If you haven’t heard, GWB&Tri owner Kevin O’Connor is taking part in the Stage 7 time trial in the tour of California. It’s the biggest professional cycling event in the US with all the top cycling pros there and is opportunity is quite rare… needless to say he’s very excited. He hasn’t stopped talking about it for the past week!.
And a new revelation for the TT… Kevin will be riding the brand new Trek Speed Concept bike for the time trial! Trek is planning to launch the Speed Concept bike on Saturday in conjunction with the time trial, and has allowed Kevin to ride one of their bikes. Apparently he gets to pre-ride the course once with the bike, and then it’s go time.
I asked Kevin to give a prediction for his own performance this weekend in his own words. He told me that he wanted to get in one last hard workout to gauge his fitness and he would let me know afterwards. Below is his prediction….
My last ride wasn’t all that impressive but it was the third workout of the day and I felt wiped out before I started. So now the rest begins. I did 302 watts averaging 24.7mph at av cad 86. I weighed myself after my morning 5 mile run and I came in right at 170lbs on my trusty analog scale. I definitely faded and had to work real hard the last 5 miles and still lost 2 watts. But that was yesterday. Let’s talk about Saturday.
I think I will average in the 320’s for wattage for the ride. I think I can average about 26mph after adding aero helmet, race wheels, and a little rest. The course in L.A. is a double loop course with some turns. It is relatively flat with one steep little bump.
I plan on trying hard not to go out as hard as I often do, which is a bit too hard. I plan on suffering hard as the race continues and make certain I am not caught by anyone starting behind me. The riders will be seeded slowest to fastest. I hope I don’t have Chrissie starting right behind me.
I have a tough time predicting what the 3 pros will do. Two things are certain. Lieto and Macca will beat me and it will be tough to stay ahead of Chrissie.
Chrissie of course focuses on IM racing. The only triathlolns she has not won have been at half IM distance. This may be an indication that she does not have the high end speed at the shorter races. She has so much talent that she will still have a hugely impressive performance in the TT. She will certainly beat many of the 30 amateur men on Saturday but I think that I will be able to stay ahead of her. No guarantees. If I compare my bike to another triathlon legend, Natascha Badman, it shows it will be a race. In 2007 at Buffalo Lakes Spring Triathlon in TX, I was outsplit on the bike, (by a few seconds) over the 56 mile course, by Natascha. And I had the fastest amateur men’s bike split. Natascha won Hawaii 6 times over her career. No matter what way you look at it, it will be tough to beat her.
I am hopefull because the course has a number of turns and is considered technical. I hope my bike handling skills will bring me higher in the rankings. Although, I have had success in both short and long course racing, I feel far more confident racing Chrissie in a short course race. I couldn’t even compete with her at a long course race.
It is a little easier for the male triathletes. Lieto will certainly be the fastest. His cycling prowess has been proven time and time again. He has real experience racing as a cyclist which will help him on the technical course. I think he weighs about 170lbs (same as me). Based on this I would expect his wattage to be around 360-380. He will still be quite a way behind the fastest cyclist but you would expect that since cycling is what the other guys do for a living.
Macca will also have a very impressive race. Knowing what David Thompson does on the bike it is easy to compare since they both raced at Alcatraz just a couple weeks ago. I would estimate Macca would push around 330 watts. He also has good cycling skills so the course will not cause him any problems. His time will certainly be faster than mine although the wattage may not be a lot higher. He weighs 15+lbs less than I and being shorter he has less aero drag than I.
My biggest concern and the thing that brings a lot of excitement is the fact that I will be riding the new Trek Speed Concept bike. I will get to be one of the very first to ride and race this bike. This of course means I will be racing on a bike that I have not even ridden. Gear West Bike & Tri had one of the early production Speed Concept bikes in the store 6 weeks ago and it was impressive. The adjustability was great and the brakes felt great. This should mean that I will be able to adjust the bike well (I sent my current bike measurements to Trek yesterday) and the bike should perform well on the technical course. Who knows, I may finish and feel the bike helped me go a lot faster without getting to train on it. In the end it will be a really cool experience.