2018 SCNCA State TT Championships
June 2, 2018 – Lake Los Angeles, CA
Cat 4 – 1st – 52:27
252 watts – 26.4 MPH
I went into this race with one goal…win the Cat 4 State TT Championship. I knew I would be right up there with the top guys (depending on who showed up) based on my recent results. Having done this race before, I had my pre-race mechanics down.
On Friday, I went up early to pre-ride the course to check out road conditions and re-familiarize myself with the turns and terrain. I started in the early afternoon, so it was of course hot and windy. To my surprise, the wind was more NE vs W like it normally is. This threw me a bit, since that would mean starting and finishing into a headwind (uphill). I was happy I did ride in the extreme heat of the day, since it also helped prep me for the dryness.
There was nothing too exciting about pre-race prep. As usual, the lines for registration and the port-a-potties were long, so I didn’t get much of a warm-up in–but it was enough. I was very happy to have an early start time, since I would get out on the course before it got to hot and windy.
My start went as planned, even though it was uphill into a slight headwind. I was around my power target of 280 watts. Unfortunately, the conditions got to me pretty quick. After the first turn, I hit the roughest pave. I exerted a lot of energy just controlling the bike. I was also feeling the dry, wind. My power dropped quite a bit for the next 11 miles and I just got into cruise mode, trying to remain as aero as possible. I also took a few drinks of water.
Finishing uphill into the headwind was a mental battle. I just wasn’t feeling it physically, so I just put myself into race mode and went off experience. I was pretty exhausted at the finish and was just happy with my effort. Briefly chatting the the higher category guys who had started before me, I learned they had struggled as well.
We had to wait for the results until the very end. I knew I would have a decent placing. My speed wasn’t bad considered the conditions. From talking with other riders, I learned they were slower than normal as well. Turns out, I won Cat 4 and beat several guys in other categories who usually beat me.
The real surprise was getting on the podium and finding out that Cat 4 was not an official championship category this year. WTF!!?? So, no jersey or medal. Apparently, the SCNCA board had decided this last year–who knows why. Oh, well, I still consider myself Cat 4 state champ. In all of my years racing, I had never seen Cat 4 NOT a championship category.
The other drama around the state championships was a management shake-up with the previous organizer. Thankfully, a new one stepped up and pulled off the event this year. It went without a hitch (from my perspective), and I was happy they jumped in to help out.
Now, to race Cat 3 or Masters next year…😉