The 2013 Tour of Matabungkay kicked off with a 10km individual time trial followed by three action-packed road race stages and ending with the final 40km team time trial; this made for a highly interesting and challenging race that is not over till the very end! I had been doing the press releases for the Tour of Matabungkay so I had no time for my own blog site to update on my personal progress.
On paper this looks to be a flat time-trial, however it is deceptively difficult due to the little rolling kickers with a nice little 6% climb 2km from the end. I had come into this race unprepared and without a TT-rig; I rode my road bike with clip-ons and the PowerTap ENVE 6.7 wheel-set. After traveling all day yesterday from China, and getting to bed at 1.30am, I was up this morning at 5.45am for breakfast at the Matabungkay Beach Resort. My warm-up was less than 10 minutes and I was on the starting ramp, listening to the beating drums of the school-girl choir. I took off a little too hot out of the starting blocks, peaking at 968 watts and averaging 500watts for the first minute to be plain sailing at over 50km/h average. If I could hold this to the end, it would be sweet. I did settle in nicely to hum along over 45km/h, with my heart rate hitting the low 180s pretty quickly. The heart rate flat-lined at the 182-183 mark. By the time I hit the 6% short climb, I had nothing left to keep the momentum going. I was already averaging 395 watts for 8.5 minutes and the surge to 450 watts for 30 seconds really took the steam out of me, causing me to lose valuable seconds. Right after the hill, I could only manage 250 watts average for a 60 second stretch before lifting my game in the attempt to finish strongly. Even then, the last 2.5 minutes was only 334 watts and 41.4km/h. In short, I was cooked and paid for my first 8.5min effort. I got caught up in the excitement of going fast that I failed to meter my effort properly in the first half. Had I focused on doing a steadier first couple of minutes, I might have had the energy to power up and over the climb and finish with an average closer to 400!
Despite my lack of preparation, due to my dislocated shoulder and resuming training only last week (after a 4-week break), it bodes well to see these power numbers so soon after the lengthy break. The official results had me 6th overall in the open category. A very good result considering my lack of preparation for this event.
To see how I stacked up against the others, you can view the complete stage one results here.
Quick time trialling tips!
If you are interested in improving your own time trialling skills, there is quite a bit of information on the internet to wade through; I have pulled out some links that I think are reputable and provide great advice to make it easier for you!
All of you know that Luke Durbridge is a phenomenal time trial specialist from Australia and recently Cycling Tips provided Top-5 time trial tips from Luke himself and if you have the cash to burn, you can improve your TT times buying top equipment and, again, Cycling Tips provides an article analyzing the equipment that provides the best bang for your buck.
Bike Radar provide an excellent article that was originally published in Cycling Plus that lists 10-steps to your best ever time trial, while popular online Training4cyclists.com’s Jesper Bondo Medhus provides the Ultimate Guide to Time Trial Traning which covers all the aspects to train for the “race of truth.” Finally, PezCycling, also published a very informative piece detailing 36-ways to ride faster from USCF coach, Josh Horowitz. The above links should be plenty for you to get started on improving your time trial.
Also, very important, don’t forget to consider getting a professional bike fit; this will help you achieve your optimum position with the best comfort, power, and aero position achieved. I would recommend talking with Winston Tam about a bike fit, he is one of the most thorough bike fit guys I know. He had me fitted in Hong Kong just before I flew to Sofia, Bulgaria to represent New Zealand at the Deaflympics, I was impressed with how much stronger I felt on the TT bike after his bike fit. More on bike fit in another post.