State Team Time Trial Championships 2012

This race popped up on my radar about a month ago while I was perusing the events calendar on USA Cycling’s website. Being so new to cycling, I’m not all that familiar with all the local events. I really love TT’ing and have been so enamored watching TTT’ing on TV as it is often one of the stages of the larger Tour’s. I know a few cyclists now and thought it would be “neat” to try and put together a team for this race. I immediately thought of my Wattie Ink teammate Chris Masilon as I know he is a monster on a TT bike. The original plan was to do the two man +70. I contacted Chris and he was in. Then, on one of my every other day visits to my local shop, Wins Wheels, I got to talking to Dave Feldman who works there and also runs the Lux Pro Development Cycling Team. He suggested that maybe we do the 4 man team and he could grab a 4th off the development team….PERFECT! If we are gonna do this, let’s do it!

So the team was Chris, Dave and Eddy Roche ( a superb triathlete and cyclist)

So I signed us up for 4 Man Open. The race took place in the sparkling desert town of Lake Los Angeles. Now, before you get all up on me and ask me where this breathtaking lake is named after the City of Angels, just know it’s not “all that”……seriously, it’s not. But, it’s the perfect damn place for a TTT! Situated between Lancaster and Mirage Dry Lake it’s sits out in the open and pretty much exposed to any element planet Earth has in store for that day. This day was wind….

After coordinating our arrival and getting all signed up, we all prayed it would warm up just a bit from the balmy 42degs that it currently was. It did warm up enough to actually be rather comfortable, but the wind kept up pretty good. Not so much that I had to reconsider wheel choice (I still ran a deep HED 9 in the front, plus the disc) but enough to keep your attention. The good news about the wind was that it was very constant and not very gusty at all. It was just blowing solid which made it very predictable and manageable.

Now, in a TTT the most important thing is to have 4 evenly matched fellows and an impeccable knowledge and understanding of each other as riders….we had neither! We had four dudes who had never ridden together and had really just met. We didn’t even have time to ride down the road…lol. We literally warmed up on our trainers and rode to the start line. I did go over some strategy with my coach, Brian Stover, in the couple preceding days. Just enough to get the gist of this type of event. So we did have somewhat of a game plan, just no practice executing. Ah well, wouldn’t be the first time I’ve done something for the first time…

We lined up and took off….we were on our way.

The course is just short of 40k. It was advertised as 23.5 but I had it as 23.09 on my Garmin. But I’ll just round it to 40k and talk in rough kilometers because the course breaks up nicely that way. The first 10k was an absolute blast. It was a straight shot downwind and we were absolutely flying. We took our turns rotating at the front and at this point, we were sticking to the plan. The course is a big rectangle. We made our first right turn and had 5k of a dead perpendicular cross wind. This is when things just started to unravel a bit. We quickly modified the lineup to form a nice echelon to deal with the cross wind. The problem was that we weren’t getting much of a draft and we were slowly starting to lose Dave. Oh, one thing I don’t think I told the guys beforehand is that we only need 3 to finish…so you can drop 1 rider and still be ok. Chris didn’t know that so we held up a bit and got Dave reconnected.

Just before the first turn! Dusty followed by Dave

Then we made a right and now had 10k dead straight into the headwind. Now, you would think this would be terrible, but it wasn’t. It wasn’t bad at all….allow me to explain. Since the wind was such a perfect headwind it meant that the guys sitting in the draft barely had to do anything. You could almost cost behind the rider in front of you. So while you did have to put out a big effort while on the front, your rest was plentiful. It was like 1 part work and 3 parts complete rest. Dave was still attached at this point but starting to do less and less work at the front. In the middle of this 10k there was a short, kicker type hill. I made a split second decision to drag the group up this hill. My thought was that since the draft was so epic, I could really crank this hill and not drop the group. I made my way to the front and poured on the gas. Unbeknownst to me, since my new TT helmet covers my ears such that I can’t hear shit, Dave and the group were yelling to slow down and I dropped the group…LOL…so much for team leader!  <—-idiot.

We regrouped at the top of the hill and started back at it. Chris took matters into his own hands and literally pushed Dave up the hill to get him reconnected.

Once we made another right and hit the crosswinds again, we dropped Dave. I told Chris on the fly that we only needed three, so we pressed on. Dave did a fantastic job and hung in there as long as he could. It was up to Eddy, Chris and I to keep the dream alive. We made our final right and this 10K was again downwind and retraced our first 10k from the start. It became quickly apparent that Eddy was struggling. Rather than have him come to the front and slow the group down, I decided to just drag him in…that was the fastest option. So Chris and I traded off at the front and kept the level just high enough so Eddy could hang in there.

Mas pulling Dusty and Eddy to the finish!

We finished with a time of 51:13 for 7th (out of 10) on the day. All in all, I think we did a pretty damn good job for the last minute team we had assembled….and I’ll tell you what, it was a BLAST! I would definitely do it again….we all had a great time.

I want to thank Wattie Ink for assembling such an awesome team this year. I’ve met so many great people through this new community (I also got to meet “KB” Kirk Bausch from the team “management” 😉 who incidentally is a fricken MONSTER on a TT bike). It was so cool to actually race with a teammate. Special thanks to Chris, Dave and Eddy who all put out spectacular efforts and made this a super fun race. Thanks to my personal sponsors, Wattie Ink, 101 Pipe & Casing, Kurt Orban Partners LLC and Wins Wheels. Also thanks to my coach who has really helped me make the best of this running injury and is slowly turning me into a decent cyclist and swimmer.

Oh and quick update on running…I’m up to twenty minutes pain free. 😉 Watch out suckas cause when I return, most of you are gonna be chasing after T2!

 

About Dusty Nabor

I'm an Age Group triathlete out of Southern California...
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