Team Time Trial, help me prepare.

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by quenya, Jul 10, 2010.

  1. quenya

    quenya New Member

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    One of the local cycling clubs is hosting a 20 mile TT for teams of 4 on Aug. 14. Myself and 3 good buddies/riding partners are considering it. The four of us trained specifically for and just finished the Climb to Kaiser, so we all have a base of endurance but our individual fitness levels are pretty spread out. Ive been doing 2x20s twice a week for 2 weeks and Thursday my intervals were 24.30 and 24.03 mph, one of my buddies is a bit stronger than I am on the flats, one fairly close to my speed, whereas one of the guys might struggle to maintain 18-20 mph individually on the same course I rode.

    There are some very fit talented guys in the area so we know we aren't going into this thing to win it so much as to have fun, test ourselves, and do the best we can. With all that in mind does anyone have any idea how best to split the work load or how to decide, how to practice as a group, how to train for the event in about a month, and maybe strategies for TTT in general.
     
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  2. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    Do any of the 4 of you have access to a powermeter to use in training or racing?
     
  3. quenya

    quenya New Member

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    frenchyge, not on our bikes. One of the guys has a trainer that measures power.
     
  4. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    Hmmm..... tough to give any detailled pacing advice in that case. Do you have to finish with all 4 riders? I'm concerned that the weakest rider could be at risk of being dropped if he pulls *at all* during the ride. It's tough to maintain 4+ mph higher than one's solo pace through drafting.

    Do all 4 of you have full aero setups?
     
  5. quenya

    quenya New Member

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    The time is taken from the third rider in, I don't know if we would get a DNF or not for finishing without a rider, at any rate we will finish together even if that means we have to handicap our stronger guys for the weaker one.

    I have clip on aero bars on a Kestrel Talon and can get a fairly aero position (flat back & elbows in) reasonably comfortably. The other guys have nothing. FWIW I am going to start riding the local TTs so I'm likely to get a helmet and maybe skinsuit if I break 1 hour in a 40km. I could do it sooner but I really don't think there is any point to further distancing myself from the weaker guy.

    I really appreciate your taking the time to discuss this. What do you think would be an average increase in pace over an hour with a group of 4 pace line. Do you think 2 mph over a solo effort seems right or is that still too high?
     
  6. pat5319

    pat5319 New Member

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    Try to "pull" only as long as it takes to "clear" wheels (rotating paceline). Stronger riders can pull a little longer, occaisonally, maybe 30 seconds to a minute or well b4 any signs of tiring or lactate build-up and take care not to accelerate on taking leads. find some vids of pro team time trials (youtube?) and practice a lot
     
  7. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    Without aero gear I think you need to forget about being even remotely competitive -- if this isn't going to be a 'fun ride' then there's no reason to go any further. That said, for a fun ride I'd suggest going out to practice together as a team at least once a week to figure out some sustainable pacing, get a feel for riding close together, echelons in crosswind, etc. It'd be best if you could ride the course of the actual event so that you'll learn the terrain and be able to set some time goals at certain landmarks.

    Since you'll be travelling at the pace of the slowest rider, the stronger riders will want to figure out how long they should pull. I think 3 mph over the slowest rider's sustainable pace is a good place to start if the weaker rider is going to pull through. You could probably squeeze +4 mph if the weaker rider will just sit-in at the back, but that's not very fun for him. The problem will be hills in the second half of the ride, so practice keeping a sensible pace uphills without gapping anyone and really hammering the downhills and flats.

    Contrary to the advice above, I wouldn't recommend a constantly rotating paceline for a team event. Everytime the lead rider pulls off, the team effectively loses one bike length; so you'll make better speed over ground by rotating less often (maybe 30sec - 1min pulls).

    If you really wanted to have the best time, you'd probably be better to just have the guy with the aerobars and helmet ride in front for most of the event, maybe swapping pulls with the strongest rider on the second half. That's not much fun for a team event, though. Good luck! :)
     
  8. quenya

    quenya New Member

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    Frenchyge, this will be a 'fun-ride' for sure. I mean with the benefit of my aero position I may be the fastest of our little group but I'm nowhere near ready to take it to the fast guys around town. Next season I will be in much better shape to compete, Ive been pretty much off the bike for maybe 5 years before last November. In fact last June I was 5'10" 197 lbs when I started training for a marathon Nov 8, 2009. I got down to 157, ran the race at 160 and am now 165 having just finished the Climb to Kaiser ahead of those three guys. I plan on knocking off maybe 10 lbs while training for the 50k option of the same marathon this year and riding my road bike until the weather forces me on to my mtb. but thats neither here nor there...

    I haven't got the helmet yet and I doubt I will for a ride that I won't be remotely competitive for. I figured that I could cover the course as fast or faster as an individual than the other three as a team so I certainly wouldn't be opposed to taking longer pulls at OUR sustainable pace to keep the group together and give everyone a chance at the front to the best of their ability.

    Do you think taking pulls by geography might be an option? Put the weaker rider in front on the descents a the middle guy on the climbs and myself and the stronger guy pulling most of the flats?

    Again I really appreciate your taking the time to work this out with me.
     
  9. blaronn

    blaronn New Member

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  10. quenya

    quenya New Member

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    Thanks Blaronn!
     
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