Pinole Team Time Trail - February, 2005 (Cat 4)
Finish: 4th (47:42.6)

The weather was cold and nasty, but that does not matter. My teammate (Chris B) and I showed up around 6:20am to register and get warmed up. Registration started at 6:30 from what the flyer said, but they said they would not be ready until 7AM. We already knew our start time (8:20), so we decided to drive the course to see what it was like. One of our teammates had won the Cat 4 race last year and said it was a fairly fast course with one hill. We get out on the course, driving in my van, and notice the first few miles are uphill (~4%). We go along the course noting the turns and the rollers/hill that we will be racing on. Discuss who is going to pull when, where in the road to ride and how fast to take the few turns there are. We notice that the 1km sign is at the top of a hill and the finish is at the bottom. We get back to registration and get our race numbers. Pull out the trainers and wheels and start putting air in the tires and getting the right cassttes on the right wheels. I ran my deep Cane Creek Aros Ti wheels and my teammate borrowed my disc and a friends tri-spoke front wheel. Since I am weaker on the climbs, I stuck with the lighter wheels and let him have the extra aero advantage (albiet small). We get our stuff all organized (which we should have done before leaving for the race) and hop on our trainers. We each had about 10 minutes on the trainer to warm up and pin numbers on each other. Not even close to the 60 minutes I wanted to have to warm up. There was about a 2.3km ride to the start line from where we park (registration), so we left about 10 minutes before our start time (8:20) to get there at the right time. The road was mainly uphill with a steep section right before the start of the race, so it was not a 4 minute ride like you would expect. We showed up three minutes before our start time, so we had a few minutes to make sure we were in the right gear, who was pulling first, water bottles open Our race numbers coincided with our start time (race #820, start time 8:20). We get up and have a minute to go before starting and the ref gives some course description and instructions. Then we head to the start line. We head off, my bike took a couple revolutions to get onto the big ring, but it made it (need to adjust that) and we were pushing good up the first hill (really just a long roller). We work well together and I feel pretty good plus within the first 4km we made up ~40 seconds on the team that started ahead of us. We get to the beginning of the descent and I pull through and push good on the way down, not windy at all, but quick (70+kph). We go right at the first and only signal and start riding along. Along the side of the course it is just a bunch of endless rollers. About 7 miles into the race, I am not feeling good, so I let my teammate know he needs to slow up the pace a bit. he did great, he pulled all along the backside of the course. We come to the last section of the course with three small hills. He pulls up them with me struggling to hang on to his wheel and then I pull down the hill (the easy part). On the first hill I thought it was the last, so we get up near the top and I drop a few gears and push hard. Only realize that we are not done yet. I suffer through a small flat section and then up the next hill climbing in my smallest gear (34/21). Onto the final hill we start up and and notice the team in front of us and another team in front of them. I go good up the hill giving it as much as I can knowing the end is coming. About 80% of the way up my calf starts to get tight, so I push a bit harder to get it all over with. We get about 20m from the top and I tell my teammate to pick up the pace, I am ready to finish. He starts going down his cassette, but it was not fast enough for me, so I start to move past him and notice the 1km sign. I push hard down the hill, around 75% of the way down both my calves completely cramp up. I know we are almost done and figured screaming would keep my mine off the pain. Just as I am about to cross the finish, I see my teammate pulling up next to me. Since the time stops when the second rider crosses the line, this was good. I know I am finished and just get on the brakes so I can get off my bike. I stop and lay my bike down and curl up in a ball trying to figure out how to get rid of the pain. A few folks come by to see if I am okay and give me a blanket and start rubbing my calves. I feel better after that and sit up and relax for a bit. I throw up twice and just sat and chatted for a few minutes with the folks helping me. A nice guy and lady helped me up and let me borrow a wind vest for the ride back to registration (4km ride with one climb to get back). It was darn cold on the ride back and I was very happy to have it. I get back to my van and talk to my teammate a bit, thinking we did okay, even though it was hilly. We get changed and pack up some stuff and go over to look at the results. It shows us as going 50:21.1 and in 9th in our category. We were very disappointed and figured we just did not have the fitness we needed for something so hilly and others were better prepared.

After looking at the results online and thinking how close we were to the team in front of us. Thinking about how everything was on the course and were everyone ended up, we came to the conclusion that they got us mixed up with team 827. My teammates clock for the course was in the 47:xx range from what he remembers seeing. Kind of upset a bit that we do not know exactly what happened and where we ended up. We were shooting for top 3, but at least if they did mix us up, we were only 1.1 SECONDS out of 3rd.


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