RECON

I feel good. The team is relaxed and in good spirits as we cruise the nats road race course and deviate onto the TT course. The wind is strong. It howls from everywhere, and yet we still roll on at nearly 50kph. Roman is right--when it comes to race day the winning time is going to be impressive.

The road is rough with cracks every few meters, but I hardly notice on my Venge. I picture myself staring down the TT extensions with only a sliver of road visible above my knuckles. I want to go fast.

RACE DAY

I’ve done the work and I know I’m ready because I feel serene; no stress. Breakfast is the staple of egg fried rice, and as I struggle to finish my plate, I wonder if my knees will be hitting my gut on the bike with all of the carbs I’ve eaten this week. The tank is full. Skinsuit donned and pinned. As I get into the van to be driven to the TT course a calmness that all is well washes over me.

 

NATE

     It is hot. I warm up and the watts are flowing as my speed hovers above the all important 50kph benchmark. Good. Not evenly fully aero’ed out and I feel like I’m flying. Don’t overdo it yet, I need to stay cool. The ice sock on my stomach works nicely.

    Nature break. Shoe covers on and bottle cage off the Shiv. Rolling to the start house I focus on the plan and prepare to execute; it will not be easy.

 

ROMAN

GO

5,4,3,2,1. Rolling and the speed is high. Nearly 10km in and I don’t think I’ve once seen the speed dip below 50kph. Left turn. Where’s the wind? Not sure but still flying and a long way to go. Too much too soon? My mouth is dry, but no amount of water would help, so I don’t dwell on not bringing a bottle. The turnaround is narrow and I feel my legs plead under the acceleration out of it. The wind feels stronger against me now and I dig in to stay at 50. My mouth is too dry. I close it and stop pedaling for a few moments; 49. Up, up, back to over 50. I’ve tricked my body with that technique, it works, and the final turn is in sight. Steady. Moisten and coast. I go to shift, but the lever won’t budge. I realize I’m turning the 56x11. Well over 53kph now. The final K; one last repeat of moisten and coast. Full gas across the line. 47:22, is that fast? Fast enough?