words by Matt Nunnelly
photos by Erica Robbins
After braving the horrible traffic of the Boston Metro Area, Alex, Celia, and myself arrived in Vermont. After picking up registration packets, we drove the TT course and then bought groceries (always delicious). Eventually, after getting lost on a dirt road for about a half hour, potentially breaking in to a house that isn't the weekend condo, and worrying we may never find a place to sleep for the weekend, we found our house. Jay and Erica and Toast (the family dog) got in slightly later, while Oscar apparently arrived sometime between yesterday and the start of the Time Trial.
After installing some super sweet number holders for our bikes courtesy of Oscar, we rolled out all aero'd up (minus Oscar) for a TT warmup. The start village (Grand Depart, basically) was pretty well organized, and after a good warmup, Oscar and Jay rolled out. Eight minutes later, Alex rolled out, and after another 2 minutes of waiting, I was off. The course seemed pretty challenging, uphill for the first ~2 miles, usually at a pretty steady gradient, with two sections that ramped up to ~10%. The first ramp was fairly short and I was able to get back into the big ring shortly after the gradient calmed down. The second ramp lasted until near the top of the climb, where it was slightly downhill the rest of the way to the finish, save one kicker at the end.
After pacing myself fairly well for the first half, thanks to a soulful ballad at a good cadence stuck in my head, I was able to open up more on the downhill. Due to a tailwind, speeds were pretty high, and the kilometers passed off slightly more rapidly than during the climb. Just slightly. I almost caught a guy who left before me at the finish, but the racer leaving 30s behind me was farther behind than 30s, which gave me a lot of confidence. I ended up at 15:25.65, 21st in GC, 1:09 behind the leader (who beat 2nd place by almost 30s). Hopefully we can focus on the rest of the weekend well - my goal is to finish top 10 on the GC. We'll have to keep an eye out for the time bonuses in the circuit race and road race, but we're all motivated and ready to go! Jay and Alex finished a tenth of a second within each other's times (16:21.88 and 16.21.98, respectively), and Oscar came in at 16:32.12.
Celia, riding her brand new Honey bike, did very well in the women's 3/4 field, taking second by only ONE SECOND! She's in really good position for the rest of the race, with 15 seconds between her and 3rd, and a super sweet bike that works (!) to carry her to glory.
Join us all in wishing Alex a happy birthday!
As always, have fun be safe!
Additional photos can be found here: