Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Race Report: Santiago Canyon Time Trial

On Saturday March 28th I competed in the Santiago Canyon Time Trial, organized by Team Velosport and RockNRoad Cyclery in Mission Viejo, California. This was my first race of the 2009 season. With only base training miles under my belt so far this year, I was looking for a repeatable benchmark of my power and aerodynamics on the bike. The Santiago Canyon Time Trial is ideal for this purpose as it is held four times per year and the course is conveniently only 10 miles from my house.

The course is only 11 miles long, but the first half grinds relentlessly uphill, necessitating flawless pacing and patience if you are going to have any power to finish strong at the end. During the race I recalled the advice of Greg de la Paz of Rock n Road Cyclery, who had told me that the top of the climb at around mile 4.5 was the halfway point, time-wise. I reached that point at approximately 13:47, putting me close to my goal time of 27 minutes flat.

I knew going into the race that I had a good chance of negative-splitting the course since the second half is rolling to downhill, and at 180lbs on a full-aero bike I should be able to hammer the 2nd half at well over 30mph. In the end, I was able to cover the challenging course in 27:18/24.2 mph, good enough for 3rd place in my category and 7th overall. After finishing, all I could think about was returning for another crack at this course later in the season to improve on my time and placement! The Velosport folks put on a fantastic race and I encourage anyone to test their mettle at the next Santiago Canyon Time Trial.

My next race will be the Ironman 70.3 California in Oceanside on April 4th. Base training is over. It’s time to rock and roll!

See you at the races,

Sean Clancy

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