ThirstyBear Cycling take individual and team victory at Steve Dunlap NCNCA Championships.
TT race reports, I know it doesn’t get much more exciting than this!
Dunlap TT & TTT by Chris Phipps
In years past, the individual TT was the main event at the Steve Dunlap Memorial Time Trial, but this year with the Team Time Trial being part of the Premier Series and serving as the NCNCA Championships meant the ITT would just be a hard warm-up for those who felt the need to do both.
The ThirstyBear Cycling team of Ken Gallardo, Phil Hynes, Alan Nevin and myself were going for the TTT championship in the 35+ 1/2/3 group against strong teams from Folsom Bike, Safeway and Mike’s Bikes.
I was the only one of us to do a “warm-up” ITT and decided to enter the P/1/2 rather than masters to give me a little more recovery before the TTT. The course had been shortened to 27K from last year’s 30K and I didn’t really know what to expect for a time, but was aiming for 35:00 based on my 27K split from 2012. The wind was from the north this year though, so it would be easy heading out and the last 10K would be real hard into the wind. I started 6th out of the 9 in our group and it went very well for me catching my 30, 60 and 90 second men and crossing the line in 35:00.3. I felt I had paced my effort right and held my position, so I just had to wait for race favorite Jonathan Teeter (Marc Pro Strava) to finish to see if my time would hold up and when he came in at 35:33 I was sure I had it. Jonathan told me he didn’t know they had shortened the course, so he had left a bit in the tank.
1. 1. Chris Phipps – ThirstyBear Cycling 35:00.3
2. 2. Jonathan Teeter – Marc Pro Strava 35:33.9
3. 3. Ariel Herman – Metromint Cycling 35:53.9
Onto the TTT. This would be tough since the 4 of us hadn’t practiced together and I knew that whoever was on my wheel wouldn’t get much draft benefit. We decided to go with the order of: Phipps, Hynes, Gallardo, Nevin. We would try to keep all 4 of us together as long as possible, hopefully for the whole first half, but knew that we needed to finish with at least 3. We also planned to take longer pulls, of at least 20-30 seconds with me pulling a little longer rather than a constant rotation. We started with a short cross wind section and all took a pull to get into the correct order. In the long 10K tailwind section we were flying at 55+ kph and taking nice smooth turns, but then turned right into a tough crosswind from the right. We were really getting blown and I was leaning heavily into the wind. Unfortunately after a few turns we lost Phil and were down to just 3 so now we had to be extra careful not to have one of us blow up.
I took a lot of long pulls into the headwind section with Ken riding 2nd and not getting much shelter from me. Ken & Alan pulled through when they could to give me a breather and that really helped. The wind had picked up and we really had to push to keep it at 37-38 kph. We crossed the line and had to play the waiting game to find out how we did, but we knew it would be close. Then the results were posted and we had won by 9 seconds over Folsom Bike with Safeway coming in 3rd! This was really great to have a district championship to share with teammates, awesome work guys!