BBCh-2013 – Tarmac – Individual Time Trial

The Race of Truth! 
For that fraction of a second, your eyes are closed. Your head is down. Everything is silent. You’re floating somewhere in the outer space. The next second you open your eyes. You see the road rushing under you in a hurry to go somewhere. You hear someone panting into a loud speaker that is pressed against your ears. You feel someone pounding down on a drum tied to your chest. You realize that it is from within you and that you’re on a bike. And you’re racing! Racing against the self. Racing against the clock. Racing in the ‘Race of Truth’!
Vandit Kalia of Spectrum Racing facing his truth! He did a superb ride at 42kmph!


No wheel to suck. No escape from the winds. Just your legs, your heart and your bike. Against the wind, the clock and that buzz in your mind. Welcome to Individual Time Trial!

The Season Kicks Off In Style:

As the dawn broke, the populace around Hoskote, a quiet suburban area on the outskirts of Bangalore, began to see lot of strange looking people in colorful attire on even more colorful bikes. Cars lined up from end to end on the service road near Emerald Isle resort, the starting point of the first tarmac race of BBCh-2013. 
The Starting Line Up..BBCh-2013 Kicks off with a 16km ITT
After the registrations the riders lined up according to their bib numbers and were sent with a 30 sec gap. With Jurassic era giant butterflies fluttering in my stomach, I made it to the start line. Starting before me was my teammate at Spectrum Racing, Shankar Jayaraman. I thought could use him as a carrot. I looked back and saw the karate kid, Siddarth Kansal of Team Trek Firefox Racing lined up to start right behind me. ‘Ah, great! I’m going to get dropped by this kid.’ “Well, I could at least try to keep you in sight”, I told him as he was smiling that ‘I’m going to drop you’ kind of roadie smile.

My Race:
“3, 2, 1, Go!” Go…Go.. Ah.. Sheesh! Where is the left pedal? Ah, here! Shit wrong side! Cleat in damn-it! Ah, there finally! How very pro!’ I began to spin and was trying to find the right gear. The HRM was showing a ridiculously low number and I was feeling pathetic. It took me almost 2km to finally warm up and get into a rhythm. Once I got into the right rhythm of mashing that big gear, the HR monitor also woke up and began to work properly. That was a big relief as I tend to use it to pace myself. When I see that beats per minute in the red zone, I know I’m giving it everything I got and I can live with any result that follows.

I kept seeing the blue and pink colors of Spectrum Racing on my 30 sec man Shankar’s back and slowly began inch closer to him. I went past him and began to see other riders who started before him including our latest teammate, Vicki Nicholson. I went past a couple of others before I closed in on Vicki and went past her.

I was expecting Siddarth to go past me anytime. Although I dared not to look back, I mentally kept seeing him right behind me. That mental image of him closing in on me ensured that my HR didn’t drop at any point of time and kept me going.

For me, operating at the extreme like in a time trial is always an experience of physical agony peppered with completely blissful moments of utmost concentration. There are moments focused looking at numbers tick by on the Garmin or listening to my own ragged breath, wide awake. There are moments when the internal dialog is completely shut out and I would not be sure where I was or I was doing. It is pretty unnerving to realize that, grimacing in pain, you were riding with your eyes closed for however short a period it may be.  

I suffered like a dog on the inclines and tried to recover on the downhills. As I approached the penultimate incline however my pace slowed down to what felt like a crawl. I was seeing 41.9 kmph average till that point and wanted to push it up to 42. As I approached the final climb leading up to the finish line, I tried standing up to sprint but I had nothing left. I ended up gently rolling past the finish line in 24:02 at 41.7kmph. 

I later learnt that the invisible force behind me, Sid, did it in ~25mins. Phew! 

Dipankar Saikia of SKCT nailed it with a superb effort!

Learnings:

It was my first ever ride with an average of above 40kmph. I was pretty pleased with the effort although there are still a few things that needed to be sorted out. I could do well to control my race nerves and stop groping for my left pedal or I could practice and get comfortable with a hold start with my both feet clipped in. Also, warm up is a bit of a problem at the race with a lot of wait time. So, timing the warm up properly is also quite critical. The first few minutes until I warmed up were a veritable hell with me kicking myself mentally to go faster. 

The Results:
Men’s podium saw something other than the familiar white and red too this time. SKCT workhorse Dipankar Saikia nailed the time trial with a brilliant 22.01 for the 16.7km at an incredible ~45kmph. Close behind him was the most promising of the young riders in the country, Sreedhar Savanur of Team Wheelsports taking the 2nd position. 3rd position went to Bhimappa Vijayanagar of SKCT. 

Men’s Podium, Sreedhar Savanur(Wheelsports), Dipankar Saikia and Bhimappa(SKCT)

This was the debut race of Team Wheelsport which has a line up of some of the best cyclists in the country. I foresee this team giving tough competition to SKCT this season, which is great for the sport.

Women’s Podium Vicki(Spectrum Racing), Gitanjali and Renuka(Team Wheelsports)

Women’s podium saw two young girls of Team Wheelsports sharing stage with Spectrum Racing‘s new addition the ever energetic, Vicki Nicholson who took the 2nd spot on the podium. 1st position went to Gitanjali with a time of ~27mins for the course and 3rd position went to Renuka of Team Wheelsports

It is great to see Team Wheelsports bringing in more competition to the women’s category. This race saw 12 women riders out of the total 77 riders who took to the starting line. Very encouraging to see the girl power continuing to grow at BBCh.

Overall results:
There was a bit of confusion with the race timing sync up for the later half of the riders as some riders missed their starting slots. The BBCh timing team is working to rectify the discrepancies and would be publishing the results later tonight or tomorrow. I will update the post with the results once they are out. The categories for this year’s BBCh Tarmac races will be determined by the standings in this race. Top 40 percentile will be Cat1 with the rest of the riders making up Cat 2.  

Update(18/02/2013 8:15 pm): The results are out. Yippie!! Made it to top 10!

BBCh-Tramac- Individual Team Trial- Men’s Top 20
BBCh-Tarmac-Individual Time Trial- Women’s Results

Race fees, Prizes:
BBCh has introduced a 300 INR registration fee for the races this year. The fee is waived off for students with valid student ID. This waiver was availed by quite a few including the kids from teams like Team SFS(Student Foundation of Sports), a budding team of local talent.

The fee was made compulsory as last year’s voluntary contributions hardly covered the expenses despite seeing great turn-outs. It is encouraging to see that the registration fee did not effect the participation negatively. The first season of the race saw superb participation again with 77 riders.

A cash purse of 7000 INR has been awarded to the winners in Men’s and Women’s categories in the race. The cash prize is a new introduction this year at BBCh. 

Volunteers:
Team Cleated Warriors selected and marked the course for the race. They did a splendid job with the marking although I barely noticed anything other than the start and the finish lines. It wasn’t the lack of effort. I was too zoned out with the effort to notice the 5k, 2k, 1k to go markings. The Volunteers did a splendid job again manning the route and ensuring rider safety. The Veloscope photography team was there as usual providing amazing photos from the race. Thank you all!

Photos:  
https://picasaweb.google.com/102172342564541481938/BBCH2013ITT#
From Veloscope: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.484293728272367.97154.133075056727571&type=1

PS: A special thanks to my regular ride partner, Ironman Dipankar Paul for lending me his aero bars for the race. They certainly helped and I couldn’t have put in the same performance without them.       

6 thoughts on “BBCh-2013 – Tarmac – Individual Time Trial

  1. Venky,

    Always a treat to read your blog. It sums up the entire event, with the right stress on the highlights. All the best, Great Job. Thank you for the writing

  2. Fantastic writeup (as usual), Venky! Always a joy to read your race reports.

    Btw, the aero-bars you borrowed, did you manage to get shifters onto them or were they just the bars?

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