Saturday, July 20, 2019

Why Am I Not Time Trialing?

If you’re watching this year’s Tour de France—and you should be, as it has been a very entertaining edition—then you know yesterday’s stage was the only individual time trial in this year’s race. It was a short one: only 27.2 kilometers / 16.9 miles. Many Grand Tours have been won or lost in an individual time trial, but this year’s Tour de France will not be. Still, time trials continue to be an important part of the sport.

I have done some training TTs, alone and against others, but so far I have done just one honest-to-goodness race of truth: the 2011 Kirke Vei Time Trial in the Wisport series. I did that race on a standard road bike and got smoked by the guys who were rockin’ the aerodynamically superior TT bikes. It’s 8 years later and I think I would give a better account of myself if I tried again … especially if I had the right equipment.

That may seem like a strange sentiment from a guy who this summer has sold his old cyclocross bike and his only mountain bike, leaving just an endurance road bike and a new-ish cyclocross bike in the stable. But I think I have the physiological and psychological makeup to be good at TTs, particularly long ones. With a dedicated TT bike I might be an age grouper with whom to be reckoned. I won’t take on that expense this year, but I won’t rule it out for 2020.

The Wisconsin Cycling Association’s road season is almost exclusively a criterium season, but there are 3 TTs on this year’s schedule. Wisport offers 11 TTs this year, but many are so far away that I wouldn’t consider going to them. My objective, though, would not be to fill my spring and summer with TTs, but rather to give myself a few more opportunities to race close to home. Adding just 2-3 TTs per season might be enough to scratch the itch.

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