicycles for all of their support this season. Craig, in the Hb Cranford shop, gave my Venge a great tune up prior to the start of the season, setting me up with fresh cables and brakes and making sure the setup was as clean in the wind as we could get it. He was also key on my Shiv TT build up, collaborating on a bunch of custom ideas that I had and adding some of his own. Thanks to Glenn at Piermont Bicycle Connection for the awesome Giro Aerohead TT. Thanks to Skratchlabs for supplying me with the best hydration and nutrition supplements on the market. Thanks to Pactimo for the custom Ascent skin suit and for making me a 2016 Brand Ambassador and continuing to support my goals this season.

I also want to give a huge thanks to the NJ Bicycling Association and all of the event organizers and promoters. Each and every event was well run and well organized and the series as a whole is pretty rad.