Taking On The TT Beast! BAR ITT – 2014 Series A – Race 2

The TT Beast!:
Time trial is an interesting beast to tackle. It is a lonely war you rage against the elements and the clock. How well you do depends on not only how hot, cold or windy it is on that day, how aero is your bike and gear and how ready are your legs, but also how ready is your mind to tackle all the loneliness and pain. In a way the race is not against other riders but against the little voice inside you that is chiding you for all the pain you’re putting it through and urging you to give up. It is not called the ‘race of truth’ for nothing.

Spectrum Racing skipper, Dr. Arvind Bhateja facing his race of truth! Photo: Dipankar Paul
Goals And The Race:
Races When I set the goals for this year, seeing that my birthday happened to fall on the third Sunday of February this year, I have set myself a goal of hitting 40 kmph in the ITT scheduled for that day. But fortunately or unfortunately I reached that goal three weeks in advance on 23rd of Jan at the first Individual Time Trial at Bangalore Amateur Racing. My personal best of 50:11 for the 33.5 km course was just enough to make the cut for 40 kmph. 

Going into this race, my target was to hit 40 kmph again and also shave at least 12 seconds off and go sub-50 min. Although that was the target, I was telling myself repeatedly to focus on the process of pacing myself rather than the pace itself. I wanted to avoid the concentration lapse and the brief lull in the effort that was nagging me from my last TT. 

With those goals I have set for myself, I made it to the start line at the second ITT of the series. The goal of not starting too hard was taken care of with a steady start. The mistake of not changing gears according to the terrain that I did last time was being taken care of too. Hydration at regular intervals was going spot on. The HR was in the zone I wanted it to be and stayed there and strayed into the red zone on the inclines according to the plan. 

As I got to the U-turn at the half way mark, I was about 15 seconds faster than last time. I made the turn and mentally restarted the ride. The legs felt fine and pedals were turning smoothly but I noticed the cadence wasn’t all that better than last time, still hovering in the low 80s. May be that needs to be worked at. Going past the 30min mark, where the effort slipped last time, I reminded myself to keep focusing and keep pushing hard. Kept focusing on going hard on the uphills. There seemed to be a strange sort of crosswinds right through the ride and may be a slight headwind on the return. 
The bald Belgian, Ronny Schrijvers, in beast mode! Photo: Linda Coninx
Time Flies, I don’t:
With 5 km to go, on the last uphill I told myself it was time to go broke. Time to mash on them damn pedals. Time was running out. The target was slipping away as the seconds ticked by way too fast. 1 km to go. 500 m to go. One final push. 100 m, time to let the lungs scream and tear the pedals off the bike. The finish line was behind me. I was behind my target time by 20 secs. Slower by 9 full seconds from the last race. I was a bit puzzled as I thought I have paced myself better than last time. I wasn’t sure if I could have pushed any harder. I thought I gave it my best. All the things I wanted to do right, I thought were done right.

Later looking at the results it was interesting to note that 13 riders out 16 riders that raced both times were slower this time compare to the last. Out of the 3 riders, Venkatesh Jyothi had exactly the same time as last time, Krishnan Sheshadri was faster by more than a minute which makes me think he had a bad race last time while Ronny Schrijvers was faster by 24 seconds. 

Timing comparison between race 1 and 2 of the series!

Out of the rest, my 9 seconds was the least that a rider had lost over their last race. That tells me that the conditions were definitely different and difficult than the last race and that a slower time doesn’t necessarily mean a bad race. That was a relief. I realized it was a pretty good race for me because I did all I could.

In the Under 25 category, the youngsters from Student Foundation for Sports(SFS) had a great race. Andrew Gerald has put in a massive effort with 50:16 and missed hitting 40kmph by a couple of seconds. Praveen(SFS) took the second spot with 53:17 while Kumar Lama of ProCycle finished in 54:42. They all received a freshly baked cookie from Mayumi Oe and a bottle of Coco Jal each.
Under 25 podium receiving their share of yummy cookies from Mayumi Oe

Men’s Open(25-35) was won by Spectrum Racing’s Shankar Jayaraman with a finish time of 53:32. The ProCycle duo of Aditya Kaul and Ajjay Jaywant finished 2nd and 3rd with timings of 54:14 and 56:24 respectively. They happily posed with a freshly baked cookie from Mayumi Oe and a bottle of Coco Jal on the podium.

Men’s Open category(25-35) Podium proudly posing with Cocojal and mouthful of cookies!  Photo: Dipankar Paul
The Master’s category(>35) was dominated by Ronny Schrijvers who was one of the very few who managed to improve his timing from the last race. He was followed by the Spectrum Racing Duo of BikeyVenky(yours truly) and Arvind Bhateja at 2nd and 3rd. 

The fastest rider of the day was the sole participant in the elite category, Naveen John.

Master’s podium along with the fastest rider of the day! Cocojal and cookies again! Photo: Mayumi Oe 
Women’s category had two participants Leelavathi(SFS) and Karishma who finished the race in 1:10:01 and 1:14:55 respectively.
Overall results, category sorted!
Thanks a ton to Venkatachalam Ramakrishnan, Siva Sai Nellore and Kiran Kumar for taking time out and volunteering at the race. Thanks to Mayumi Oe for the great cookies and the great photos. Thanks to Jain Agro for sponsoring CocoJal for everyone at the race today. It was a great nutritious recovery drink that all the participants enjoyed after a hard race. Thanks to all others who were there to support and cheer including Ironman Dipankar Paul for his lovely photos.

The next race at the Bangalore Amateur Racing is on March 9th. Check out the details on the event page.

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