Update: With a 52nd place finish in 16:12.36, only 00:01:49 off pace and a good bit faster than last years time, there's lots of room to improve and still plenty of other opportunities that don't include 5.6 miles of suffering alone, to go for a little home turf glory.
Today marks the prologue time trial of the Green Mountain Stage Race. Somehow, even in the wake of hurricane Irene with hurricane Katie just on the horizon, race organizers scrambled to reassemble stages 2 and 3. Why you ask? Because in Vermont, where we never get Hurricanes, we got a hurricane. Said massive amounts of rain and wind from the given storm called Irene, demolished large sections of road when what were trickling brooks and streams, became MASSIVE RIVERS which dug trenches in hill sides and made cars, bridges and towns such as Waterbury, Granville and Rochester look like a model train sets that had recently met the wrath of 4 year of Irene and her Godzilla action figure with new and improved wind and rain!
I am amazed that in the wake of this destructive event, the race went on. Even with a large portion of our main racing roads now gone or cut off, new courses we created to substitute the missing portions. However, today's stage, was one of the two courses that remained intact. With no noticeable scars from the storm on the course, the 5.6 mile time trial starting from Warren Village was able to start as scheduled.
Leaving the start at 10:11:00 a.m., I found myself at a slower pace than I wanted to be on the initial climb of the ITT. I had to rally my legs to pull through over the top crest where I was able to slowly work up to speed through the final pitch and across the gradual descent towards the finish. Now, when I say gradual, I mean that over the final 6K, there was about a 1-2% negative grade that allowed riders to really rip through East Warren and back towards Waitsfield. With 1K to go, I reached a quick dip before the final climb, one which can potentially make, or brake you're entire ITT. I entered the climb from the dip with as much momentum as I could carry, and without pushing myself to the point of popping, was able to keep strong power through the climb and increase my output through to the finish.
I wouldn't particularly call today a complete success, but I also would not write it off as a failure. There were a lot of good things that happened during the course of the ITT, along with bad. Now that it's done, the only thing that I can do is prep for Stage 2, the Hinesburg Circuit Race. My plan for the evening, eat lots of carbs, lots of protein and ice my legs in frozen towels.
To all competitors, good luck and keep the rubber side, down. We're all glad to have made it.
Arc hard, ride fast, go plaid!