Tour De Rock – Team Time Trial TTT – Wrentham Duathlon

Coming into the Team Time Trial, I was nervous about dragging my team down since I have been recovering from a deathly ill sickness all last week (chills, sweats, coughing, no sleep). Scott, Jeff, and Kirk were my teammates, and they’re all strong A Group riders. I’m primarily on Thursdays A Group due to scheduling conflicts, not due to speed. I gave it my best shot and we did pretty good staying together. The course was Wrentham Duathlon course, 10.7 miles, with a couple short but steep (7% spots). Our Cannibal team went first and the Merchants team went after us. I stuck around after our ride to see how we fared. It was really close on the overall time 1 1/2 minutes overall!

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Bill’s Race – A Group

We had some good, hard and close racing this evening.  In the end, one of the teams managed to eke out a advantage of about 1 1/2 minutes in TOTAL time for all four riders.  It was that close.

Racing tonight for the Merchants were Bob, Peter, Tyler & Trevor, while the Cannibals presented Kirk, Jeff, Scott & Joe.  The Cannibals were the first to go, and moved off at high speed, which they held throughout the stage.  Their hero for the first half of the stage was Kirk, who did the lion’s share of the work and kept the pace high.  Joe had been sick for the prior week coming into tonight, and his ability to perform was a bit of a question.  However, he came to race and rode strong, never really being in any great danger of being dropped by his teammates.  The Cannibals showed good form, keeping a good paceline and working together, cresting the top of the biggest climb in almost exactly 7 minutes.  Over the back half of the course, Scott stared to come to the fore and put in some big pulls, as did Jeff.  Their teamwork helped keep the team’s pace high, and they finished the stage faster than they started, negative splitting the course.  The final times for all riders were: Kirk, Jeff & Scott at 27:50; and Joe at 27:51, for a team total of 1:51:21, and an average time per rider of 27:50.

Them it was the Merchant’s turn to go.  They were just a bit disorganized at the start, and took about 1/2 mile to get their form and paceline sorted out.  Once they got that figured out, they started to pick up speed.  Their big star was Tyler, who was holding steady at over 300 watts, pulling the group along at a good pace.  They worked out that Tyler would handle the flats and downhills, while Peter would pull up the climbs.  He was able to put out almost as much power as Tyler for those climbs, but being many pounds lighter, he was the ideal choice to pull the group to the top, then let Tyler take back over.  Bob hung strong with these guys, and Trevor put in a yeoman effort to hold pace with the little guys up the initial climbs, having to hold wattage in the high 300s to low 400s to manage it.

They too crested the top of the big climb at almost exactly 7 minutes, which apparently was something of a surprise.  I guess they thought they were going to easily beat the Cannibal’s time, and to crest the climb in almost exactly the same time as the Cannibals was a call to arms.  From there on in, it was pedal to the medal for them.  Unfortunately, this higher pace proved troublesome for Trevor on the remaining climbs, and he got dropped at about Mile 5.  He managed to get back on with an assist from his teammates, but then started to yo-yo off the back, finally being dropped for good at Mile 7.8.  However, even though dropped, he kept his power up all the way to the end, working hard for his team.

In the end, the Merchants crossed the line as follows: Bob, Peter and Tyler all in 26:56; with Trevor coming in almost exactly two minutes later at 28:58.  Total team time was 1:49:46, which was 1:35 faster than the Cannibals.  Average time per rider was 27:27, 23 seconds faster than the Cannibals.

Sprint points remain unchanged from last week, and are as follows:

Tyler
26
Peter
23
Kirk
15
Bryan
14
Phil
14
Jeff
12
Bill
8
Rudy
8
Amy
4
Steve
4

In the individual competition, the leaderboard is as follows:

Place
Name
Total Time
Gap
1
Tyler
2:20:36
0:00:00
2
Peter
2:20:54
0:00:18
3
Kirk
2:21:33
0:00:57
4
Jeff
2:26:04
0:05:28
5
Joe
2:28:12
0:07:36
6
Bob
2:29:06
0:08:30
7
Gregg
2:29:44
0:09:08
8
Trevor
2:32:34
0:11:58
9
Bryan
2:36:43
0:16:07
10
Scott
2:37:13
0:16:37
11
Steve
2:37:48
0:17:12
12
Amy
2:37:49
0:17:13
13
Allen
2:42:58
0:22:22
14
Deanna
2:44:33
0:23:57
15
Phil
2:47:38
0:27:02
16
Rudy
2:47:48
0:27:12
17
Mike Bowdish
2:47:51
0:27:15
18
Sue
2:47:53
0:27:17
19
Tiffany
2:47:53
0:27:17
20
Mike Wade
2:51:21
0:30:45
21
Lynda
2:51:21
0:30:45

And, in the overall team competition, the Cannibal’s lead was cut from about 15 minutes to about 11 minutes this week, with the totals being:

Total Time to Date
1/6/2017
Merchants of Speed
19:23:43
Cannibals
19:12:42

So – very well done to all competitors this week!  They all put in heroic efforts.  Next week will be rollers, then things start to get serious with the Queen stage, an ITT, climbing stages and a mountaintop finish to follow.  Let’s see if the Merchants can whittle that lead away some more.

Bill’s Report – B Group

This evening, the Merchants of Speed embodied thir name, and put the pedals to the metal.  In this race, the Merchants were represented by Amy, Steve, Phil & Rudy, while the Cannibals presented Bryan, Gregg, Allen & Sue.  The course was run as two separate races, and with the Cannibals winning the toss, they elected to go second.  

The Merchants got off to a rough start, as Rudy was running a bit behind and got a bad calibration, which forced him to put in extra effort.  Even so, the Merchants worked hard, went fast and kept a good tight formation for almost 2.5 miles. before Rudy finally succumbed to the effort and dropped off the back.  The other three soldiered on without him, until Phil got dropped at the top of the climb at Mile 5, and could not catch back up to the flying Steve & Amy.

After that, their tactics were almost set, with Steve & Amy working together to the end.  Eventually, Rudy recalibrated and put in a big effort to catch Phil at Mile 9, and Phil then pulled him to the finish.

The final times were:  Amy & Steve 29:19; Rudy 31:45 and Phil 31:48 for a team total of 2:02:12, which worked out to an average of 30:33 per rider.

Next up were the Cannibals, and their tactic was to try to stay together as a team for as long as possible.  They did this fairly well, but had to sacrifice some speed in the early part of the course to accomplish it.  Finally, at about Mile 7, the decision was made to have Bryan & Gregg go for it, while Allen & Sue got dropped off.  This formed two groups of two, who worked together until the finish.  At the line, their times were: Bryan 30:06; Gregg 30:07; and Allen and Sue 32:27 each, for a total team time of 2:05:08, and an average per rider of 31:17.

So – the Merchants picked up almost three minutes tonight, cutting the Cannibals’ overall lead down to 12 1/2 minutes.  Can they take more time tomorrow?

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