Thursday, August 24, 2006

Master's Worlds Time Trial

Woke up wednesday morning to a perfectly sunny sky and the news that my TT bike and road wheels had been STOLEN along with about 6 other bikes and 10 pairs of wheels from the garage where our group's gear is being stored.

My Specialized TT bike with my Dura Ace SRM - GONE
My Spinergy Stealth PBO road wheels - GONE

I sat in a state of dazed bewilderment for quite a heart sinking. Why today? The day of my most important event...couldn't they have waited till tomorrow at least?

I had a hard time eating much breakfast...just enough calories to get by...then I had to start thinking about HOW I was going to ride my TT at 2:20 this afternoon....not IF, but HOW and WITH WHAT. Dave who had broken his collar bone on sunday offered up his Felt TT rig and it fit pretty well. I got the saddle setback right, saddle height close, drop close, but the reach was a bit long and un-adjustable....but hey, not bad for the last minute...I´ll roll with it.

I tried to put everything else out of my mind....concentrate on getting used to the bike, and getting the legs prepared....Physically I felt GREAT. I could tell the legs were turning over and felt strong....mentally could I hold it together? I spun the 5 miles out to the TT start and back in the morning trying to get dialed in. I was using my 9 speed disc (my TT wheels and road frame were spared). with Dave's 10 speed shifters on friction. It was working ok.

Back to the room, relax, try to eat a little more, then back out to the TT start. We had a tent and some trainers out there for the whole group to use...a good set up and I was able to get a decent warm-up in. I was as ready to go as I could be....relatively relaxed.

Off the start ramp I knew something was wrong. The bike just would not stay in a gear. It kept wanting to shift to a harder gear, unless I held the lever...even then it was difficult to maintain a gear. This caused me to have to extend my arms futher than normal and I think it helped cause a bit of a diaphragm cramp about 2/3 into the course. No matter, I did the best I could and hammered away. It was a headwind out ...up the hill, turn around , then a cross tail/ tailwind home. My 30 second man was fast and I held him steady but could not reel him in until close to the end. I rode hard, battling the cramp...but had good speed. I kept my concentration, but it was tough with the hand position I needed to keep. I crossed with a time of 26:02 for the 20KM course. I think I did the best effort I could have given the circumstances. My situation did not affect me mentally or physically too was only the uncontrollables that negatively affected my time....the less than perfect set up and gear problems.

I didn't catch my placing as I crossed....all in german!....but I knew I was not top 3. Went and watched the finish board until the end of my category....I figured I was top 10 but not sure where. As it turnes out I was 5th! Just 32 seconds off the WIN! and ONLY 11 seconds out of 3rd!!! If it is possible to be happy and upset at the same time, that would describe my emotion: happy that I was able to pull off 5th with the circumstances, but extremely upset knowing that I WOULD HAVE BEEN TOP 3 FOR SURE....AND....I REALLY THINK I WOULD HAVE HAD A SHOT AT THE WIN.

Was my bike with my perfect TT position worth 32 seconds?? I will never know.

The awards ceremony was another mix of emotions. Seeing the top 3 on the podium in my category was devestating....but knowing that I have the ability to get there is a little consolation.

Mike Olheiser from our group put in a blazing time to win the 30-39 age it was great to see him get the jersey in teh presentation.

Today I took an easy spin around the road course and am trying to relax for the road race tomorrow. Yesterday was the event I had been waiting for and evything else seems a bit anti-climactic.....but when the gun goes off tomorrow.....I will forget everything and RACE.



Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about your gear getting stolen, Andy but you rode a fantastic race anyway. Congratulations! Your story is truly inspirational!

Karen M.

Dwayne Letterman said...

Hey Andy, That really sucks that your bike and wheels were stolen, but even so that was a great result. To be fifth in the world "the world" is nothing to sneeze at on a borrowed bike, and I'm sure you could have pulled off a top three. See you at MSG CX.


Robert said...

Tough luck Andy but great job on borrowed equipment.